[My Guest Post] More Insight on Social Media Blackout at SFWA.org

Wanted to pop in today to mention that, for my July article at SFWA.org, I opted to provide the results of my 100 day social media blackout and give readers additional insights I didn’t write about here.

Remember, too, that online marketing and e-commerce both have high learning curves. What you see/read online is often the free version of advice marketers provide to open the door to paying clients. The web changes often and dramatically — social media moreso. One, little change and that entire community you’ve built on Facebook could disappear. This? This is yet another reason why your website is more important than any other tool in your promotional arsenal. — SOURCE: The Results of My 100 Day Social Media Blackout at SFWA.org

I feel that this experiment achieved my goal of opening up the door “to” talk about these sorts of things and understand its value. Since I have a professional background in online marketing, I knew what to look for, which definitely helped shape my insights.

With the debut of new social media tools like Google+, an author’s relationship with social media will not only evolve, but shift and fracture depending upon how many audiences — personal and professional — we have. In terms of priority, though, while I like the tools and missed a few of my online pen pals, I know what benefit it has in terms of reaching new readers.

After all, the best way “of” reaching new readers is to write another story… 🙂

Few Service Types of Announcements

Hey everyone,

Just wanted to mention that I have been switching servers and wibbily-wobbily time-y whime-y (Yes, that is a Doctor Who reference…) on the back end. So the website has been up-and-down and comments made from this week mysteriously vanished into the wilds of the internet. Kind of like where your lost socks go, but more disappointing, as I can always buy new socks.

The newsletter this month may be postponed until after GenCon, as my plate is mostly meat-and-potatoes. I’m happy about that, but this is due — in part — to getting all my August guest posts and an early August assignment written/delivered prior to the show. When I come back, I will probably sit down for a day in my cave and zone out to one of my favorite video games. It’s going to be a VERY busy show this year as I have a few secrets I cannot yet reveal. 45,000+ people + 12-14 hour days = de-peopling process to return to normal.

I also put a call out on social media, but I am putting together a group of beta readers. GREAT response so far and I can’t wait to get that party started. I take good care of my peeps.

Last, but not least… I wanted to say how much I appreciate you as a reader and a visitor to my website. These are crazy times for any creative professional, whether you’re famous, infamous, loaded or eating noodles out of a can.

Hope your own endeavors — be they as a fan, a reader or as a creative — are successful.

Peace out.

The Idea of Limited Words

I have a few mentors that I touch base with from time to time. One of them recently said to me that I was smart to balance my workload based on free vs. paid and original vs. tie-in, because we only have so many words we will write.

The idea that a writer has a limited amount of words they’ll write in their lifetime is, quite frankly, horrifying to me. What happens on the days that I didn’t write? Should I feel guilty that I neglected to pour myself into a story?

Even though the idea of limited words has implications, I think those are worth exploring because writing on “borrowed time” raises several questions like:

  • Am I writing what I want to write? Or what others want me to write?
  • Have I gotten paid for what I’m worth?
  • Am I satisfied with the submission choices I’ve made?
  • Do I know what markets are a good fit for my work?
  • Am I stretching and experimenting with my limits?
  • How am I measuring progress? By my own publications or someone else’s?
  • Where do I want to be as a writer in five years? Ten?
  • What form of writing do I enjoy the most? Least?
  • If I died tomorrow, would I be satisfied with my work?

The other thing that I feel this concept does, is help you shape how you spend your time. While you’ll never know when you reach your limit of words, I suspect that the fear one day you’ll run out of them may help shape not only what you write, but where you submit and how much you get paid for it.

[Recommended Reading] The Blogfather Speaks Out

This interview with MetaFilter founder Matt Haughey has some extremely grounded viewpoints on the future of blogging, it’s value and all about the community that Metafilter has fostered. I think this is a good viewpoint to read — especially for writers.

The site still basically looks like it did in 1999, but in the meantime, all those Web 2.0 sites like Digg and Reddit have popped up. Do you ever worry MetaFilter will look old-fashioned?

It’s tough; people don’t want anything changed ever. We have a thousand or so hyper-fans who hate everything. Every tiny little change we make, we test out with everyone who works behind the scenes, then we talk about what we’re going to say to everyone, how we’re going to present it to them. There’s a culture [former Harper’s editor] Paul Ford wrote about called the “Why wasn’t I consulted?’ culture: WWIC. And [MetaFilter] is the ultimate example. We have an entire subsite talking about the site. So everyone is consulted on everything, and everyone has an opinion on everything. — SOURCE: The Blogfather at Willamette Week

If you have a few minutes, give The Blogfather at Willamette Week a read. I think, if anything, it confirms that the value of blogging is that it’s not as fleeting as what you can find on social media. For a writer? Well, I’m sure you can see where I’d be going with that… *wink*

[New Release] Instant Antagonists: The Creepy Cottontail

I have a strange relationship with Lovecraft, because even though he’s all about “your mind can’t handle the horrible truth” I often obsess over think of all the things that could go wrong. What if the cultists were preventing Cthulhu from rising? What happens if the Necronomicon is read backward?

Or, as in this latest case of what-ifness… What happens if a particular Outer God screws up royally?

The latest addition to FR Press’s line of Instant Antagonists was born after I penned a particular sordid tale called “The Curse of the Yellow Rabbit.” I give you? The Creepy Cottontail. Incorporating reviews and feedback from the debut character in the series, you’ll find expanded content and plenty of systemless ways to infuse this horrible hare into your modern horror game.

Introducing a New Instant Antagonist

The Creepy Cottontail


INSTANT ANTAGONISTS are systemless creatures or beings designed for use in existing modern supernatural/horror games. Many will be supernatural in nature; some will be (at least nominally) human. While one antagonist may be truly evil, others are simply selfish, immoral or may even be victims themselves.

Looking for a new twist on an old legend or trope? This product is a perfect addition to a GM’s modern horror game collection. The INSTANT ANTAGONISTS line offers details on each monster’s origins, powers and plenty of story hooks to include them in your campaign or evening’s session.

The Creepy Cottontail

At first glance, Queenie looks like any other cottontail — but is he? Come a little closer and see for yourself why this nefarious hare has cultists (and non-cultists alike) running around in circles.

Is an Outer God really trapped inside the body of a fluffy bunny rabbit? Will he enslave the minds of pet store owners everywhere? Or will The Creepy Cottontail entice a small town’s population to turn on each other in a bloody fight to the finish?

The Creepy Cottontail is one creature you can’t fall asleep to forget…

Click here to check out The Creepy Cottontail on RPGNow.com

Written by Monica Valentinelli. Edited by Matt M McElroy.

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