Boosting Your Social Karma with Karma Bennett

Recently I had the pleasure of attending a workshop on using social media by Karma Bennett of WordPress Blogs for Writers. The workshop was not titled Social Media for the Non-Social, but it might as well have been. The target audience was writers. Need I say more?

The first point she made was that social media is all about connecting with strangers. A collective shudder may or may not have gone through the audience. Perhaps it was just me.

There are times when my relationship with my husband is sustained through texting, so the idea of putting time into connecting with strangers seemed a bit daunting. But, as the presentation went on, it became clear that interacting with strangers on social media doesn’t have to be time-consuming or scary.

First of all, you are trying to connect with your readers, who probably like you already since they read your book.

Secondly, your online persona shouldn’t be too different from your off-line persona. It’s best to share about topics you’re genuinely interested in. You’ll find your niche of others who are interested in the same things and suddenly all these people are not the scary kind of stranger anymore. They’re just other people who like goats in tutus as much as you do.

Karma encouraged each of us to think about what topics we always like to talk about and to engage online about those topics. The things I like most to share on social media are about odd or interesting writing topics, humor, and social justice. I also like to follow or mention authors I enjoy reading, and it’s really exciting when they respond to a tweet.

If you are interested in interacting with me on social media, please look for me on Twitter (@MariahJKlein) or on Goodreads. I’ll do my best to socialize virtually with you when I should be sleeping.

 

 

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What’s so great about the Kindle?

*Author’s note: This is not meant to be a diatribe against or an ode to Amazon and the way it A) is destroying life as we know it or B) is our ultimate salvation. These are just my thoughts on a little thing called the e-reader.

Can we now enjoy reading without the risk of paper cuts and toes stubbed by falling hardcovers? Have e-readers set us free? Or are we slipping even further into the depths of domination by our new masters, the screens?

On the one hand, I think it’s great that we decided to use magic to make our books appear on our devices, thus saving paper and the gas used to deliver the books to the stores. Of course, there’s also the environmental impact of producing the e-reader, plus our seeming obsession with continuing to buy e-readers. The iPad was the greatest thing since sliced bread until… the iPad 2. So where’s the magic to dispose of all those iPad 1s no one can be caught dead using?

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Then there’s the hands-on experience of using the e-reader (or some would say lack of experience). No physical pages, no smell and feel of the book, no cover art. It’s difficult to grab an e-book off the shelf and press it into a friend’s hand, saying “Read this, you’ll love it!” If you do that, you may end up buying a lot of Kindles.

Despite the downsides, I have a Kindle, and I’m a fan. Here’s why:

It’s midnight. I finish Book One of a trilogy, which will not be named, but happens to end on a cliffhanger.

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Three clicks later, I’m starting Book Two. Not that staying up all night reading is ideal for anyone, but isn’t that the kind of excitement we authors want to inspire?

Until I move out of my two-bedroom apartment and into a country mansion with a personal library, collecting e-books is much more practical than buying physical books. I can’t really fill every room with books. The kids insist on having a place to sleep.

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