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J.K. Rowling Twitter abuse shows the dark side of Scottish nationalism
May 11, 2015 | 6:25 pm

jk rowling stop writingAs a Scot, I'm immensely proud of the achievement of the Scottish National Party in last Thursday's UK elections, and the new spirit abroad in Scotland. But I'm almost equally disgusted by and ashamed of its dark side, as revealed in the Twitter abuse heaped on J.K. Rowling, a very well-known unionist, post the election result. That's one of the few things that could tarnish the victory for me. I won't dignify the tweeters themselves by repeating their slurs, but anyone who wants a representative sample can just search Twitter under @jk_rowling, or check some out here. Suffice it to say that the...

Blurred lines: Social media and news media feeding into each other
November 19, 2014 | 7:35 pm

On GigaOm, Matthew Ingram expresses fascination with the way that the news media and social media have collided and blurred the lines between each other, in the context of the recent Uber scandal. We’re increasingly seeing major news stories break and grow in social and new media—Twitter, Facebook, blogs—with the traditional media being relatively slow to catch on. Rather than issue press releases, public figures and companies are issuing quick responses via Twitter or Facebook. So is this a good thing or a bad thing? That depends a lot on your perspective. Obviously if you’re...

Twitter’s potential changes could affect author promotion
September 6, 2014 | 2:32 pm

twitterSo Twitter wants to change things. According to multiple reports (you can find here, here, and here), Twitter is more than considering changing the way users see their feeds. Exactly how is not entirely clear yet as many have looked at smaller changes such as bringing back out tweets from users you already follow or changing the  algorithm completely by curating content that they think you want to read. That sure sounds like Facebook – and one of the biggest reasons why I use Twitter way more than I use the other guys. So, hopefully, it won't go that way. But this website...

Amtrak Residency Program begins taking applications from writers
March 9, 2014 | 3:49 am

zephyrAs was promised a few days ago, the application process for the Amtrak Residency Program has opened up. Amtrak discusses it in a blog post, and links to the actual application form. Up to 24 writers will be chosen for the first batch of residencies, taking place from March 17, 2014 through March 31, 2015. The application form asks why you want an Amtrak Residency, and how it would benefit your writing, and gives you 1,000 characters to answer each question. Then it asks you to upload a sample of your work, of up to 24 megabytes in size....

Anne Rice, other authors sign petition asking Amazon to take action against forum trolls, bullies
March 4, 2014 | 7:35 pm

greenblackboardEarlier today I talked about the Twitter flamewar that led to Jonathan Ross stepping down from hosting the Hugos. However, Twitter isn’t the only place you’ll find people behaving badly on the Internet. The Guardian reports that author Anne Rice is taking a stand against abusive anonymous comments posted on Amazon. She’s gotten a petition together with nearly a thousand signatures asking that Amazon enforce its own community standards against anonymous trolls and flamers who post hectoring attacks against authors and other commenters. We’ve reported on complaints about people using the “one-star nuclear option” for reviewing products whose publisher...

The vitriol of Twitter: How social media torpedoed Jonathan Ross hosting the Hugos
March 4, 2014 | 1:12 pm

Twitter as kid with red crayonHere’s an interesting article from The Nation about problems the feminist movement is having in discussions on Twitter. The fundamental problem is “intersectionality”: people in the feminist movement are other things besides “just” female—they’re rich or poor, they’re white or minority, and so on—and people at one end of a spectrum find things to be angry at the people on the other end about, even though they ostensibly share a common cause. And this anger is compounded by the Twitter discussion medium, whose short bite-sized chunks can lead to a spectacularly toxic environment. I don’t really have anything to...

YouVersion puts the Bible on your smartphone or tablet
July 28, 2013 | 10:43 am

you-Version-BiblesSunday morning seems like an appropriate time to mention this story. The New York Times has taken notice of YouVersion, a free social-networking-enabled e-Bible application for mobile devices. Built by evangelical megachurch, the application is a non-denominational electronic Bible with access to hundreds of translations in hundreds of languages, including the NIV. The article covers a lot of themes we’ve talked about in relation to other e-book initiatives. For example, the value of free: “We have a generation of people that can’t fathom paying 99 cents for a song that they love,” [YouVersion...

Twitter Tips for the Author Who Tweets
June 22, 2013 | 1:52 pm

TwitterBook Riot has a great post about two writers they say are 'killing it' on Twitter. What are these authors doing right? Here are some keywords I plunked from the article: They are 'creating a community' for their readers.  Very little 'self-promotion'  'Funny ... but never snarky'  'Warm and personable ... responds to people'  Doesn't 'exist exclusively on transmit'  Feed is 'mostly replies and retweets'  'Makes an effort to contribute to larger discussions'  Feels like 'part of who she is ... not like a sales pitch'  'Charming and self-deprecating' So, if all of this could be summed up into a strategy, it would be this: Twitter is about the follower, not...

Self-Publishing Social Media Saturation: Is it already here?
May 22, 2013 | 1:15 pm

self-publishingEarlier I wrote about the possibility that the new channels of e-book marketing might soon be saturated by the efforts of a new generation of publicists, agents and book promoters—once these had mastered social media and other techniques for getting their message in front of readers—to the detriment of indies or individual self-publishers. Now it seems this is happening before my eyes. To the right is a screenshot of my Hootsuite Twitter feed for the hashtag #pubtip, which as many self-publishers know, is a well-regarded search term for advice and tips for authors, originally started by literary agent Rachelle Gardner in...

Twitter Personalities We Love for E-Books, Writing and Publishing
October 31, 2012 | 10:55 pm

  By Colleen T. Reese As a social media manager, my content consumption habits tend to get wildly out of control if I’m not careful. And a lot of readers face this same issue. When we first started looking into TeleRead’s reading habits, we learned that a great majority of you continue to rely on word-of-mouth to find new e-books. In the digital age, weeding through the crowded muck can be overwhelming, to say the least. So to help ourselves—and yes, you too—we’ve curated a quick list (in no particular order) of our favorite heavy hitters on Twitter. We found this list to be...

TeleRead’s Twitter account is back from the dead!
August 11, 2012 | 3:26 pm

The majority of you out there who follow this site on a regular basis have long been aware of the fact that TeleRead's once mighty Twitter account has sat sadly dormant for quite some time now. Sleeping, as it were. But thanks in no small part to the crackerjack social media team that toils late into the night inside a top-secret, restricted access bunker—which just so happens to be located three stories beneath the basement of NAPCO's World Headquarters building in North Philadelphia—we're back online once again. We'd be pleased and honored if you'd consider following our account, @teleread, where you'll find links to our stories, retweets from...

Writer Ewan Morrison decries social media promotion for e-books, failure of ACTA passage
July 31, 2012 | 6:19 pm

I had never heard of this Ewan Morrison person before blogging that story quoting him the other day, but all of a sudden it seems like he’s coming out of the woodwork everywhere. I saw a mention on the E-Book Community Mailing List of a column by him on The Guardian. It says it’s third in a series, but I’m not sure what the other two are because there aren’t any links to them there. In this column, Morrison basically pooh-poohs the idea of social networking to sell self-published books, pointing out that if you’re spending 80% of...

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