Thursday, July 28, 2011

How Authors Can Get More than 500 Friends in 30 Days

If you don’t have friends added to your friends list, being a part of a social networking site is rather pointless. On Facebook, you can be average or you can be a superstar. Obviously, since you are using Facebook for promoting yourself as an author, you want to be a superstar. You can achieve that status in as little as 30 days, but it does take a time commitment on your part.

First you should note that if you have fewer than 200 friends on Facebook, this isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s an average thing. However, you want superstar status. So, this won’t do for you.

Once you have 500 friends, you are considered popular. People will gravitate to you. When you have between 800 and 1000 friends, you’re essentially a Facebook celebrity. Eventually, that’s what you should be working toward. For now, let’s concentrate on becoming popular, with 500 friends.

Do not use automated software that adds friends to your Facebook friends list. This defeats the purpose of social networking. Instead, do it the ‘hard way’. You will come to realize that the hard way really isn’t hard at all.

The first thing to do is to join all of the groups that you can find related to your subject or genre. There are plenty of them out there. Each time you join a group, send a friend request to all members of that group.

Not all members will accept the request, but the majority of them will. This can be a little time consuming, but it is well worth the effort in the end. This should easily net you 200 to 300 friends. Try to add no more than 20 new friends each day, for the full 30 days. Anymore than this might raise spammer flags with Facebook.

Once you’ve exhausted the groups, find other groups that are related to your subject or genre. For example, if you are in a mystery novel group, find mystery game groups, and start adding members as friends.

Use your existing website to get more friends, as well as your blog. Post your Facebook badge on your website and blog. Make a blog post and invite your readers to add you as a friend on Facebook. If you twitter, tell your followers to add you on Facebook. If you have a mailing list, send out a note and invite them to join you on Facebook.

Again, it does take a concentrated effort on your part, but it is well worth it in the end, and if you are dedicated, you absolutely will have more than 500 friends in less than 30 days, and if you want that superstar celebrity status at Facebook, you can continue to add new friends for an additional 30 days to reach that goal.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

How to Break Your Book into Chapters

The act of telling a story, though initiated and performed by the story teller, is actually a collaborative act between the teller of the story and the audience. The implications of the collaborative nature of storytelling is seen in many ways, and one of them is in the way story content is broken up into chapters.

For starters, the human attention span does have limits, and so chapter breaks are handy ways to allow the reader to pause if he wants to step away from the story with a temporary sense of completion. While it might seem inconsequential, it is actually vitally important for maintaining reader interest over the long haul of a novel. So there is a practical element to having chapter breaks.

How you organize the elements of the story into those breaks is actually a creative decision. Some stories are told with chapter breaks every couple of pages (or even more frequently). This constantly repeating use of breaks actually contributes (or detracts if mishandled) from the overarching story or message of the book itself. Frequent chapter breaks can connote a sense of panic, or lack of attention, or any number of things.

Conversely, long chapters with infrequent breaks can connote a sense of slowness or preference for the methodical, and this will be successful if it makes sense within the context of the story being told.

Many times, chapter breaks occur naturally around known life events, such as the end of a wedding party, or at a graveyard after the casket is lowered, or in the hospital after a baby is handed to her mother. Other times chapter breaks are intentionally inserted in the middle of the action, and lead to other chapters that are picking up after an abrupt ending.

Again, breaking your content into chapters should be done on the basis of alignment with the overall tone of the story and used as a pacing mechanism.

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