Friday, April 25, 2008
After several months of utilizing the TubeMogul system, COS Productions identifies ways to syndicate even further via RSS feeds and special syndication directly from those sites that take TubeMogul uploads.
COS Productions has a list of over 400 social media sites, which was shared with the tech community. CEO Sheila Clover English created a video performance rating system that is now being considered by several top media distributors and researchers including the Association of Downloadable Media and the Internet Content Syndication Council, both of which COS is a member of.
COS Productions is considered one of the leading companies for online video distribution and the leading producer of book trailers. TubeMogul asked CEO Sheila Clover English to come onto their new TubeMogul University show to discuss the advances and opportunities that she has identified for online video distribution.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Robert Adams steps through a secret mountain portal into an alternative universe where he must resurrect his dormant psychic powers to tell friend from foe in a world at war, finish a dangerous task his dying avatar grandfather left undone, and survive the trip home. isbn # 0595316654Genre (s ) Fantasy/new age
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Colby Catherine Cavendish is looking forward to her best summer yet—until her parents decide to divorce and send her to live with her “crazy” aunt Tally on a tiny Greek island. Stranded in a foreign place with no cell phone, Colby fears her friends will forget her. But when she meets Yannis, a sexy Greek local, everything changes . . isbn # 0-312-35511-4. genre Yound Adult
Monday, April 21, 2008
They can put the word “simple” in it, but it doesn’t make it any easier to use. RSS feeds seem to be a mystery to most folks, myself included. But, over the last few months I’ve taught myself how and when to use RSS feeds.
In layman’s terms, RSS feeds are a delivery system, or syndication system. When you have material, such as a blog or news, something that changes often or that is important for you to know about when it does change, you can use RSS to update yourself or others. It is a way to deliver material en masse or to receive material in a concise manner.
Let’s take a look at sending RSS and at receiving RSS.
How do I know if I have RSS feed? How do I get RSS feed on my site? How do I tell other people I have it? How do I get them to use it?
All of those are very good questions. I’m so glad you asked! Lol
If you have a blog or newsletter you want people to read it, right? So, many of you create ways to get people to sign up for your blog or newsletter, like contests or exclusives that people get only if they “sign up”. Then, you have to maintain that database of users, hope they don’t turn you in for SPAM and send out information to all of those people when you have something you want to share with them. It is you SENDING to them the information you create and want them to have. RSS allows people to collect your data without you having to do anything more than create your content. People can subscribe, just as they subscribe to a newspaper. So, when you have something new on your blog or newsletter, RSS sends that update to people who subscribed to your content. You never have to lift a finger. Technology does it all for you.
I strongly suggest that you hire someone who already knows how to make RSS feeds, validate them and promote them. You can find more information here- http://www.extralabs.net/articles/create-rss.htm.
Most blogs have RSS feeds already. For example, if you have a MySpace blog you have RSS feed. How do you find it?
Go to your MySpace blog and click on one of your articles there.
Look toward the top and to the right. You will see “rss” listed there. Click on that.
You will see your articles listed. There will be a couple of places where you can find your RSS URL feed for this.
You can find it in your browser from this page. Copy and paste the URL that’s in your browser.
Or- Look to the right of that page where it says you can view the properties. Click on that and it should bring up a box that gives you an “address” of the feed. That is what you need in order to send your feed out into the universe.
I put my RSS feed into my AOL page. See below that I just copied and pasted that URL into the box asking for the “Feed URL”. I filled in a title and chose to see the headlines and a synopsis of the articles that will appear.
Click “Save” and your MySpace Blog articles are now on your AOL.
You can send your feeds anywhere RSS feeds are accepted.
Give your feed URL out in your emails or if you send out newsletters give it out there. Make sure it is easy to find that URL so people can take it and use it themselves. This will let others see every time you send out new information.
When you receive RSS feed you are collecting content. You don’t have time to go all over the place looking at every blog or newsletter. You want to just skim through the headlines or the headlines and synopsis, to determine whether or not you should read the whole article. Instead of going here and there, you bring it all to you. You can do that with Google Reader or AOL or any number of RSS aggregators.
