A Changing Paradigm & A Cyborg Author: Rise of the Machines

Welcome to Scarlet Thread Sunday, the day we enter the labyrinth of life and see what we can find.

I’m engaging in some irony today. Because Social Media Jedi Kristen Lamb warns against authors trying to drive blog traffic with book reviews. And yet, here I am doing a review of Kristen’s book. Yeah, yeah, she can zap me with her light saber later.

I found Kristen Lamb almost three years ago when I walked in late to her presentation at DFWCon 2011. From the front of the room, she read my name tag and said, “C’mon on in, Julie, have a seat.”

As an introvert, I was a bit taken aback by her hearty, personal welcome. But within two sentences of her presentation, I was beyond thrilled that I’d entered this lady’s classroom. She explained how authors needed a platform and what that platform should look like.

I got home and immediately purchased her book We Are Not Alone, a social media guide specifically for writers. Then I found out that she was doing an online course through the Long Island Romance Writers (LIRW) Association. The beauty of technology is that I could stay in Texas and still take the LIRW course on Building Your Brand.

The next year when I went to DFWCon, I actually got to hang out with the Jedi. Then last year, I spent more time with the lovely and incredibly witty Kristen, even getting to take a fabulous ride behind her on a four-wheeler.

Rise of the Machines book coverSo that’s full disclosure. But here’s the thing: Even though we are friends, if her book sucked, I wouldn’t say it was good. But no worries: Her new book, Rise of the Machines, is so far from suckage that I’m happy to come here today and tell fellow writers to buy it!

I anticipated that Rise of the Machines (ROTM) would cover what I’d already learned from We Are Not Alone, the online course, our conversations, and her fabulous blog.

Some of the information was expected, but much of the book I hadn’t read or heard before. In ROTM, Kristen addresses the changing atmosphere of technology and publishing from both an ideological standpoint and a practical perspective. She explains how the publishing paradigm has changed and why today’s author needs to be cyborg–both machine and human. Especially human.

Halfway through, I felt like sliding into a Seven of Nine costume.

Seven of Nine from Star Trek Voyager
AS IF…

Moreover, the organization of information flows well from chapter to chapter, idea to idea. The book progresses from a social media philosophy to specific tips and even includes a useful summary checklist at the end. With ROTM in hand, an author could easily design a step-by-step plan to launch her platform and use technology to build community and boost book sales.

To be entirely honest, there are a couple of things I disagree with Kristen about. But they are minor. Reading ROTM, you might find something with which you disagree as well. Yet you’d be wise to read the book, because Kristen is the closest thing we have to a Jedi master lays out very well why and how the publishing paradigm is changing, why and how authors should be online, and why and how to lay out that plan of attack.

Before you know it, you’ll be heading into the Death Star in your X-wing fighter with Jedi Kristen’s wise words pulsing through your brain.

Example: “Blog, you must.” — Yoda Kristen Lamb

You can get your copy here: Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World.

ROW80 Update

1. Edit/rewrite SHARING HUNTER, a YA contemporary novel. Sadly, no. But I edited another project all the way through and sent it to my copy editor, so I still feel like I had a “win” week on the editing front.

2. Edit two short stories–one needs a final polish, the other a full edit. Done. Edited two stories and wrote/edited a third in this round.

3. Read 10 fiction books. Now up to 11 books. Finished Cinder by Marissa Meyer this past week and starting First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones this week.

4. Finish craft book: Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies by Deborah Halverson. Finished and typed up oodles of notes.

5. Visit and comment on five ROW80 blog posts per week. Done.

6. Attend at least one RWA meeting. Done. Attended three meetings; planning to return to one of the chapters next month.

Have you read Rise of the Machines? Do you feel equipped to handle the changing face of publishing? Do you own a Seven of Nine costume I could borrow? And how was your week?

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18 thoughts on “A Changing Paradigm & A Cyborg Author: Rise of the Machines

  1. I haven’t read Rise of the Machines, yet. It’s on my TBR soon list. Nope, I don’t feel equipped. I know some things and others I’m still pretty clueless. You definitely had a win this week, good for you. Yesterday, I finally finished by scheduled guest posts and got them all sent out. Now, I feel free to get back to work. Here’s to a great week. 🙂

    1. I’m sure you’ll get lots from Kristen’s new book! I’d say you’re doing pretty well with social media, but we can always use new insights and refresher courses. 🙂

  2. I don’t say you can’t do reviews, I say don’t RELY on them :P. Formula to burn out and end up face-down in a bowl of brownie batter, LOL. I meet writers all the time who are reading and reviewing and posting three book reviews a week and can’t understand why they want to shoot their blog and then themselves. Thanks for the lovely post and review *HUGS*

  3. I’ve read it! I’m not sure I’m ready for the changing world of publishing, but I’m getting there. The last year or so has been the most educational about writing and publishing for me–mostly because of Kristen Lamb’s books and classes and other craft classes. 😀

    Doesn’t everyone have a Seven of Nine costume? LOL. Totally kidding! I wish!

    Have a great week! I’m looking forward to the 4-day work week next week (even though I’ve got a huge deadline), because that means extra editing and plotting time this weekend. Look for some ECE editing assignments for your review in a couple of weeks (eek!).

    (Did you notice the comma before because?)

    1. Bring on the Margie-izing! Between Margie & Kristen, you can figure out a whole lot about a writing career just there. Best wishes, Diana!

      And I love that comma. Just beautiful.

  4. Julie, you just demonstrated the power of the Machines. Your blog post (your blog is in my Feedly) tipped me off to Kristen’s new book. I’m thrilled to hear about it, as I own and have read (several times) both: Are You There Blog? and We Are Not Alone. I wish I had her genius for titles, but I really like your acronym, ROTM. And now, I see that I’m several posts behind in Kristen’s blog. That will teach me.

    Have a great ROW80 week!

    1. Ha! Marvelous, Kathrese. The acronym ROTM is born of laziness, an attribute I happily indulge in whenever I can. Of course, writing is not one of the areas for laziness. Nor is keeping up with the changing face of publishing.

      Best wishes!

  5. I haven’t picked ROTM up yet but it’s been on my list since I first saw mention of it on Yodi’s blog. Fabulous progress on your goals Julie. Best wishes for the upcoming week!

    1. I was very engaged with Kristen’s book. I hope you like it!

      And I would need corsets, plastic surgery, and a miracle to fit into that Seven of Nine costume! LOL.

  6. Thanks for the review! I haven’t had a look at it yet, but it looks like it needs to go on my reading list.

    Congratuations on your progress! Have a great week.

  7. Thanks for the heads up on ROTM and, as a member and past president of LIRW, thanks for taking that course and helping to make it great.

  8. Sounds like a good book with some good insight. I work in publishing and can say that the digital era has changed it a lot.

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