Tag Archives: social media

Star of the Really Small Screen

Princess Alethea Rants "The Giant & The Tailor"Good morning, everyone!

I have a new Fairy Tale Rant up on Youtube this morning. Check it out! http://youtu.be/fwqmrUjlRLoEpisode 27: In Which Princess Alethea Rants about the Grimms’ fairy tale “The Giant & The Tailor” (2:58)

Can you believe I’m on Episode 27 already? How time flies…

Back in February, I talked here about some of the basics of vlogging I learned by trial and error. Vlogging really lends itself well to “learning by doing.” As you learn and grow on your vlog, your audience learns and grows with you.

I’ve also learned about new opportunities in vlogging…I mean, if you have the skills, use them, right?

Instagram now has a way for you to post a video instead of just pictures…I think this was a response to the Vine program (which I’m not familiar with, but I do know Instagram!). I tried this out on the day of World Book Night, since it was a lovely day outside and I was already dressed like a princess. I just said something like, “Happy World Book Night, and happy birthday Shakespeare!” — that 10 second video then got posted to Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook…where it was seen by all my friends & fans, and then was shared by the World Book Night folks.

Score one for exposure!

There’s also a new platform called Patreon — a new way for folks to become Patrons of the Arts. I’m still diving into it, but you can put up *something* every *however often*, like a piece of art or a song or a video or a podcast. People then pledge (like PBS!) to donate $X for each *something* that you do.

Here’s the link to may latest video on Patreon if you want to check out the platform: http://www.patreon.com/creation?hid=406789&rf=83064

So far, I only have one patron donating $1 per video…but we all have to start somewhere. And if eventually I can get a little Flip camera to help film my videos in different locations (and on something sturdier like A TRIPOD), then hooray! For now, it’s just another place I’m seeding myself to be discovered.

Do you guys play around with different social media? I just love to experiment to see how I can work them into what I’ve already got going. I know of places like Reddit and StumbledUpon, but I’m not as familiar with how they work. Anyone have any insight on those?

Much love to you all — have a great day! xox

Alethea Mermaid



2014 Social Media Marketing (Yeah, for Books!) – What’s Your Plan?

Denny (PortRoyale)This post has a bit of snark in it so be warned…

And yeah, another title for this post could be: How to Overwhelm and Entertain in 1000 words or less…anyway…:)

I hang out online an average of 90 minutes a day. And no, it’s not 90 minutes that I could have spent writing, or cleaning or doing something else. I am deliberately ‘hanging’ out because the source of information that is most readily attainable is online. It is NOT on TV (well, to me, I hate television news, cable o r network), it is not on the printed page (although, I do miss when back in the day, I’d spend an entire Sunday at a  cool brunch spot on the north side of Chicago, reading the Sunday New York Times and Chicago Tribute – it was so relaxing and so Zen of us:) – and its not only on Facebook (Internet, yes, but not the only source of information left on the planet).

So let me get to the point of this post. I’ve gathered a list of articles from the Internet you should read or at least skim if you intend to have a ghost’s chance in hell (watching way too much Supernatural) of effectively, consistently, and painlessly (or less painfully) using social media tools to sell/market your books and/or your brand.

And yes, if you write books to sell them, you must know and participate in the marketing of your books.

And oh, in case you stumble upon this article, and wonder who in the heck is spouting all of this information as if she knows something? Well, for the sake of credibility, in my other life, I have been a marketing professional for 25+ years – if that doesn’t work for you (I spend 90 minutes a day on the Internet, I’ve got to know something about something, right?)

Authors often look at other authors to get their perspective on what’s going on in the social media marketing arena – which is absolutely fine. We all know romance writers who are doing an exceptional job of marketing and using social media in a smart, straightforward, fresh way. And then there are those like me, marketing professionals who are writing popular fiction, romance or whatever and will be publishing or published by someone at some point, if they aren’t already off and running.social-media-marketing1

But in addition to gaining insights from authors who have great savvy about social media marketing or marketing pros who specialize in the publishing industry, I like to take a look at what the big boys in corporate marketing are doing as well.

Below are a few links. You don’t need to study every word of these articles (as if you would:), but take a moment, see what is being forecast and compare to your current social media marketing plan (and yes, you should have a plan, you don’t have time–hours in a day–to be haphazard). See if there’s something out there that’s new, or can be used differently, or more consistently, to deliver on your bottom line – which is (say it with me) – selling MORE books by finding new readers, and keeping the ones you have HAPPY. (And yes, the best way to do this is to write the best books you can write…but even that doesn’t always guarantee SALES, and/or readers, unfortunately.)

So here goes:

Social Media Marketing (Some links to take a peek at…)





Okay, to recap…what’s going to be hot IMHO (or at least worth exploring):

  1. Google +
  2. Content continues to be KING (no joking)
  3. Content should include video or at least images (the eye likes a quick fix)

Big News in Publishing (or at least the most recent) and other Kick Ass Stories you May Have Missed!

http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/page.aspx/LYRICALPRESS (Why is it Big News? It marks a trend you will see repeated. It’s all about where the readers – and book buyers are – putting all of your eggs in one print basket isn’t the way publishing works anymore, and you’ll see this trend duplicated, again and again. That’s my predication:)…





That’s it friends…some food for thought:)!

Happy New Year!

Also, feel free to ask questions, or complain below:)…or let me know if you have a social media marketing plan, and whether you are published or pre-published, are you thinking about your brand, or if you don’t care about marketing, let me know, I’m just curious…:)

Famous Jammies

There’s a link that’s gone viral — a family’s 2013 Christmas Card performance called “Christmas Jammies.” And when I say viral I mean it — since it was uploaded on December 11, this video has been watched over SEVEN MILLION TIMES.

