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Perks
11-14-2007, 07:30 PM
I'm torn about my participation on MySpace, primarily because I'm not a 'real' writer. I am an across-the-board rejected one.

But still I play at being legitimate and ran across this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/02/books/review/Kennedy-t.html?ex=1346385600&en=2860463cbd90ca82&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

and was most interested in the notion of fostering more access between writer and reader.


But for authors and readers, MySpace offers something entirely new: a forum where we can finally meet and get to know one another — or even collaborate in literary games. For instance, soon after the novelist Matt Haig put up a MySpace profile to promote his book “The Dead Fathers Club,” he received a message that would make any writer’s heart thump. Someone wanted to “friend” him, and that someone was none other than ... William Shakespeare (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/william_shakespeare/index.html?inline=nyt-per). Shakespeare “sent a message telling me how much he enjoyed my work,” Haig explained to me (via MySpace mail). “I returned the compliment and told him ‘King Lear’ was pretty good, too, and that I’m sure he has a solid career ahead of him.”
Haig said that readers are not always so gentle. A few have told him what they want changed in his novels or what he should write next. “In the old days, the author-reader relationship was the equivalent of someone who couldn’t listen, talking to someone who couldn’t speak,” Haig said. “But MySpace ... places the writer and reader on an equal footing within the same network.”


The whole article is quite interesting.

ETA - The question I got out of it was this: if you could interact with random people who'd read your work, would you?

Monkey
11-14-2007, 07:40 PM
Sadly, I'm on MySpace, but haven't really been able to make it work as a networking tool.

Yes, it probably has something to do with not having much time to invest in it and not knowing many people. But still. The only people on there are a few random strangers that I found and asked to join, a couple of my actual friends, some AWers, and me. (I have a personal MySpace, and I friended myself. Talk about boredom. :) )

I am thinking of starting a new MySpace for my WIP's main character. He has much broader appeal than I do! But I won't do that 'till I'm further along in the story.

So for now, I'm not sure how MySpace is workin' for me, though it seems, in theory, to be a good idea.

jst5150
11-14-2007, 07:42 PM
Not sure how long I've been on MySpace (about a year or so). However, I haven't found anything to leverage from it. I wouldn't send a publisher to MySpace and I'm not sure one would go there upon getting a query letter. Since I have my own Web site, I think the MySpace can be a distraction from staying on message.

For that reason, the glut of advertising I cannot control and the number of times I've been hacked, I'm probably going to kill my MySpace profile Saturday. Facebook, too. While I agree with the notion that more press is better, there is also the idea that timing is everything. The timing's not right to have a MySpace page. I can always come back to it. Finally, it's just another "thing" that needs attention. My 2-year-old deserves that attention. MySpace doesnt. And I'm worn from reading lists about people's No. 8 or revealing they eat Count Chocula in the morning.

Calla Lily
11-14-2007, 07:44 PM
It's a lack of time thing--and the fear of hacking--that have kept me from MySpace as well. I'm saving myself for when I have to get my own site.

But just for a moment, there, I was tempted. Because if Shakespeare can access MySpace from the Great Beyond, what if HP Lovecraft could too? Oooh...

Perks
11-14-2007, 07:45 PM
Lol! Yeah, I think unless you have something to peddle (and I know you do at least, Jason) it can be more of a time vortex than anything else.

For authors with books out there, though, I can see where interacting with the reader base could be very much an education and an enthralling (which includes terrifying) way to pass a bit of time.

jenngreenleaf
11-14-2007, 07:46 PM
I use MySpace mostly as my webpage, until I get a domain of my own. I try to keep it updated with links to writing I've done and keep an interesting blog. I've found it to be a good tool for getting to know other writers and authors I wouldn't have had contact with, otherwise. Plus, it's allowed me to keep in touch with my sister and reconnect with four or five high school friends I couldn't find anywhere else. :)

There *is* a lot of junk on there, though, so it's hard to figure out if this was a good move or not.

jst5150
11-14-2007, 07:50 PM
For authors with books out there, though, I can see where interacting with the reader base could be very much an education and an enthralling (which includes terrifying) way to pass a bit of time.
But what is the quality of that interaction, Jamie? I'd offer it's as shallow as the Royal Famiy's gene pool. It has been my experience that yes, the publishers and agents are on MySpace. Probably for the same reasons you and I are there -- because we could. However, I'd offer none of those use MySpace as a place for a town meeting or to carry on a conversation.

I've messaged some celebs and people other than friends using MySpace. I either receive no response or 'this message is not accepting messages.' So, the interaction is one way. You get the promotions and ads and PR. You attempt to push the other way and get rebuffed. So, I'd offer that, in most cases, MySpace becomes nothing more than another TV channel.

Except for friends and relatives, intreaction is limited if any of all.

Perks
11-14-2007, 07:53 PM
I wouldn't send a publisher to MySpace and I'm not sure one would go there upon getting a query letter. Oh, and I definitely second that. I know there are agents and publishers already there. Our own Nathan Bransford networks there, and he's a bigshot. But kinda like Vegas, what happens on MySpace stays on MySpace. I'd be hard-pressed to think it would impress anyone outside its little web.

But if you could interact with random people who'd read your work, would you?

I think I may paste that into the OP, because I think it's an interesting question.

Monkey
11-14-2007, 07:55 PM
Weird Al takes messages.

I love Weird Al.

:D

Perks
11-14-2007, 07:56 PM
But what is the quality of that interaction, Jamie?

Well, my interactions have ranged from ridiculous to riveting, but I was mostly going on the guy from the article's experience.

I was wondering if any of us had connected with readers or would attempt to once their magnum opus had been launched?

Perks
11-14-2007, 07:58 PM
To answer my own question, I would. If a book of mine ever grew legs, I'd love to hear from people I'd never meet who had something to say about my story.

I think.

God knows, one might want to be careful what one wishes for...

maestrowork
11-14-2007, 08:00 PM
Everything takes time. I'm sure MySpace is a good venue to reach out, network, and promote. But I don't really have the time to nurture that. Honestly, it still baffles me. I feel like I have a better time "reaching out" here on a forum like AW.

p.s. yes, I love it when I hear from a reader, whether they have something good or bad to say about it. At least I know someone is reading it darn thing. :D So, if you've read my book, send me a note. I really appreciate that. Don't forget to "friend" me if you have a MySpace page.