For example, on AOL I put up a few RSS feeds to sites that I want to watch to see if they have new business information of interest. On Reader’s Entertainment TV you can go on the homepage, then on the genre channels and you’ll find that I utilized RSS feeds of other people’s blogs to help make my site more interesting an engaging.
The great thing about it is that, once I place that RSS feed into my reader or onto my site, I don’t have to do anything else. Now, I get new content all the time without ME having to DO anything! It is all done for me automatically.
You can put RSS feed on your website so people can easily see what you’re saying on your blog. You can put up RSS feed from USA Today books, NY Times bestsellers or any other relevant news or blog in order to keep fresh content on your own blog or site. It looks like you do something with your site or blog every day because the content is fresh, but really you’re only to blog once a week or every other week. The RSS keeps it fresh for you.
There’s more to know of course and here is a wonderful resource for you-
DIFFERENT TYPES OF FEEDS
You should know that if your RSS feed didn’t work for some reason it could be an incompatible feed. There are different kinds. Three’s RSS 1.0 and 2.0 and then there’s ATOM which is another type of feed altogether.
I had a client who wasn’t able to get their RSS feed to work on their Amazon Connect account. But, it would work on their Blogger account. So we cheated. We send her MySpace blog to her Blogger account using RSS feed. Every time she blogged on MySpace it went automatically to her Blogger account. From there we used the Blogger RSS feed on her Amazon Connect account, which took the Blogger feed easily. Now, she would blog on MySpace, which was forwarded to Blogger, which then forwarded to Amazon. You can just keep forwarding on and on and on.
WHERE CAN I SYNDICATE MY FEED?
If you want to syndicate your feed, to let people know it is there, to move it into more places, you need to take the time to set it all up first. It will take time and effort, but once you’re done, you will get your message out to more people with less effort than ever before. Instead of blogging on MySpace, then on Blogger, then on to the next site, you will blog one time and it will go out to different locations.
MySpace to Blogger to Amazon works great. Here is a site that has a list of places where you can submit your RSS feed- http://www.rss-specifications.com/rss-submission.htm
Here is more information that can help you to market your blog-
You want to set yourself up so that you can get the greatest syndication with the littlest effort. Save your writing time for your novels.
Monday, April 14, 2008
By Sheila Clover English
You’re told that you have to be on MySpace, Facebook, Bebo and a multitude of other social media sites. Then you’re told to blog, blog, blog in order to connect with fans and create new fans. Every time some new social media opportunity comes up your blood runs cold, your heart runs fast and you feel an immediate need for chocolate. Wait. The need for chocolate thing may only be me. lol
The fact is, there’s so much to do and so little time that authors can’t do it all. And though I love the movie Multiplicity, my luck I’d get the clone that was needy! lol So, I can’t clone myself and if I spend even 5 minutes on each online site that I’m told I need to be on I will never write another book! Ack! Now what?
Well, you can actually use that mess called "emerging technology" to do work for you.
In a couple of weeks I’ll be speaking on a panel about Emerging Technology at the Romantic Times convention. There, I will give details to people on how to make technology work smart for you. Today, I’d like to give some of that information to my MySpace friends.
There are three tools that you need that will get you an abundance of online promo and presence while you’re off typing your next novel.
1. A web master/mistress. Just one.
2. A blog. Just one.
3. A superuser. Just one.
Most of you already have a web person. But, I would like to take a minute and talk about that. This is not personal. I don’t know who your web person is. They may be the nicest person on the planet. They may work for you for free. I don’t know. But, I will tell you that if you don’t have a web person who understand how to put video or audio on your site and has no idea how to utilize RSS feed you need to either -
a. Let them go and hire someone with the right skill set.
b. Pay to have them trained.
c. Pay a second person who has the right skill set and can work with your primary web person.
