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Monday, January 18, 2016

New CloudAge™ Author posts

When I first started this blog, my original intent was to do research and discover ways that a mobile author—what I dubbed the CloudAge™ Author—could ply their craft with an iPad and occasional Internet connection. Since some time has passed since I first started blogging about it, it’s time I went back and reviewed the state of the field.

Previously …

Earlier in this series, I reviewed some tools for writing while on the go. Primarily, these tools were iPad based, and I’m going to go back and revisit some of them to see where they stand today. In particular, I will revisit Storyist, iA Writer, and Simplenote, as well as their connectivity to storage and desktop tools.

New Stuff

There have also been some changes in the CloudAge™ Author landscape in the past couple of years. Notably, Microsoft finally released their Office tools for the iPad, with full creating and editing abilities (a previous version only allowed users to view documents). I will review Word for iPad, and also look at some other new or significantly updated tools, such as Apple’s change in the iDisk (oops, I mean iCloud Drive).

Marketing with Social Media

One of the best, and worst, marketing tools in the CloudAge™ Author’s toolbox is social media in its varied forms. Best, because it can be done completely free and is reasonably simple to do. Worst, because that simplicity and lack of cost can make it a festering cesspool of sludge for your potential readers to wade through if they are to discover you.
One way to help your readers discover and follow you is to follow the tips in my previous blog on social media. Just as a reminder, social media is a two-way street, so retweeting/reposting the good content other people create is important and will help your readers. Don’t just flood your readers with ads for your book other writing projects, they’ll eventually tune you out if they don’t stop following you outright. Follow other authors, and when they find things you connect with, share their insights.
Marketing can overwhelm you if you aren’t careful. While word-of-mouth is absolutely the best way to get readers, someone has to start spreading the word initially to entice someone to read it. As a CloudAge™ Author let that someone be you, at first, but adopt some strategies to automate aspects of it whenever possible. Since I wrote an article specifically covering some of the automation of social media posting for a different blog, I’m not going to duplicate that here. Instead, head over to WritersLife.ORG to read my original post.
With that in mind, allow me to recommend a specific product: Hootsuite. I have a paid subscription to Hootsuite, and it is not necessary to pay for yours if you are the only person using it and you don’t need more than 3 social media profiles. This would be you if you only want to use Hootsuite to help mange your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts, for example. One of the main advantages to a tool like Hootsuite (or SproutSocial or Buffer) is the automation tools. It is easy to get lost in the weeds (or, as Whitney Avalon sings, Going Down the Rabbit Hole) while finding good content to share. By using a tool like Hootsuite you can spend a little time searching for content to curate and schedule it to appear later in the day (or week), as well as schedule your own posts. By taking a few minutes to find and schedule these posts, you can create a stream of useful media postings for your readers to find. I will also do a how-to on Hootsuite, hopefully helping you to set up a solid social media marketing campaign while also entertaining and delighting your readers.

CloudAge™ Publishing

One other significant change in the landscape is the vast number of options that now exist for the CloudAge™ Author to publish their finished products. There is also a much wider availability of editing and proofreading services, many of which can be ad-hoc purchased from websites dedicated to brokering connections between people who need, and people who perform these services. I will look at a few of these and review their services.

In Conclusion

So, what comes next? In this series, I will be posting some updated reviews of older software, and including some new tools as well. I’ll help with the task of using social media to market yourself as an author, and give you some insights into the new publishing era that has evolved alongside the CloudAge™.

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