Perks
11-14-2007, 08:01 PM
Everything takes time. I'm sure MySpace is a good venue to reach out, network, and promote. But I don't really have the time to nurture that. Honestly, it still baffles me. I feel like I have a better time "reaching out" here on a forum like AW.Yeah, but readers don't come to AW, writers do.

jst5150
11-14-2007, 08:01 PM
As would I. Again, the veracity of that interaction becomes an issue. From the casual "good book" person to the person outside your home stalking you with nightvision goggles, a spiral notebook, an ink pen and a bucket of KY jelly. So, there's probably have to be some moderation. Like anything else, that interaction is part and parcel to the overall plan, I'd think.

maestrowork
11-14-2007, 08:03 PM
Yeah, but readers don't come to AW, writers do.

But how do readers find you on MySpace? Do you need to advertise it? Promote it somehow?

BTW, I'm maestrowork on MySpace. So come on and friend me and leave me a comment about my book, okay? :)

Perks
11-14-2007, 08:13 PM
But how do readers find you on MySpace? Do you need to advertise it? Promote it somehow?

BTW, I'm maestrowork on MySpace. So come on and friend me and leave me a comment about my book, okay? :)
Well, from the article, it sounds like some authors have some pretty creative ideas, like searching for MySpace members with the same names as their characters and sending them messages and friend requests.

I don't really know how it's done, 'cause I haven't anything to sell.

I've been gratified by the comments that my little blog essays and tidbits have generated. When it's not naked people or dingbats wanting to sell me knockoff handbags, the networking aspect has put me in touch with some people who like to read what I've written. It doesn't keep me in vittles, but it can brighten a crappy day.

I now know that I have looked up a few authors I've enjoyed and left a message or held a brief correspondence over their writing as the topic. It's kinda cool.

Toothpaste
11-14-2007, 08:14 PM
Well if they like your book they might search for your name (I think most everyone in a certain age bracket assumes everyone is on Myspace) or just for "author" or something. When I'm bored I do searches for "children's books" or even my title, and then the people who show up I ask to be my friend. I've searched for "bookstore" and "library" as well. What I really need is to get one of those mass mailing tool thingys, but I think they cost money. Because no one really reads "bulletins".

It is also different for me because my audience is very tech savvy and are the exact people who use Myspace. Nor am I using Myspace to land and agent/publisher (though talk to badducky about that one!).

C.bronco
11-14-2007, 08:19 PM
1 I'm torn about my participation on MySpace, primarily because I'm not a 'real' writer. I am an across-the-board rejected one.

ETA - 2 The question I got out of it was this: if you could interact with random people who'd read your work, would you?
1 What do you mean? You're not "real?" Rejected does not render you unreal; it makes you "seasoned."
2 Sure! I love random people, as well as those who stop by on purpose.

I haven't posted on Myspace in a very long time, but I do keep up with my blogger blog. I don't know if it has done anything to help my writerly cause, but I have met a lot of interesting people and it has brought my attention to many good books which I have read and want to read. Run on sentence. Sentence fragment. When is lunch?

maestrowork
11-14-2007, 08:39 PM
Well, from the article, it sounds like some authors have some pretty creative ideas, like searching for MySpace members with the same names as their characters and sending them messages and friend requests.

That's what I mean -- it takes time and effort to "reach out." I know people who actually do that -- search for members by name, interest, groups, etc. and send them "friend" requests. I know Barry Eisner does that, and he has over 14,000 friends. Personally, I don't think I'm "successful" enough to do that yet. I think I would need at least three books under my name for me to feel comfortable with seeking out strangers.

Toothpaste
11-14-2007, 08:54 PM
Thing is maestro, people like being sought out! I mean I know it feels nice when someone asks me to be their friend, famous author or not (not that any famous authors have sought me out). Why should it not be the same for them when you ask them? Everyone knows the purpose of Myspace is to network, it isn't like you are going up to people on the subway and asking them if they will be your friend (hmm . . . I should try that . . .).

Pamster
11-14-2007, 08:57 PM
Hacking? Help me understand how hacking and myspace are connected can you guys? :) Do you mean your profile gets hijacked or you mean your freaking computer got hacked? Big difference...thanks in advance everyone, definitely an interesting thread. :)

maestrowork
11-14-2007, 09:00 PM
But just "friending" someone doesn't mean anything. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned. I just don't know how this works. So you have 12,000 friends -- do you actually visit their sites? Do you really read all their blogs and bulletins and leave comments and chat? Do they actually read your stuff and visit your page regularly? Or is it just this "oh, cool, I have 12,000 friends" thing? It would be meaningless. To me, they may as well be faceless visitors to my website because I don't know them and they don't know me. To make a real connection, you will have to make an effort to actually (at least) leave them a comment or exchanged PMs. But even that is fleeting. How much time do you need to spend on MySpace to actually make it work?

Maybe they have a forum on MySpace, too -- that may be worthwhile because you'd have real interaction with people. I haven't looked around MySpace to see if they have a forum...

Jersey Chick
11-14-2007, 09:01 PM
I started up a MySpace page to network with other writers and readers, but I'll admit, I don't know how much good it really does. My MySpace blog is just repost of my blogger blog. But since my website is static (looking for a new webguy), I use it and my blog in place of an updated website - which is easier because I can make the changes, etc.

General Joy
11-14-2007, 09:05 PM
Pamster-- It's not uncommon for profiles to get hijacked. The spam is Myspace's downside. I wrote about it on my myspace blog. I've had real friends (that is, ones I know in real life) send me messages or comments via myspace that are all about how I can get a free Gucci bag, or inviting me to look at some sex tape. They were obviously not sent by my friends, but rather the result of their accounts being hacked.

Toothpaste
11-14-2007, 09:10 PM
maestro - some of them I have a nice email back and forth with. I visit pages occasionally, or subscribe to some of their blogs. It depends. There is no right way of doing it. I think you are putting too much pressure on yourself, it isn't all or nothing. If right now you don't want to do it then that's cool, if later you find yourself striking up a few email friendships that's cool to. If you want to be Barry Eisler and communicate with all of them (heck we even had a brief back and forth, and I must be friend 14 001 or something) you can do that too.

