Monday, 7 November 2011

So, You Really Want Me 2 Follow You?

Please help us welcome author Lynn Crain.

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When I sat down at my computer today, trying to think exactly what I wanted to vent about, I had to give myself some boundaries. See, there is so much in my life to vent about, a major move to a foreign country, a husband who is so attentive he's driving me crazy, a new puppy who we call piranha boy because of his puppy teeth but so many of you would see those things as living the fairy tale that I decided to do one that should be nearer and dearer to our author hearts. But I get ahead of myself here as introductions are definitely in order.

My name's Lynn Crain and I write hot, sexy romances for the over eighteen crowd. Right now I'm living in Vienna, Austria with my husband of thirty some years who is following his dream to work internationally. Notice, I said his dream but that's another story and a whole other rant. None of our children or our pets came with us for various reasons: the oldest has his own family, the youngest is in college and the animals couldn't successfully travel the ocean so they are stuck at home with said kids. This is why we have piranha boy, a Parson Russell Terrier the breeder named Harry Potter that turns fourteen weeks old today. Because of this move and the tribulations it brought me I haven't had a book published in a while but that's going to change real soon as I expect to have about ten or so within the next coming year. The first one is a re-issue of a story called, A Lover for Rachel, and it's got one hot cover. It's schedule to be released between November 27 to December 3rd, 2011.

Now back to the meat of this blog ~ I don't know about you but I do daily research on the internet for various projects. Now those who know me well would say that I'm just cruising about looking for the best time possible but really I'm not. Part of that time is spent looking for like minded individuals who I can share blog space with, toss out a comment on twitter and generally share good news and happenings. To be honest, that's how I found this wonderful gem of a blog and I've recommended it to a lot of people and plan to do so even more. Networking is how many books are sold and it's a very important aspect to one's writing career.

It's taken me years to develop this tack on just who I want to follow be it on twitter, a blog or sharing a link on another's website. Too many places and you'll over-saturate those you want to admire you and your work, too little and they will never know your name. I have heard there are many ways to do this. Only follow those who are like minded ~ what does that mean? Only re-tweet those things that will bring you more followers ~ no, really, what does that mean? Never follow those whose background pictures you like ~ why not? Come on now, it's a really cute setup! Some people have even gone so far to tell me that I must maintain a professional attitude one-hundred percent of the time ~ how fun is that?

One is supposed to have fun in their career and if you can't what is the point? Live, love, laugh ~ that's my philosophy and I'm sticking to it. Therefore, when I peruse the net looking for new followers and those I can follow, new places to blog or just new people to hang out yet, I expect the kind courteous response that I would give them. But in the last few months, I've hit a stumbling block or two or maybe it's fifteen as right now I'm so irritated, I could bust a gut.

It's been my habit to follow a few new faces on twitter weekly and to add a blog or two to my list of ones to follow if they're lucky. I choose my victims - er - friends through a careful search and by looking at their tweets or blogs and websites to make sure they are people I want to be around. Doesn't everyone? First, I have to feel I have a genuine connection to them and then I have to want to give my time to them as it is a precious commodity to me as well as to them.

I take great joy in finding new authors and people to follow. It amazing me that there are others out there that think in a somewhat similar mode as I do. I want to be with those people, I want to see what they are saying, learn about what they are reading and I want to share my goals, aspirations, listening and reading habits with them. After all, we may share a common bond and never know it unless we can connect somewhere. The internet is a perfect way to connect to like minds, to those who are in the same struggles, are writing the same genres or reading the same authors. It truly is a reach-out-and-touch-someone moment when you find another like mind on the internet. You can share writing snippets, trade blogs posts and links, talk family, kids, marketing and a host of other important topics.

Imagine my surprise when recently I've run into validation services for everything imaginable. Are you kidding? The one true way to turn off readers, followers, bloggers, reviewers and whoever I haven't named, is to say you don't trust them right off the bat. Sure, I can understand if they have come from a questionable IP address or they have a questionable name as some do but to send the person an email, a tweet, a comment with a link and say, "Hey, if you want to follow me via twitter, my blog, my website or whatever, you have to pass this test! Aren't you happy to do it?"

Sorry, I'm not happy to do it and got carried away there. Frankly, I don't have time for validation services. I can understand the ones where you have a quick email back that says you're a real person but to send someone to an outside vendor and make them answer all sorts of questions about themselves and why they want to follow you, well, you've made an enemy for life and you can be word will get around. After all, I'm writing this blog, aren't I? If I am, there are others out there not venting about their not liking validation services.

Now, if you were a Nora Roberts-type person, I can understand it...after all, you have thousands upon thousands of followers and probably don't need me anyway. If you are just starting out, honey, I would rethink your stradegy as there is no quicker way to piss someone off than to tout your sense of importance. Yes, you are important but some am I...and it makes me wonder...just why am I wasting my time on you again? Those people who you are trying to validate are asking themselves the same questions and trust me, if they can't justify following you in whatever manner they've tried, they just won't answer you back. If you send them something asking why, they will ignore you. Who knows what they're saying to their friends? Are they giving you a good name or a bad one?

As for me, I'll continue to slog through the people who follow me wherever and ban those who are truly bad. I don't know about you but I can spot them a mile away...after all...just how many of them can be on twitter or blog for over a year and not know how to add a picture? Not many. Trust me.