Here it is, in case you haven’t had the pleasure — it’s really cute & super fun for the whole family! (Here’s the link for those who can’t see the video embed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kjoUjOHjPI )

Most of the comments say things like, “I love these people!” and “I want to be part of this family!” when in reality, if most of us presented our kids with matching Christmas PJs on December first and told them we were all going to rehearse a family video that would be LIVE ON YOUTUBE FOR ALL THEIR FRIENDS TO SEE, the result would be massive rolling eyes and filing for emancipation.

These are the things I thought when I watched this video. Did you notice how it’s not only a Christmas card, but also a promotion for their new family business? Yup, snuck that in there with a hashtag and everything.

Those of us who live our lives in front of the world…this is what it looks like.

FUN, right?

I’m a renaissance woman of the 21st century — I’m on just about every social media site and have my own YouTube channel. The Fairy Godboyfriend’s latest idea is for me to play the Marvel Lego videogame on a live Twitch feed so that my fans can watch me play Captain America.

And all of this *is* fun. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t do it.

Except…the part where we can’t go grocery shopping without considering the potential promotional angle, and everyone hates us because they assume we are happy & enthusiastic 365 days a year.

We are the workaholics that never stop…but we love what we do. It helps when our family loves it too.

The up side? We can write OUR ENTIRE LIVES off on our taxes.
And if you’re smiling, then we’re doing our jobs right.

So what’s your take on this viral Christmas business? How many of you think the son or daughter will grow up to be movie stars…and how many think they will simply  demand this video be removed from the internet?

So…if I have an awesome Thanksgiving and it doesn’t go viral, is it still awesome?

Hello everyone!

How was your Thanksgiving, US folks? Mine was incredibly stressful, thank you. Oh, it’s all stuff I won’t discuss on the internet…you know. Suffice it to say that I hope yours went a lot more smoothly than mine.

In one way, though, my Thanksgiving was awesome.

Here’s what happened: The first day we were at the in-laws, Joe’s mom presented him with a handful of 4-5 inch tall comic book figurines. She had cleaned out something, somewhere, and despite Joe having no recollection of these items, Mrs. B was sure they were his. They were all posed for action: Wolverine, The Punisher (missing an arm), and Captain America.

I lifted Captain America to examine him. The stamp on the back read “1989,” which would have meant Joe bought these when he was at least 19 if they really were his…but they were his now, and within his power to redistribute as he saw fit.

“Can I have Cap?” I asked.

“Sure,” he said.

I had my phone with me, so I posed Cap next to the apple butter and snapped a quick picture of him to share with my online friends, with many of whom I had spent previous Thanksgivings and was currently missing like crazy. As soon as the shutter closed on Instagram, I had an idea. A brainstorm. An inspiration that would save my fragile soul from the impending wretched holiday.

Because…see…here’s the thing. Authors have this amazing superpower they often forget about: They have the ability to create entire worlds in which people can escape from their lives. And before that author is published and read by millions of people around the world, there’s only one person escaping from life in that world: The Author Herself.

I desperately needed an escape…and I had just found it. I would tell a story.

As soon as I woke up Thursday morning, I began snapping photos of Cap. This was the first one:

 Cap — saving the world, and it’s not even 10am.

Cap — saving the world, and it’s not even 10am.

This went on — off and on — all day long, posting my triptych via my Instagram app (crossposting to Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook). . I used Cap as an excuse to get outside and go for a walk — it was chilly, but a gorgeous day everyone else was adamant about wasting inside. This resulted in my favorite pic, composition-wise:

 Turkey needs another hour in the oven…Cap takes this opportunity to get festive.

Turkey needs another hour in the oven…Cap takes this opportunity to get festive.

After dinner, Joe and I left the house again…because we were awake, incredibly stuffed, and Joe’s Grandmother needed a television. Coincidentally, a few places were having sales! Now, Black Friday is not a tradition with us, but this time I was raring to go. And so was Cap.



While standing in line, I had a chance to check in with the internet and see how well this was being received. There were a few “Likes” on Instagram and a few replies on Twitter. Tumblr didn’t really give a crap.

Facebook, however, had exploded with comments…and these comments went on for a couple of days. Turns out, Cap wasn’t just saving my Thanksgiving…he was saving a lot of other people’s as well. And as those were people I care about, it made the result all the sweeter.

When all was said and done, did the internet remember an American superhero experiencing the trials of American Thanksgiving? No. They remembered a guy who got onto a plane and tweeted a fight with a woman that degraded into passing notes with foul language and a slap at the gate. Even better, this scenario NEVER HAPPENED. Just yesterday, the guy admitted it was all fake.

My fun little story didn’t get retweeted by Joss Whedon or Stan Lee. Marvel wasn’t banging my door down with a picture book deal, and I wasn’t picked up by BoingBoing or io9. Instead, some rude ABC Producer’s fake tweets got attention in every major news outlet, because–literally–at the end of the day, the sensational scandal won out. It always has, and it always will. I have to say, I was disappointed in America that day. Cap was too.

But in my magical little corner of the world, I made my friends smile. That’s what started me on this strange career, and that’s why I’ll stay on this path for the rest of my life. I am a Jedi who will continue to put good things out into the world. I will fight for the Goody Two Shoes and the Mary Sues…and Cap will back me up every time.

So…how was your Thanksgiving?

To see the full album of "Caps Best Thanksgiving Ever," click here: http://www.tumblr.com/search/capsbestthanksgivingever

Cap’s Best Thanksgiving Ever

To see the full album of “Cap’s Best Thanksgiving Ever,” click here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151730393112085.1073741834.709582084&type=1&l=2cf1d1cee4

For those on Tumblr: http://www.tumblr.com/search/capsbestthanksgivingever (start at the bottom)