I think what people forget is that you can use the technology to your purposes. There is no right or wrong way. Sure some people are better at networking than others, but if you don't want to, you don't have to. There is choice.

Pamster
11-14-2007, 09:12 PM
That's what I figured thanks for the confirmation Cassie, I didn't really think it would lead to getting your system hacked. :)

Maryn
11-14-2007, 09:21 PM
But just "friending" someone doesn't mean anything. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned. I just don't know how this works. So you have 12,000 friends -- do you actually visit their sites? Do you really read all their blogs and bulletins and leave comments and chat? Do they actually read your stuff and visit your page regularly? Or is it just this "oh, cool, I have 12,000 friends" thing?Ray, our daughter dated a musician for a while. Like writers, musicians see MySpace as a freebie which might promote the band, so they have pages. In Tim (http://www.myspace.com/timyeung)'s case, the whole purpose seems to be to get friends (especially hot girls!) who might stop by and learn that the band's got a new CD out, or they're throwing a promo party, or playing a gig on the current tour that the friends might attend.

He's perfectly aware that most of his MySpace friends will not read his blog, watch his clips, listen to the music more than briefly, contribute to his band's success (or get him laid), but there are always the few who'll spend a few bucks or perform personal services as needed, including feeding the band. The more friends you have, the higher the odds some will do you some good.

I know you pulled "12,000 friends" out of nowhere. Tim's got 11,047.

Maryn, just sayin'

III
11-14-2007, 09:26 PM
I joined MySpace because I work with the college group at our church and all of them are on MySpace. I jazzed up my page to be a sensory overload of my book cover and also made the cover my avatar. But that's about it. It's been a pretty good networking / advertising tool but not spectacular and I put almost no effort into it other than making new friends and sending the occasional comment. It's free and it doesn't hurt - I got no complaints.

maestrowork
11-14-2007, 09:39 PM
Ray, our daughter dated a musician for a while. Like writers, musicians see MySpace as a freebie which might promote the band, so they have pages. In Tim (http://www.myspace.com/timyeung)'s case, the whole purpose seems to be to get friends (especially hot girls!) who might stop by and learn that the band's got a new CD out, or they're throwing a promo party, or playing a gig on the current tour that the friends might attend.

He's perfectly aware that most of his MySpace friends will not read his blog, watch his clips, listen to the music more than briefly, contribute to his band's success (or get him laid), but there are always the few who'll spend a few bucks or perform personal services as needed, including feeding the band. The more friends you have, the higher the odds some will do you some good.

I know you pulled "12,000 friends" out of nowhere. Tim's got 11,047.

Maryn, just sayin'

I see band (or comedians) as different, though -- bands always have concerts, gigs, and pushing CDs, etc. They also need a more constant "fan base."

Writers like me, especially who are just starting out or have one book on the shelf, don't seem to have much need for that... I mean, even if I do have 12,000 friends -- what am I going to do with them? I don't have constant news, gigs, etc. to promote. I only have one book, and it's on the back list. I guess I'm just not very in tune with this networking/promotion thing yet.

p.s. I just discovered the MySpace forum. Sheesh, as if I don't spend too much time online already.

III
11-14-2007, 09:49 PM
p.s. I just discovered the MySpace forum. Sheesh, as if I don't spend too much time online already.

I spent all of about 15 minutes in the MySpace forum before I left in disgust. From what I saw, it's like a Jr. High boy's locker room.

Manat
11-14-2007, 10:27 PM
This is an interesting post. I'm trying facebook right now. I had a lot of fun decorating and setting it up, and then my daughter asked me if I knew that my privacy settings let everyone who wants to, see just about everything I do online. Ack! After losing a whole day I coulda shoulda been writing, I haven't used it since. Now I'm having dreams that kiddie pornographers are using my bandwidth to broadcast, CIA are checking out what I was doing back in the day, and evil teenage geniuses are stealing all my banking and credit info. I was going to give myspace a try instead but from what I read here, no way!

WriterGirl2007
11-14-2007, 11:56 PM
That's what I mean -- it takes time and effort to "reach out." I know people who actually do that -- search for members by name, interest, groups, etc. and send them "friend" requests. I know Barry Eisner does that, and he has over 14,000 friends. Personally, I don't think I'm "successful" enough to do that yet. I think I would need at least three books under my name for me to feel comfortable with seeking out strangers.

The funny thing is that not everyone whose friend's list says they have thousands really do. When I used to have a MySpace, I changed the coding to say that I had thousands of friends even though I didn't. I did it mostly to confuse my buddies. :-P

Anyway, I don't know if I'd do MySpace again because it really is full of spam, viruses, etc. I like Facebook better, but sometimes I think both are evil. :Shrug:

Pamster
11-15-2007, 12:33 AM
viruses too? Not cool. :(

RG570
11-15-2007, 12:42 AM
I've tried these social networking things and just ended up deleting my profile. It just seems like the slush pile of humanity, there's nothing really meaningful going on. It's like a gymnasium full of kids, and they're all yelling into loudspeakers and nobody hears anything but they keep talking anyway.

If I ever sell a book, I'll have a website and maybe put my email address at the front of the book. That should be enough for someone who really wants to contact me. If there are people who can't venture out of their myspace or facebook page to other areas of the internet, they're probably not the type who read books anyway.

J. R. Tomlin
11-15-2007, 12:59 AM
Dismissing the millions of myspace members as "they'd never read a book" is an awfully large generalization. Exactly where did you get this information about all these people?

For anyone who is interested in looking into myspace as a marketing tool, I highly recommend J. A. Konrath's blog on the subject. He has used it and gives what looks like educated advice.

http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2006/12/myspace-redux.html

One of his comments did strike me:


Is MySpace a guaranteed path to success? Hardly. But it's one more weapon in your marketing arsenal, and it has the potential to reach a lot of people--even more than your website, your blog, and your newsletter combined.

It's something to think about.

WriterGirl2007
11-15-2007, 01:59 AM
viruses too? Not cool. :(

Ya, MySpace is bad about that. Facebook is much better in that regard.

maestrowork
11-15-2007, 02:45 AM
Did you hear about Alicia Key's MySpace page getting hacked? It seems like it's really easy to do, too. All her pictures were linked to a website that downloads malware to the user's computer... it sounded really nasty.