Lynn Crain bio:

I'm a writer of sexy romance. I live in the hot southwest where I weave my tales for various publishers in the sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal genres. I have one husband, two sons, one daughter-in-law, two grandkids, two dogs, three cats and I've gotten rid of the snakes. I love hearing from all of you at lynncrain@cox.net. UPDATE: Wait - if you've read any of this blog recently you'll see that obviously, I'm not in the beautiful southwest right now. I'm on the adventure of a lifetime in Vienna, Austria. An adventure with issues...yup...that's me!

You can find her on her blog at www.awriterinvienna.blogspot.com on any given day as she tells you about her adventures abroad.

22 comments:

Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

Good luck in Vienna, Lynn. Hope you have an adventure of a lifetime. :)

As far as validation, I've stumbled upon that on Twitter, and the person who required it lost a follow back. Not gonna jump through hoops for anyone.

Love your cover, and the excerpt is wonderful. Best of luck to you. :)

Jim Greer said...

About the only time I have a moment of (gulp) on any of these sites is when the follower/friend/whomever lists "men" as their hobby. Way way WAY too too many things for that.

Great post. Enjoy your adventure, good luck with your writing.

SJ Drum said...

I agree with the validation thing. I mean...if you're not super famous, why the hell would you need a validation service. You're not getting hundreds of requests a day, right?

What about the people who spam you immediately after you "follow" them? You can totally be my Twitter friend ;-) Here's one of my recent tweet I think you'd agree with...

"I dislike being humped with self promotion the second I "follow" someone. Geez, ease me into it at least, don't just ram it home."

@AuthorSJDrum

Faith said...

Hi Lynn! Glad you enjoy 4SW's blog so much! Thanks for being here!

Anthology Authors said...

It drives me nuts when someone wants to be a friend on Facebook, and as soon as I okay them, they post some promo shit to my page or PM me with "buy my book/CD/etc). Um, that is just tacky and a good way to be banned. You want to promo, do it on your own page. If I am interested, I will buy it, but I will never buy it after you pull a stunt like that.

Marci

Faith said...

Me too. I promo my links on fb, but I can't email people with buy my stuff or I wrote a book I think you'll like, blah, blah...

I've gotten soooo many of those "friends" of late.

Cassie Exline said...

Great post. Quite agree about that validation crap. But then Twitter gives me a pain. I gave it up for Lent or something. lol

Jaime Samms said...

I have not run into this yet, thank goodness...but I have had those friend requests that are followed by spam mailing, or posting to my wall that i should like something...Like this, goofball...Quickest way to get me to not buy your shit is tell me i should by Pm'ing me, spamming me, or posting your shit to my wall, damit!!! erm...yeah. Don't even get me started on telemarketers...lol!

Naomi Bellina said...

Really? Validation? That's kind of...narcisstic maybe? The things that come up in cyber land!

Lynn Crain said...

Thanks, Lisa!

Yeah, the validation thing really gets me...a lot...as you can see. LOL!

Hope you pick up a copy of my book when it's available!

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

Jim,

LMAO! Yeah, I bet that would be a turn-off for some guys. Others, who knows?

Thanks for dropping by!

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

Isn't that the truth about the famous part? MOF, I hadn't even seen any of these people's books. But then again, the way people get on any major bestseller list is whole other rant of mine.

Love the tweet! I wish I had seen it!

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

Thanks, Faith!

I hope you'll have me back again sometime!

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

Marci,

And to be honest, what you just said is one of the biggest reasons I don't use FaceBook at all for much.

I do some minor announcements and all my family are attached to my page so they want updates, but I don't promo there and people think I'm crazy. But the fact is it is downright annoying the amount of promo I get even though I don't do much there.

My husband uses Facebook more than I do so we can update people what we're doing here in Austria.

Otherwise, it is a time suck and I can do better things.

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

Cassie,

Thanks for dropping by! Love your Lent comment.

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

Jaime,

You are lucky if you haven't run into this. The reason I wrote this column was in the week before I had gotten at least two to three validation things a day.

I try to follow one to five new people daily that I think I share like ideas with. Tweets are fun because they are short and sweet.

But when I get crap like this, there is no way I'll validate or try to follow every again.

I get FaceBook notices daily and it drives me mad because I only visit it once or twice a month. I don't understand those who visit it daily and I'm sure they don't understand why I tweet. So, we're even. LOL!

I can find enough stuff on my own to purchase without their help.

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

Naomi,

Yeah, validation...couldn't believe it myself. And what a great word...narcisstic...should have used it in the post because it's certainly true of these people who want it. LOL!

Thanks for stopping by!

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

Faith,

Sorry I missed your second comment.

Like I said, I don't do that on FB at all. I don't even post much and I still get scads and scads of notices where people are trying to get me to 'purchase' them something in a game, respond to their invitation, purchase they work, and a host of other things.

Really? Are you sure I'm even your friend? Come on people! Take a break!

Lynn

Janice said...

Have fun in Vienna and I wish you luck with your latest release and with hubby and piranha boy.

Lynn Crain said...

Thanks, Janice...I appreciate it. This week the husband is in Scotland and piranha boy has decided to become mellow boy. He's sleeping in my lap as I type. Go figure. LOL!

Lynn

marybelle said...

I think all authors should have a vent because it's a fabulous way to meet the writer behind the books. Lynn Crain you give a great vent.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Maria said...

Enjoy your time in Vienna, it will probably be over before you realize it:)

Yeah, I'm not big on the validation sites- like you I can understand wanting to protect yourself and your site but there gets to be a point where jumping through hoops annoys me and makes me question whether it's worth it or not.

Looking forward to the re-release of A Lover for Rachel - it's got a smokin cover!