16 September 2009

"Social Networking. Does it Work?"

I was lurking on a Twitter Kid Lit Chat last night and social networking sites were brought up. Do Twitter, Myspace, Facebook really help spread the word about books? What kind of updates/tweets do you like to read? Is Twitter replacing blogs? How do writers keep these social networks separate from the personal life?

Good questions!

I have an account with all three of these social network sites and a blog so I thought I’d give my two cents…

Do Twitter, Myspace, Facebook really help spread the word about books?

In my experience Twitter, Myspace, and Facebook don’t help me to sell books. I can’t say that for every author, but what I use these sites for are to connect with other writers, readers, and industry people. It is a way for readers who have read my books to stay updated on what might be going on with my writing or giveaways. It’s a way for me to keep track of my favorite authors, celebrities, TV shows, and the publishing industry.

What kind of updates/tweets do you like to read?

I like to read tweets that are clever and make me smile. I like to read tweets about interesting industry links and powerful quotes. I like to read tweets about topics I’d like to converse with other people about. Twittering is fun and informative and can just take a few seconds to dish out.

Is Twitter replacing blogs?

I don’t think Twitter is replacing blogs because of the short character count. But I will admit since I’ve been tweeting, I don’t blog as much. If I have a thought that I can simply type and send out quickly rather than taking the 15-20 minutes to blog, then I’m going to tweet it. I’m all about saving time these days!

How do writers keep these social networks separate from their personal life?

Very carefully! haha. I have to admit Facebook is more of a social site for me. I rarely use it for promotion because I have many family and personal friends on the site. If I have an interview or event, I’ll definitely post it on FB, but FB has turned out to be my procrastination station. I try to keep Twitter, my blog, and Myspace strictly writer friendly, but I do slip up every now and then. 🙂


27 February 2009

"Kinde 2"

I’ve finally purchased one. An Amazon Kindle 2.

K2

I’d just like to point out, the Amazon Kindle is not perfect and I very much still love paper books. Books and book stores give me a tranquil euphoria that is hard to explain.

So why did I buy a K2?

For convenience and down the road savings.

I have one small book store in my town that doesn’t shelve all the titles I’d like to read. And I have never been a patient person. Amazon downloads my book in less than a minute.

I considered the Sony for its more reasonable price and cool colors, haha, but unfortunately at the time the Sony reader was not compatible for my Mac. There seemed to be something I could rig, but I’d rather have Sony make it compatible.

Also, I’m a midlist author, which means I don’t make the big bucks. 🙂 And with the high prices in California, my husband going on work furloughs soon, and having no recent sale as I’m finishing my current book, life is not as easy going as I’d have wished. I cannot beat Amazon’s prices.

As a fun plus, K2 has some cool experimental programs (but truthfully, I won’t use them often):

Basic Web: A slow but useful text surf of the net.

Play MP3: I’m a iPod listener so I don’t have a use for this as of yet.

Text-to-Speech: I’ve tested it but will likely never use it. The speech is robotic and I know its a controversal issue at the moment.

The screen is very easy for me to read with adjustable font, and the K2 easy to hold.

What I also like about the K2 is being able to read PDF and DOC files. The conversion is not 100%, and the font appears lighter but I often receive PDF/DOC files from authors and this comes in handy for me. I take the extra steps to convert the files through amazon (by emailing the file for conversion then using my USB to download to the K2) instead of paying .10 cents a conversion where amazon downloads it straight to the K2 without a USB cord. It doesn’t bother me.

The negatives are mentioned in this article here “Fear the Kindle”:

– “Amazon will make a bundle. But everyone else with a stake in a vibrant book industry—authors, publishers, libraries, chain bookstores, indie bookstores, and, not least, readers—stands to lose out.”

– “The Kindle won’t let you resell or share your books.”

– And my personal negative is that not all the YA titles I would like to read have been converted to Kindle format. Fairly new titles, especially. As I can make a guess that publishers believe that not many kids have Kindles or are trying to make as much money as they can during the first months before they convert, but I couldn’t say for certain.

– The clippings and notes are a little tough to get used to but with more playing around I think I’ll get the hang of it.

– Also the K2 price is high. I’m hoping down the road they will lower the price for older versions for more readers to purchase. There are likely more Kindle versions to be revealed in the future.

But what I would like to comment on is that there may be some anger toward Amazon for taking some readers away from book stores and libraries, but we should not accuse Amazon for simply adapting to the future of technology and books. E-books have already been among us for many years, and because Amazon made a more convenient reader for their own website is not wrong. If they hadn’t created their own reader some other company would likely have created one for another publisher. Should we point fingers when the state of the economy is merely forcing the world to purchase economically? Amazon created the Kindle at the perfect time, and I say good for them. To say our world is not heading into a digital world is simply being in denial. And I’m saying this in the most kindest way possible, you can either fight the future of technology or embrace it.

And after this is all said and done, I’m very happy with the K2 as my first wireless e-book reader. It’s pretty darn cool.

🙂


23 October 2008

"LV Cast"

Okay, I’m trying something new!

Podcasting. *chuckle*

On this playlist I have the first “LV” Cast and as well as an excerpt of Invisible Touch. I’m hoping to produce a monthly podcast so we’ll see how it goes.

I’m also trying this out as a Q & A if readers or friends have any questions about my books or writing in general. This is actually pretty technical and it took me time to figure this out and I am not a pro. There are some glitches, but I hope to get more savvy about this if this works out.

So introducing the LV Cast by Kelly Parra…


Subscribe Free
Add to my Page


7 October 2008

"Skype"

Have you heard of Skype?

It is a communicating program where you can have conference calls from computer to computer for free! No matter where you live, free long distance when both callers have accounts and no exchanging of phone numbers.

I was contacted by As Written By for a Skype podcast interview and I looked into Skype and discovered how easy it is to download and login. On Saturday, we had the interview. I was nervous and the lovely teen reader/writer was nervous, but she did great and hopefully I did okay too. I know I paused a time or two on answers, but it was fun. haha!

The podcast will be posted on site in a couple of weeks, but I highly recommend these types of interviews for authors. The reader group was about 2 adults and 8 teens and after the interview, I took questions from the group. Hopefully I’ll be able to do more of these in the future. I just think it’s a really great way to reach out to reading groups.

On Sunday, I had another phone interview for a newspaper article. One on one is a little easier, but still I’m not that experienced at oral interviews as of yet and hopefully I don’t sound like a nerd. haha.

One particular question she asked was why I write about forbidden topics. It was unexpected because I hadn’t thought about it that way, but she mentioned that graffiti is frowned upon and psychic senses not really supported in reality. I told her I guess I had a rebel streak. LOL!


9 September 2008

"Goodreads"

I was going through this little debate yesterday…should I join Goodreads and Facebook?? I’m already with Library Thing and Myspace. Do I need another page??

haha.

I had tried Facebook a couple of months ago, and even though it was very organized, I felt a little constricted. Myspace gives me more creative freedom, but I knew all the FB apps were pretty easy to use. I think I will eventually join FB one day, but right now I just went with Goodreads because its really simple and easy to update. It doesn’t limit books and friends.

So if you are on GoodreadsI am too! Friend me if you’d like. 🙂 🙂