Speaking of which, Jenna's MySpace was hacked once too -- someone sent a whole bunch of spam to me through her MySpace page.

Judg
11-15-2007, 06:50 AM
This is an interesting post. I'm trying facebook right now. I had a lot of fun decorating and setting it up, and then my daughter asked me if I knew that my privacy settings let everyone who wants to, see just about everything I do online. Ack! After losing a whole day I coulda shoulda been writing, I haven't used it since. Now I'm having dreams that kiddie pornographers are using my bandwidth to broadcast, CIA are checking out what I was doing back in the day, and evil teenage geniuses are stealing all my banking and credit info. I was going to give myspace a try instead but from what I read here, no way!
You just change your privacy settings. Where's the problem? I mean, you're not really posting your banking info, are you?

I had a rather long discussion about MySpace with one of my musician sons last night. He told me the story of a stand-up comedian who now plays to full arenas. He built up his following primarily through MySpace. The key is personalization, and yes, it takes some time. When we discussed this topic earlier, when I'd just started on MySpace, I told the story of how Barry Eisler, after responding to my friend request, came and left a comment on my profile. It was very brief, but it showed he had actually read my page, at least for a few seconds.

My son used much the same dynamic. He answers comments, often very briefly, but using at least one personal detail. He says he gets ecstatic responses from kids who can't believe they got a personal answer. He no longer actively looks for friends, the band's momentum is such that people are looking for them. Never underestimate the power of that personal touch. I am myself actively seeking out the books of some authors that took the time to respond to me, even if they aren't in my favourite genres. Because I'm not rolling in extra money, I start with the library. If I really like what I see, I'll buy a book or two and start recommending them. If it weren't for MySpace, I wouldn't know that most of them existed. And if they hadn't reached out to me, even if it only took a few seconds of their time, I probably wouldn't be making the effort.

I am still actively looking for friends, although with a little less intensity. I start with my friends, and then check out their friends. If I see an interest in books and reading, especially if there is any convergence of tastes, I send a friend request. I look at status changes, and if that inspires a question in my mind, I ask them. If a bulletin or blog post makes me feel like responding, I do.

BTW, I disabled html for my comments. That protects me from a lot of the nonsense that goes on in MySpace. And it makes sure my page doesn't get too wide for the screen.

It's far too early to say if this will pay off in concrete terms. But if it helps build a loyal fan base, it will be worth it. I'm making no effort to find fans at this point, I'm not even published. Just expanding my friend base. Hopefully, when I am published (ever the optimist) some of these people will be inclined to buy the book or ask for it at the library.

DonnaDuck
11-15-2007, 08:32 PM
I've had a profile on MySpace for a few years now but it's just my personal stuff. As of late I've been getting very odd comments, more than likely hacked from people in my friends list and apparantly I've been sending out weird comments. One of my friends came back with it to let me know that I'd been hacked. I also noticed that I had posted a bulletin when I really didn't. Both times I just changed my password. Your account doesn't have to be hacked in order for your profile to get hacked either. If you allow html in your comments, all someone has to do is post code in your comments and it can screw with your page.

Judg, the comedian your son was talking about is Dane Cook. MySpace really made him who he is today because of his marketing but I think his timing contributed to it. He was on MySpace before it became a cesspool of trash. Tila Tequila is another relative MySpace "success." She has her own reality show on VH1 although I'm more apt to say that Dane Cook's staying power is a little more solid. But that's 2 people out of the hundreds of millions on MySpace now (literally, I have over 200,000,000 in my network).

With MySpace the way it is now, you'd have to devote more time to promoting yourself than you would writing in order to get the word out. Is that worth it? From my standpoint, getting something written now and then doing the work instead of vice versa would probably be the most beneficial. Get a MySpace, sure, and friend other writers and network that way and let the rest of the random people come to you. It's something that you need to pick and choose your battles and if this is a battle that you want to promote, you're going to have to be prepared to put A LOT of time into it.

I'm not too big of a fan of Facebook. I like MySpace because I can make it pretty and have it actually reflect me. I was also a member of Facebook before it opened up to the public (which really wasn't that long ago) and now it's en route to because MySpace v.2. At least Facebook is a bit safer when it comes to hacking and the like. HTML is pretty limited on that site but at the same time, if you don't set your security settings right, everyone can see everything you do. I'm still trying to figure out how to disable the feed that I have on my homepage (not the profile itself) because, honestly, I don't care that this person is now friends with this one or this person just changed their mood. Really not that interested.

On both sides though, I'm friends with people that I actually know, on Facebook especially. On MySpace I support musicians and comedians but outside of that, 98% of the people are people that I know. A friend count is superficial at best and it's even been statistically proven that the more friends you have on MySpace, the fewer you have in real life. It's competition for a lot of people and can be kind of lame.

In the end, you do what you want to do but whatever you do as a means to promote yourself, if you don't have someone else doing it, be prepared to work like a dog to get yoru name out there, regardless of the medium.

Celia Cyanide
11-15-2007, 09:24 PM
But just "friending" someone doesn't mean anything. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned. I just don't know how this works. So you have 12,000 friends -- do you actually visit their sites? Do you really read all their blogs and bulletins and leave comments and chat? Do they actually read your stuff and visit your page regularly? Or is it just this "oh, cool, I have 12,000 friends" thing? It would be meaningless.

Yeah, and a lot of people do that. This came up here a while ago, and some seemed to not even believe it was true, but it is. There are a LOT of people who will add anyone because they just want more "friends." They post comments because they want comments back. I think it might be more of a teen thing, but I have seen adults do it, too. It makes them feel popular, I guess.


To me, they may as well be faceless visitors to my website because I don't know them and they don't know me. To make a real connection, you will have to make an effort to actually (at least) leave them a comment or exchanged PMs. But even that is fleeting. How much time do you need to spend on MySpace to actually make it work?

I use myspace, but I wouldn't tell anyone else that they should. People who use myspace seem to think that those are don't are missing out, but I don't see how they are. Just like anything else, it only works for you if you're willing to put time and effort into it. Which means it only works if you enjoy doing it. If you don't, it's a complete waste of your time, because you will not get anything out of it. You would be better off networking in a way that you enjoy and don't mind putting time into.

