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