Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Social Media: A Seven Days a Week Kind of Job

For new writers, (bloggers, and book reviewers) social media is. Everything.

I'll wait, whilst the over serious writer types shake their heads.

They think, it's the story. It's the editing. It's the--whatever their considerable skill gives them an edge over.

On a personal level, I think it's the cover and Twitter.*

This weekend my bank royally pissed me off. I won't go into the boring details, (it was their fault and it wasn't just me) but I will admit to sauntering myself over to their Facebook page to give them a piece of my mind. Which was their lucky day, I usually charge for that particular service.

Except for how it wasn't, as their Facebook page was already a PR NIGHTMARE--because their social media peeps apparently get weekends off. Must be nice! If I stop tweeting for ONE DAY my Klout score likely drops a point. A whole weekend can damage me as much as 3 points.

Now I know some of you don't LIKE Klout, don't understand Klout, or are living under rocks. That's why Thursday I am devoting a whole day to discussing what it is, and why it's important.

For right now, the basics are this: it measures how much of a difference you make in your social media bubble.

Now, why do I KNOW social media is EVERYTHING?

Ever heard of the term, slush pile? It's usually used when discussing an agents pile of unrequested queries or submissions. What a lot of people fail to realize, is self publishing, or publishing with a small micro publisher just puts you into the same slush somewhere else.

Some of the tactics of getting out of the slush pile are the same no matter how you slice it. Some are very different. Glitz doesn't work with agents. **

The number one thing writers must contend with today, is getting people to find your book. It doesn't matter how good it is, how awful wonderful your cover might be, if no one can find it, you aren't selling books. There are so many things on Amazon and BN.com that you have better odds of being plucked out of your dream agents slush pile than tons of people just buying your book because they happened into. You have to be able to work for it, and that is where social media comes in.

Have you seen how books appear on Amazon? Notice anything?

That is what people have to judge you by. A rating--which you won't have if people don't read your books, and a COVER! Nothing else. You don't get a blurb, or query, or hell an elevator or Twitter Pitch while you sit on the page with the rest of the slush.

So this is why I believe the most important things are the cover and Twitter.*

As a writer, you NEED certain things--or if not EXACTLY these things then you need things that garnish the same results.

Tagging, You want to tag your book in such a way that people who are looking at similar books will find you (book classification is very important too).

Twitter, Facebook, Google+ etc have a right way and a wrong way to be used to promote your book. The best way I can describe it quickly, is to say you want to have people invested IN YOU not one book. Posting of links to buy your books should make up a very small percentage of your social media content. It should not be all day every single hour nonstop. People will ignore you, block you, unfollow you. Do not go looking for instant gratification.

Book reviewers. Want the best ones with the most audience and traffic? Not with out some sort of online presence or at least a decent connection. You ask them to review your book with a terrible do it yourself cover, while you have 28 Twitter Followers (7 of which are bots), and 9 blog followers (one of which is your mother) and the best ones will politely decline--or just ignore you.

I cheated, my publisher got some awesome bloggers for my first tour, but recently I have had them start contacting me. They send me emails with their credentials and traffic flow reports--like I'm special. You know what special treatment gets you? Less time doing this sort of work and more time for writing.

*Angela Kulig is aware a good story is important--but only if you can get to second base with the reader (more on this soon) 

**Agents aren't impressed by glitz, but you have to have something to get a stangers attention/.

JUST FYI I have some pretty HUGE announcements coming out next week. Including things like, the remaster of Skeleton Lake AND an audio book for another project, and other great things coming out of my publisher that has recently decided they want to be a whole new level of awesome. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Angela Kulig: Having Survived Monday, Learns to Hate the Rest of the Week Properly {Editing is like MONDAYS}

There is something about editing, that gets under my thin skin and makes me think about all the things I have done wrong. Not necessarily in this manuscript, but perhaps the one before, and the one before that, and the next one I have yet to write yet.