One reason it works for me is that I model, and I am always adding new photos. I actually do get quite a few people who add me because they've seen me on whatever website, and they stay interested when I post new photos. I don't know if that is going to translate to them watching my movies, or being interested in the film I'm directing when it's done. But whatevs!

Toothpaste, you say that nobody really reads bulletins, but that isn't true. I post bulletins when I have news, and they get reposted by others in my friends list, so I know people are reading them. It is a good idea to post them when you have news or update your blog, so people in your friends list don't forget about you.


Maybe they have a forum on MySpace, too -- that may be worthwhile because you'd have real interaction with people. I haven't looked around MySpace to see if they have a forum...

I can't imagine what a myspace forum would be like. I don't want to. Worse than imdb message boards, I'm quite sure!

Celia Cyanide
11-15-2007, 09:39 PM
I see band (or comedians) as different, though -- bands always have concerts, gigs, and pushing CDs, etc. They also need a more constant "fan base."

Writers like me, especially who are just starting out or have one book on the shelf, don't seem to have much need for that... I mean, even if I do have 12,000 friends -- what am I going to do with them? I don't have constant news, gigs, etc. to promote. I only have one book, and it's on the back list. I guess I'm just not very in tune with this networking/promotion thing yet.

Yeah, I know that myspace has worked for some writers, but I think it's probably a lot more difficult for them than anyone else. To be honest, when I get a friend request from an author I haven't heard of, I assume they are self published, or PA-printed. I don't know how a non-writer who didn't know much about publishing would react, though.

I would suggest that you add some authors similar to you, maybe more established, and see how they do it. That's one thing about friends and bulletins. You can watch how others are promoting themselves and observe what looks good, or what gets up your nose.

I also meant to say that I find the bit about William Shakespeare in the OP really funny. Is it really that flattering to hear praise coming from an obviously fake account? Having said that, Eddie Furlong thinks I'm hot. ;)

BenPanced
11-15-2007, 10:09 PM
I use myspace, but I wouldn't tell anyone else that they should. People who use myspace seem to think that those are don't are missing out, but I don't see how they are. Just like anything else, it only works for you if you're willing to put time and effort into it. Which means it only works if you enjoy doing it. If you don't, it's a complete waste of your time, because you will not get anything out of it. You would be better off networking in a way that you enjoy and don't mind putting time into.
I thought about using myspace, but I figured why? I've already got a personal website (that hasn't been updated since <garbled in transmission>), LiveJournal, and a Yahoo!360 page, which is used for slightly different purposes than LJ, but I thought that's enough. Not knocking it because I don't use it, but I feel I'm spread out just fine and don't think I have the need/want to update a fourth web presence.

maestrowork
11-15-2007, 10:36 PM
Yeah, I know that myspace has worked for some writers, but I think it's probably a lot more difficult for them than anyone else. To be honest, when I get a friend request from an author I haven't heard of, I assume they are self published, or PA-printed. I don't know how a non-writer who didn't know much about publishing would react, though.

I would suggest that you add some authors similar to you, maybe more established, and see how they do it. That's one thing about friends and bulletins. You can watch how others are promoting themselves and observe what looks good, or what gets up your nose.


I have a few more established authors (even best-selling) on my friend list. I think what works for them is when they have a new book out, or a book tour, or speaking engagements, book signings, etc. Those are newsworthy and kind of distinguishes themselves. When you have book tour schedule posted -- yeah, people know you're for real. I do post my schedules and book signings, but a newbie like me simply doesn't have enough.

That reminds me, I should post a new bulletin.

Pat~
11-15-2007, 10:42 PM
Interesting thread, Perks!

I've had a Myspace account for about a year; I set one up when it seemed a lot of my AW friends were doing the same. It's fun to tinker with once in awhile, and I especially appreciate it in that I can visit some favorite Myspace blogs, and keep in touch with some friends around the country. But I haven't found it useful in the least as far as networking. For one thing, it's usually on 'private,' (it just felt funny getting 'friended' by winged men in loincloths, etc.). Plus, I already have a website in my name that I use for professional purposes, so I didn't really need a second site for that. If I were in the entertainment business, maybe it'd be more useful networking tool, but as it stands, I just use Myspace sporadically as a place to practice my writing craft and keep in touch with some friends.

DonnaDuck
11-15-2007, 11:39 PM
On the entertainment end, I've heard that it does help. Dane Cook, for one but I have an actor friend who acted as a kid and then stepped out for quite a few years. He just put his MySpace profile up a year ago and he said it really helped him to get work. He ended up getting a lot of jobs and coming across a lot of opportunities because of it that he wouldn't have had otherwise. MySpace is very visual. I think it could be counter-productive for those of us from the written world. Someone should create a MySpace for writers where the layout is tailored to promote writing instead of pictures or music. Kind of like the music and comedy subsections although I do think they have a books section but I'm not too familiar with that. A separate entity would also be easier for people to network with other writers, eliminate the need to wade around in oddities before finding something of merit.

maestrowork
11-16-2007, 12:34 AM
It seems, though, that MySpace is really popular with musicians, comedians or any kind of performers (stage actors, for example). I can see how they could work. for writers, however, it seems to be a bit limited, IMO.

Inky
11-16-2007, 12:40 AM
MySpace enables me to stay in touch with people I've met throughout the world.
Selling of my book? Eh eh.
But I like to think I look spiffy by having BIG NAME romance authors as my friends.
Funny...Maestro always turns me down to be his friend.
Huh.
I'll have to ponder that one.

I think it's a great way to stay in touch with a huge fan base (i.e., Christine Feehan) or create a website/blog of your main character from your book, enabling fans to interact as if a real person.
But if you're a peon like me...well...it's a great way to stay in touch with military friends.


And spy on my son (heheheheheeh) who lives a world away :(

WriterGirl2007
11-16-2007, 12:45 AM
Did you hear about Alicia Key's MySpace page getting hacked? It seems like it's really easy to do, too. All her pictures were linked to a website that downloads malware to the user's computer... it sounded really nasty.

Speaking of which, Jenna's MySpace was hacked once too -- someone sent a whole bunch of spam to me through her MySpace page.

Getting hacked tends to be pretty easy on MySpace, for some reason.