Why would you take on extra work in order to keep a web designer? If you’re trying to get help for your web person, if YOU are looking around to get help for your web person...fire your web person. Or do something about it that will keep you from having to do your web person’s job. Pay a professional. I know authors don’t make a lot of money, but seriously, invest in someone who knows what they are doing or be prepared to do some of the work yourself.
If you are going to be frugal somewhere, don’t let it be your website.
Blogging is an important tool. It needs to be something you invest some time in. It needs to be part of your overall online promo and presence.
How often should you blog? Well, how much time to you have? Some people blog every day. I don’t have that kind of time. But, I can blog a couple of times a week. But, even if you can only blog one time a week - BLOG!!!
It is of utmost importance that the blog you choose be one that has a RSS feed. Don’t bother with a blog that does not have a RSS feed.
What do you write in the blog?
People want to know who you are. They want to know about your book. But your blog is NOT where you sell your book. NEVER sell your book on your blog. It is terrible etiquette to do so. Yet, you can talk about your book on your blog and people expect, even want, that. You can have a "Buy" button on the side bar of your blog. You can say "My release date is..."
Here is a good rule of thumb when blogging. Act like you’re saying this to someone in person. Would you go up to someone at a convention, someone you hardly know, and say "Please buy my book!?!" How do you think that would sound? Desperate? Embarrassing? I don’t know, maybe you would do that in person. In which case, I guess you can blog like that. But, I just don’t recommend it. People who don’t know you may come across your blog and they will be turned off by a desperate plea to buy your book.
Talk about things that are uniquely you. Talk about things that are unique to writers. Talk about something unique to your book. But be sure to ask a question somewhere along the way since that is an invitation for people to comment back to you.
What is a "SUPERUSER"? A superuser is someone who is a loyal die-hard fan. Someone who will spread the word about your book and you. Most of you know when you have a fan or fans like this. These are the people who become moderators to your fan site or online forum. You need to identify one superuser that has computer skills. Or someone willing to be trained in the proper skill set.
This person, or your web person, will take your blog RSS feed and send it out to designated areas on the internet. For example, your MySpace blog has RSS feed. Your Amazon Connect account allows you to blog - OR- send RSS feed from another blog. So, with one blog you just had 2 blogs appear online. Have your tech-person-of-choice find all of the areas that take RSS feeds and send your single blog out to those areas. You could have 4 or 5 blogs in different areas of the internet, but only be writing one blog.
Let your "superuser" moderate your fan club or forum. But, also, have that person Google your name or the name of your book once a week. They can then go and comment on those blogs, leaving a wonderful message about you, and perhaps even leaving your URL. If they come across a blog that they feel YOU, personally, should read and or comment on that blog, they will contact you with the URL to the blog. But, you need to have someone monitoring for opportunities to sing your praises, and opportunities to protect your brand.
Your superuser can also create and lead a street team. A street team is a group of people who are willing to help you. Your superuser can get your street team to blog during the first week your book is out. Or if you do a contest, etc. If you go to a convention or book signing, your street team can meet you there. They can go around and tell people you’re signing books, etc. They would be a group of enthusiastic, but NOT pushy, people who reflect through their actions that YOU are a center of attention, a great author and someone everyone should want to know.
Superusers are not usually paid. They are compensated through acknowledgment. A dedication in your book, mention in your newsletter, something along those lines.
Beyond those 3 things that I mention you can then start to set yourself apart by doing any additional marketing that you think is necessary. Book videos, bookmarks, conventions to attend, etc. But you need a good solid base for your online promo and presence and these three things can help you have that without you having to spend a lot of time on it yourself.
And of course, if you don't find time to write your novel, soon you'll have LOTS of time to market it. lol
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
I include my weekend Industry Report here, articles, etc. I also send over some videos since we have some readers who come here to post as well.
The new industry report should be done by tomorrow. I'm gearing up for Pittsburgh for the RT convention.
I'll be at RT, RWA, BEA and ThrillerFest this year. I hope to see you at one of those events!
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
This video may contain pictures that are disturbing in nature.
The La Laurie's were wealthy slave owners in New Orleans. What they found there was nothing less than horrifying and shocking. This is a true story.