Editing is like Mondays. Come Sunday night, you are convinced you know how bad something is going to be--but then you get a flat tire, and spill your iced half caff grande mocha carmel something all down your only clean shirt.

Not that it's ever happened to me.

This is purely metaphorical people.

I'm lying of course.

Wednesday is my deadline for this manuscript. So to celebrate, Thursday I am going to start a little game. It will be fun, you will want to tell all your friends.

For now, be thinking of these lyrics by Panic! At the Disco: "There is simply nothing worse than knowing how it ends."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Angela Kulig Sits Down, Shuts Up, & Finishes That Book She's Been Writing

A funny story--I asked my publisher. So, how many times has my book been downloaded since it's been on sale? (See post below for details on it being free.)

Publisher sends me the number, and I send the number back asking if they accidentally included too many zeroes.


They didn't by the way.

That is a pretty good motivator.

Skeleton Song is coming out soon...

But I can't decide what should be next and I don't even know if Red Iris will let me have my way. What do you think? Skeleton Lake sequel? Stand alone supernatural romance? You shouldn't worry either way--it's likely they will both be out before Spring is over!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Skeleton Lake is currently $0.00 on Amazon {But I don't know 4 How Long}

I woke up this morning to the specific beep beep of someone in my family text messaging me before I wanted to be awake. This time it was my father, and he wanted to know something very important.


Well dad, I don't know. It wasn't me--but it might be my publisher. Or, it might just be Amazon. Thanks for letting me know though!

Quick get Skeleton Lake while it's still free.  I don't know when it started, so I have no idea how long it's going to last. Run, don't walk.

PS--the next book is coming out soon. It's a novella set before Skeleton Lake... and guess what? It's going to be free too!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Angela Kulig gives stuff away, talks about herself in the third person. 4k Twitter Follower Giveaway!

If you are one of the people who often reads my blog, you are aware of far too many personal details about me--including the fact I often speak about myself in the third person.

Angela would like to say thank you.

When I started twitter and had <100 followers for PRACTICALLY FOREVER I never thought I'd see one thousand, or two thousand, or 3250 which is where I was this morning. BUT as I am never happy with anything I do, that just isn't good enough. So I am going to have a Twitter follower drive to hurry on up to 4k! It's not that far really. I'm giving away at least a $40 e-giftcard no matter where I end up, but if I reach 5k I will make it $50 and if I reach 6k I will make it $60 and so on and so forth.

I am also giving away a SURPRISE! Prize pack that with multiply with the number of entries. This might include books, swag, and other awesomeness.

Basically, you should enter and then tell everyone you know!

Friday, March 9, 2012

The difference in readers: SKEPTICS VS TRUE BELIEVERS

In my head, when I first started to write this post there, I titled it: WHAT MY AUDIENCE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ME BEFORE READING MY NEXT 2 BOOKS

Which was kind of silly.

What I really wanted to do, was talk to you about the different kind of book readers and challenge you to think about which category you fall into.

In my mind, there are only two kinds. Skeptics and Believers, though you can have characteristics of both.

Skeptics, want, no need to know everything. I once belonged to a writers group who always demanded to know EVERYTHING by the first chapter. I mean everything--like the entire book should all somehow be in first two thousand words. In my opinion, if everyone somehow managed to pull that off I'd metaphorically slit my wrists.

That's because I am a believer. Magic can exist, dragons breathe fire with out further explanation. I don't have to know everything until I need to know and I don't get hung up on the details. Like WHY do vampires exist and how come the sun is falling from the sky. Sometimes it just is, because that is how it is. I don't question the laws of gravity if I have never been to that world.

At the same time, sometimes things just don't make sense. I'd rather not know than to be told something that makes me put the book down.

As a writer, I promise to always tell you things you need to know before you need to know them. I can't promise it will be when you want to know, but it will happen.