WriterGirl2007
11-16-2007, 12:48 AM
I've had a profile on MySpace for a few years now but it's just my personal stuff. As of late I've been getting very odd comments, more than likely hacked from people in my friends list and apparantly I've been sending out weird comments. One of my friends came back with it to let me know that I'd been hacked. I also noticed that I had posted a bulletin when I really didn't. Both times I just changed my password. Your account doesn't have to be hacked in order for your profile to get hacked either. If you allow html in your comments, all someone has to do is post code in your comments and it can screw with your page.

That happens so often. If a friend leaves you a comment with a link in it and you click on the link, sometimes that in itself opens your MySpace page to being hacked/virus-infested/etc.



I'm not too big of a fan of Facebook. ... if you don't set your security settings right, everyone can see everything you do. I'm still trying to figure out how to disable the feed that I have on my homepage (not the profile itself) because, honestly, I don't care that this person is now friends with this one or this person just changed their mood. Really not that interested.

Ugh, I hate that about Facebook too. Newer people don't realize that if they don't change their settings, at the very LEAST, everyone who lives in the same region/network as them can see their profile.

Celia Cyanide
11-16-2007, 01:57 AM
That happens so often. If a friend leaves you a comment with a link in it and you click on the link, sometimes that in itself opens your MySpace page to being hacked/virus-infested/etc.

You mean any link, or a phishing site?

One way to avoid getting hacked is to not use the "remember my password" option.

maestrowork
11-16-2007, 03:38 AM
I spent all of about 15 minutes in the MySpace forum before I left in disgust. From what I saw, it's like a Jr. High boy's locker room.

You're right. I just went there and surfed around. Ugh. The "literature" forum wasn't so bad, but "movie" was horrible -- a bunch of teenagers trying to out-foul mouth everyone else.

Is this where our kids are hanging out now? Do parents really know what they're doing?

WriterGirl2007
11-16-2007, 04:47 AM
You mean any link, or a phishing site?

One way to avoid getting hacked is to not use the "remember my password" option.

It's usually a phishing site, but a lot of times it's disguised really well. Nah, not any link. But definitely a good idea to be realllllly cautious.

Good idea about not using the "remember password" option.

jenngreenleaf
11-16-2007, 05:01 AM
Is this where our kids are hanging out now? Do parents really know what they're doing?It seems every teenager I know is completely addicted to this site. There's a laptop program through the schools now where students are given them for use at home and one of the sites on the list that they're not to use is myspace. It's interesting because, I use the site, but I'll never allow my children to use it as social hang-out. It's a cyber-meat-market. Instead of going to a sleezy bar, these people flock around there. I was shocked at the amount of "hey baby, wanna date," type messages I was receiving on there when I first signed up! Gross.

maestrowork
11-16-2007, 05:02 AM
Oh yeah, I never select "remember password." That means a cookie on your computer and that's very hackable.

WriterGirl2007
11-16-2007, 05:04 AM
Oh yeah, I never select "remember password." That means a cookie on your computer and that's very hackable.

But I love cookies. :cry:

jst5150
11-16-2007, 05:06 AM
I just waxed my MySpace site. Gone. Kaput. I don't miss it.

I'm not sure writers run in the same sorts of circles comedians, actors and musicians, do. I'd bet if we solicited 20 percent of writers currently on strike, they'd probably have MySpace sites, but for personal use. And even then, because they don't have their own Web space professionally and may not need it to continue their careers within their "writing industry." Segue to ... The same buzz that's needed to propel a peformer is different (much different) from that needed to launch and propel a writer. I'd offer the buzz an entertainer needs is consumer driven while the writer relies more on industries, but that's a new discussion.

Also, there's plenty of the comedian/musician/performer group on MySpace, but it came as an afterthought to their success (save Dane Cook, who's the only story i know of where MySpace helped propel him. This happened, however, because he MARKETS LIKE A MOTHER). And I think that's the key.

MySpace is one strategy of communcation. And I think it's an "OK, I've hit it here, now I'll use MySpace to grow the buzz." Mostly because that's what's there right now. And you glom onto whatever other trends pop up and people stick eyeballs on. That's kinda how its worked since papyrus.

However, still nothing beats a good corporate-marketing machine. Short of that, if you're in charge of your marketing prospects, then MySpace should be somewhere down your list after getting published, book signings and more. MySpace is a lot of work. It's also a very certain, deliberate and shaped enviroment that demands a certain kind of attention.

Again, if you can get your own Web site with a certain number of features, then you control the conversation and you set the tone for your marketing campaign (or your publicist does). However that shapes out, MySpace becomes something that's done after the pillars of a good PR campaign start.

And I like cake. :-)

III
11-16-2007, 07:57 AM
You're right. I just went there and surfed around. Ugh. The "literature" forum wasn't so bad, but "movie" was horrible -- a bunch of teenagers trying to out-foul mouth everyone else.

Is this where our kids are hanging out now? Do parents really know what they're doing?

You really want bad, check out the religion forum on MySpace. Having been a foul-mouthed teenage boy myself at one time, I shudder to think what I would have done with the anonymity of the internet.

J. R. Tomlin
11-16-2007, 08:32 AM
Yeah, I know that myspace has worked for some writers, but I think it's probably a lot more difficult for them than anyone else. To be honest, when I get a friend request from an author I haven't heard of, I assume they are self published, or PA-printed. I don't know how a non-writer who didn't know much about publishing would react, though.

I would suggest that you add some authors similar to you, maybe more established, and see how they do it. That's one thing about friends and bulletins. You can watch how others are promoting themselves and observe what looks good, or what gets up your nose.

I also meant to say that I find the bit about William Shakespeare in the OP really funny. Is it really that flattering to hear praise coming from an obviously fake account? Having said that, Eddie Furlong thinks I'm hot. ;)
Well, if you assume that all writers who use MySpace are self-published, you're mistaken. J. A. Konrath who states on his blog that he uses it expensively, for example, is one heck of a long way from self-published.

I don't know whether I'll eventually decide to use it. Probably. I do find myself a bit baffled by the huge number of people who are frightened by it.

Celia Cyanide
11-16-2007, 09:53 AM
Well, if you assume that all writers who use MySpace are self-published, you're mistaken.

That isn't really what I meant. I said I assume it when I get a friend request from an author I've never heard of who wants me to but his/her book. Might not be true, but it's something to consider if they're going to send friend requests to people with absolutely no connection to them whatsoever.

DonnaDuck
11-16-2007, 07:16 PM
That isn't really what I meant. I said I assume it when I get a friend request from an author I've never heard of who wants me to but his/her book. Might not be true, but it's something to consider if they're going to send friend requests to people with absolutely no connection to them whatsoever.

Or they are published by a house, probably a smaller house and are taking it upon themselves to promote their own book. It could work both ways.

And I do the "remember me" option all the time. It never remembers my password but keeps my email in there all the time. I just downloaded Firefox and that remembers it but not MySpace itself.

WriterGirl2007
11-16-2007, 08:06 PM
I just waxed my MySpace site. Gone. Kaput. I don't miss it.

I felt the same way when I got rid of mine. I didn't miss it at all. In fact, I was kind of happy to see it gone!

Celia Cyanide
11-16-2007, 08:17 PM
Or they are published by a house, probably a smaller house and are taking it upon themselves to promote their own book.

Yes, they could. I still don't have a very good impression of them, because why wouldn't you promote your book to people who were interested in books similar to yours? There is absolutely nothing on my profile about what books I read, and yet they send me friend requests anyway.

DonnaDuck
11-16-2007, 09:27 PM
Yes, they could. I still don't have a very good impression of them, because why wouldn't you promote your book to people who were interested in books similar to yours? There is absolutely nothing on my profile about what books I read, and yet they send me friend requests anyway.


How do you know you're not interested in it? The obvious would be to promote to your target audience but it certainly can't heart to market to everyone else. The worst they're going to do is not read it. The best is that you've just introduced someone to not only your book but a new genre of writing that they had never read before. I know for me, if the plot sounds good, I'll read it regardless of genre. I think many people are the same way. Yeah, I like this book, that book and the other one but it doesn't mean that my field of vision is that narrow.

badducky
11-16-2007, 10:29 PM
Celia, if they know you are a gorgeous doll starring and producing horror movies, they probably have a really good idea that they would REALLY LIKE IT if you were in their demographic. I mean, it never hurts to ask, right?

Here's how I feel about myspace:

http://jmmcdermott.blogspot.com/2007/10/i-got-my-literary-agent-through-myspace.html

Also, and for the record, Badducky and DonnaDuck are utterly and completely unrelated. In case you were wondering.

"Ducky" is an anglicization of the Boer name "Duquesne", infamous for spying - and getting caught (thus, being "bad" in more thanone way) info here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritz_Joubert_Duquesne

"DonnaDuck" is clearly the name of that poor, misguided cross-dresser "Donald Duck" famous not only for remaining single all his/her life, but also for never wearing pants - and clearly missing key components of the name "Donald". Clearly DonnaDuck is the final, late-in-life admission of a troubled, confused soul acknowledging his/her true gender after decades spent in the closet. Huzzah, DonnaDuck, for finally embracing your true self. Huzzah, I say!

;)

scarletpeaches
11-16-2007, 10:31 PM
I'm torn about my participation on MySpace, primarily because I'm not a 'real' writer. I am an across-the-board rejected one...

Bollocks you're not. I've read some of your stuff remember.


Perks is the best damn writer I know. She's so talented, she makes me want to do rude things to her body.

See?

Celia Cyanide
11-16-2007, 11:10 PM
How do you know you're not interested in it?The obvious would be to promote to your target audience but it certainly can't heart to market to everyone else. The worst they're going to do is not read it. The best is that you've just introduced someone to not only your book but a new genre of writing that they had never read before. I know for me, if the plot sounds good, I'll read it regardless of genre. I think many people are the same way. Yeah, I like this book, that book and the other one but it doesn't mean that my field of vision is that narrow.

I don't read one genre exclusively. I just don't go on myspace and look for books. I go to book stores. If it were anything I would be interested in, I probably would have heard of it somewhere other than myspace.

III
11-16-2007, 11:20 PM
Bollocks you're not. I've read some of your stuff remember.


I second this. Even your blog posts are exquisitely written. You really have a special talent for language.

scarletpeaches
11-16-2007, 11:30 PM
I would like the record to show III does not agree with the word 'bollocks' in the above quote as he is far more ladylike than I and does not swear.

Celia Cyanide
11-16-2007, 11:35 PM
I second this. Even your blog posts are exquisitely written. You really have a special talent for language.

Oh, Perks knows that, don't worry! She just meant she doesn't have anything to sell...yet!

Perks
11-16-2007, 11:56 PM
She just meant she doesn't have anything to sell...yet!

Yes, I wasn't fishing for compliments. I just haven't got to the legitimate point of being able to peddle my wares.

But your encouragement, the both of you, III and SP, means the world. Thank you!


ETA - I guess I should also thank Lewis Hamilton and then wash his mouth out with soap for saying such vile things about his mother.

III
11-17-2007, 12:27 AM
I would like the record to show III does not agree with the word 'bollocks' in the above quote as he is far more ladylike than I and does not swear.

I've scratched people's eyes out for alot less than that.

scarletpeaches
11-17-2007, 12:29 AM
Okay. You're ladylike and you DO swear. :D

DonnaDuck
11-17-2007, 07:27 AM
Celia, if they know you are a gorgeous doll starring and producing horror movies, they probably have a really good idea that they would REALLY LIKE IT if you were in their demographic. I mean, it never hurts to ask, right?

Here's how I feel about myspace:

http://jmmcdermott.blogspot.com/2007/10/i-got-my-literary-agent-through-myspace.html

Also, and for the record, Badducky and DonnaDuck are utterly and completely unrelated. In case you were wondering.

"Ducky" is an anglicization of the Boer name "Duquesne", infamous for spying - and getting caught (thus, being "bad" in more thanone way) info here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritz_Joubert_Duquesne

"DonnaDuck" is clearly the name of that poor, misguided cross-dresser "Donald Duck" famous not only for remaining single all his/her life, but also for never wearing pants - and clearly missing key components of the name "Donald". Clearly DonnaDuck is the final, late-in-life admission of a troubled, confused soul acknowledging his/her true gender after decades spent in the closet. Huzzah, DonnaDuck, for finally embracing your true self. Huzzah, I say!

;)

Damn you! You've foiled my evil plot. Where are my pants?