For me, writing SKELETON SONG was the hardest thing I have ever done. We know how Marlow's story ends--and we know nothing about it is happy. Maintaining hope and light when all their should be is darkness and despair was a task that I don't think I understood until I wrote the first draft. Which is why it hasn't come out yet. Red Iris is letting me make it perfect and it needs to be.The glistening pieces are in the bits that you haven't heard yet. Hope comes from the fact that her pain still hurts, that her cuts still bleed.

Like Panic at the Disco says, there is nothing worse than knowing how it ends. At least the Skeptics should be happy.

There are four full length novels in the Skeleton Lake series. The Skeleton Song is the prequel to the first book in the series. And I am about to share with you, the other titles that have not been announced until now. The only people who know about them before you are Sara, at Red Iris and my husband. I want your imagination to wonder. I want you to believe.


Very soon, my publisher will pry SKELETON SONG from my anxiety ridden fingers--and shortly after that release Dust of the Dead Sea will come out. I promise. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

#TeaserTrain with G.E. Johnson's LOVE & WRATH

You know you have to take a book seriously when the title contains the word wrath. It's a good word that means anger, and fury, and several other serious sounding nouns and adjectives. Pair it with love and you know you're in trouble.

This week #TeaserTrain is stopping here with G.E. Johnson's Love & Wrath

GENRE: Women's Lit (or Contemporary Romance)
AMAZON LINK: http://amzn.to/qOYdMk
BLOG LINK: http://gejohnson.blogspot.com
TWITTER: http://twitter.com/writermom2011

     Lily really was just anxious to get to Sheila’s and find out more about what exactly
had happened. She hoped that they could really help Keisha out of this situation
for good. As Lily was lost in thought, she noticed that Marco had made a left on 9th
toward their building instead of a right toward Sheila’s place.
     “Hey, you know I’m going to Sheila’s, right?”
     “Yeah, I know,” Marco answered quietly.
     Lily looked at his face and was unsettled at how tense and serious he had become.
     “You’re going the wrong way…,” she said as she let her voice trail off.
     “I know that, too,” Marco answered quietly, again. “Give me just a second.”
     His voice was calm - almost too calm. Lily knew that something was wrong.
     “What’s going on?” she asked with mounting concern.
     Marco did not answer right away and was quiet for several seconds. Lily
noticed that he kept checking his rearview mirror and that he had made a couple of
unnecessary turns down the one way streets in the downtown area.
     Finally, Marco answered, “I think somebody is following us.”
     Lily’s heart sped up as she sat up in her seat and tried to see behind them through
the passenger side mirror.
     “Act normal,” Marco instructed. “If they are following us, I don’t want them to
know that we noticed.”
      Lily sat back in her seat tensely. “Can you see who it is or what the person looks
like?” Lily asked.
     “Not really. It looks like a man, but it’s dark in the car,” Marco answered.
      Marco made another turn and headed out of the downtown area toward Grand
     “Is the car still there?” Lily asked nervously.
     “Yeah. I’m gonna see if I can lose them at Grand.”
      Lily had started to shiver and she began to pray that this was all just a coincidence.
     She thought that maybe the person was lost and had chosen to follow them to try to
find their way out of downtown. When the light turned green, Marco made a left turn
onto Grand. The car that had been trailing them made a right turn. As they were
turning, Lily caught a glimpse of the car. It was a dark colored Nissan.
     “They went the other way,” Lily announced with a slight sigh of relief. “Maybe
they were just lost and followed us to find their way out. It can be pretty confusing
down here if you don’t know your way through all the one ways,” Lily said hopefully.
     Marco still seemed very tense and continued to glance in his rearview. “Could
be,” he said. “But just in case, I’m going to take the scenic route to Sheila’s.”
     After taking several more unnecessary streets and turns, Marco and Lily pulled up
in front of Sheila’s building. Normally, they would park on the street and walk the
short distance to the building, but tonight, Marco decided to use the valet service. He
didn’t want to take any chances of having someone pull up on them while they were
walking up the sidewalk to the doors.

Want to read about all all the wrath? If your an Amazon Prime member you can read it now for free, otherwise it will cost you a mere 2.99 for your Kindle!