I don't read one genre exclusively. I just don't go on myspace and look for books. I go to book stores. If it were anything I would be interested in, I probably would have heard of it somewhere other than myspace.

The thing is, there could be hundreds of thousands of books out there that you haven't heard of but could be just as interesting as books you have heard of. Keeping eyes and ears open to new things is what makes a person more well-rounded. I didn't know I was interested in writing comedy until I exposed myself to it. You never know, you could surprise yourself and find that you're interested in something that you didn't know existed, Stranger things have happened.

Danger Jane
11-17-2007, 09:18 AM
I think Celia's point was that even though she tends to be an open-minded reader, she's just not apt to look up a book simply because the author sent her a friend request. And this holds true for a lot of other people.

The fact is, people tend to look to friends and family for reading suggestions. Not almost anonymous unknown (to them) authors on myspace. I'd probably delete an invite like that too, if I had myspace. I have enough books to read just from suggestions by my friends. That doesn't mean that I'm a judgmental or closed-minded reader. It just means that I don't have the energy to look into every random request I get on myspace, or whatever.

Judg
11-17-2007, 10:35 AM
DJ, absolutely. On the other hand, people who contact me on MySpace, send the occasional bulletin that's actually interesting, and show themselves to be intelligent and amusing are quite likely to get me interested in their writing. I just added a book to my wish list precisely for those reasons.

Celia Cyanide
11-20-2007, 01:57 AM
The thing is, there could be hundreds of thousands of books out there that you haven't heard of but could be just as interesting as books you have heard of. Keeping eyes and ears open to new things is what makes a person more well-rounded. I didn't know I was interested in writing comedy until I exposed myself to it. You never know, you could surprise yourself and find that you're interested in something that you didn't know existed, Stranger things have happened.

Donna, instead of trying to convince me that I should read books by authors I only know because they send me friend requests on myspace, maybe you should take into account that I do not, and, as Danger Jane said, many other people feel the same way. It makes more sense, from a marketing standpoint, for authors to send friend requests to people who might be interested in what they are trying to sell.

I DO keep my eyes and ears open for new things, thank you very much. I just don't appreciate it when someone who is clearly not interested in anything about me sends me a friend request because they want me to buy something from them, or they want to post a comment on my page to advertise themselves.

DonnaDuck
11-20-2007, 04:20 AM
Donna, instead of trying to convince me that I should read books by authors I only know because they send me friend requests on myspace, maybe you should take into account that I do not, and, as Danger Jane said, many other people feel the same way. It makes more sense, from a marketing standpoint, for authors to send friend requests to people who might be interested in what they are trying to sell.

I DO keep my eyes and ears open for new things, thank you very much. I just don't appreciate it when someone who is clearly not interested in anything about me sends me a friend request because they want me to buy something from them, or they want to post a comment on my page to advertise themselves.


I was never trying to convince you of anything, just merely pointing out the loopholes in your reasoning, if you want to call it that. No need to get your feathers all aflutter. This is only a MySpace discussion after all. Certainly not worth the defense. All I'm saying is that *shock,* you might actually like a read from a random person whom you've never heard of. You can't rightly knock something until you've tried it. I'm not trying to bring you over to any side, just participating in the discussion. It's ok if someone doesn't agree with your method. It would make for a pretty flat conversation if everyone thought the same thing, don't you think? Who's up for a game of Devil's Advocate?

Danger Jane
11-20-2007, 08:58 AM
I was never trying to convince you of anything, just merely pointing out the loopholes in your reasoning, if you want to call it that. No need to get your feathers all aflutter. This is only a MySpace discussion after all. Certainly not worth the defense. All I'm saying is that *shock,* you might actually like a read from a random person whom you've never heard of. You can't rightly knock something until you've tried it. I'm not trying to bring you over to any side, just participating in the discussion. It's ok if someone doesn't agree with your method. It would make for a pretty flat conversation if everyone thought the same thing, don't you think? Who's up for a game of Devil's Advocate?

It didn't seem to me that she was knocking anything...and there don't seem to be any "loopholes" in the reasoning. It's human nature to filter--otherwise we're constantly bombarded with information that is in most cases irrelevant to us. So we tend to trust the opinions of those we trust, and disregard the opinions of those we do not know or do not trust. It's natural.

An example--I'm at the end of my college search now. In the application process. But man was it ever a pain, like, four or five months ago, when I had more or less picked out my list and was starting to send for applications. And people started suggesting university after university right around then. It was pretty overwhelming. I don't really have the TIME to look up every college someone suggests just because someone suggested it. Like...there are three thousand colleges in the US. I can't go looking up every single one that somebody went to just because they liked it.

Maybe Your University is actually My University. Maybe Random Author's Random Book has the potential to change my life. But I have too much work to do to add another supplement and another essay onto my application workload. And I have enough books to read that I don't have time to look into random newsletters.

That doesn't make me closed minded. It makes me human. I prioritize, just like you do.

rhymegirl
11-20-2007, 04:27 PM
But if you could interact with random people who'd read your work, would you?

Perks, I went to a Communications Day recently at our local college. I've been working as a freelance reporter for the past year for our town's newspaper (one of them). But I need to make more money and I wanted to find out more about the broadcasting/journalism industry, so I went to the conference.

I was told (along with others) that having a MySpace page is a good idea for networking/self-promotion. Maybe it's what you put into it. I've always been told that having my own web site is a good idea, too. I'm working on a new one.

DonnaDuck
11-20-2007, 08:44 PM
It didn't seem to me that she was knocking anything...and there don't seem to be any "loopholes" in the reasoning. It's human nature to filter--otherwise we're constantly bombarded with information that is in most cases irrelevant to us. So we tend to trust the opinions of those we trust, and disregard the opinions of those we do not know or do not trust. It's natural.



Eh, that's my methodology and I'm sticking to it. You do what you want with your MySpace and I'll do what I want with mine. In the end, it's just MySpace. All I'm saying is that I've found some great music and great comedians because they "friended" me at random, not knowing my interests or musical tastes. Many get tossed but some make it through because I do like that I see and hear. Then again I'm not neck deep in friends requests so I don't have to wade through anything as opposed to tapping a toe in the puddle. You do what you do, I do what I do and we go on our merry ways.