To Blog, or Not To Blog

blog icon information internet

Should a person Blog? Tweet? Post? Is it in his/her best interest?

If so, then why? What is the objective?

Should you separate your Twitter activity from your Facebook activity, or should you try to meld them all together?

These are the questions that I’m trying to figure out, so if you have any insight, please add your voice, but here is how I’m breaking it down:

  1. WordPress (scottthurman.com) is my writing Blog.  I will use this primarily for promoting me, my book and any future writing.  There may be some personal bits, but it must somehow tie back to my writing.
  2. Twitter (@scottjthurman) is a micro-blog.  It works in conjunction with my WordPress website.  I’ve been spending a lot of time on Twitter lately, building up my “following”, and I enjoy it.  It’s sort of a way of keeping score.
  3. LinkedIn is for business networking.   In general, this is where I put my resume. I need to explore how LinkedIn supports authors/writers.
  4. Skype: I haven’t really used Skype for personal business, though I don’t know why not.  My Skype name is scott_thurman
  5. WeChat: This is the Twitter of China. My WeChat handle is MenciusScott
  6. Facebook: Appears to have jumped the shark.  I visit facebook once or twice a day, but Twitter has become my go-to social networking app. FB will be for updating and being updated by family and friends.  It’s not a place I will be regularly promoting my writing.
  7. Instagram: Username is thurm2012.  Haven’t used it that much, but seems popular with many.  There is a way to coming them together.
  8. WhatsApp
  9. Yelp
  10. Google+
  11. Goodreads Author Page
  12. Amazon Author Page

 

Social Networking Filter on High

Earlier today I tweeted something about SUICIDE and within seconds I regretted it and deleted it.  It was fairly mundane, but I could see where somebody who had lost a loved one or struggled with suicidal thoughts, might take offense.   So, to be on the safe side I deleted it.  It got me thinking about all the filters I run my social networking posts through, and wondered if I’ve set it too high, or too low?  What factors go into a tweeter’s decision to post or not post something.

Here are a few I came up with:

  • Family filter: If I say this, and my wife or kids see it, will I be embarrassed? If one of their friends sees it, knowing that I’m their husband/father, will they be embarrassed, made fun of, or otherwise harassed. Yes? No? Maybe?
  • Work filter: I work for a Fortune 500 company that is very protective of their IP and their brand.  People have lost their jobs by posting the wrong things, so I stay completely away from anything day-job related.
  • Brand filter: We all have a brand whether we like it, know it, or not. Shy, cocky, annoying, confident, etc…   I’m trying to build a brand with my writing. Violent, American/Chinese, intriguing, surprising, Tarantinoesque…  I would like to sell a lot of my books, and I have started to develop a “tribe” using social networking tools.  More and more I find that I’m checking myself before I wreck myself.  I believe it’s a good thing from a sales and marketing perspective, but it’s also sad that we now live in a world (America?) where having a different opinion might cost you a sale, or worse ruin your career. This morning I was watching the news and there was a story about how the Barbie brand had reinvented itself after losing sales and market share for the last few years.  They came up with a product line of Barbie’s that crossed all sorts of barriers and boundaries. The reporter made some comment about something called the United Colors of Benetton Barbie.  Then the reporter asked the Barbie representative “Would Barbie ever take a position on a political and/or social issue, and she said matter of factly, ‘no, we don’t want to offend anybody.'”

Thoughts? What filters do you use, if any?  What high/low is your social networking setting?

Religious Undertones

As I enter the marketing phase of authorpreneurship, one of the concepts I struggle with is how to communicate that Mormonism is an influence on the book’s protagonist (Brig), but it is not a religious book by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I also worry about the opposite… that friends/family will be displeased by some of the more salacious sections of the book (rape, S&M, prostitution).

Suicide By Everest is fiction, but I draw heavily from my own life and experiences.  I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, UT, baptized in the Mormon Church when I turned eight and served a church mission in Hong Kong.  I no longer consider myself a Mormon, but I am not anti.  If anything, I’m anti-organized religion.   I hope that readers will be pleasantly surprised by the twists and turns of Brig’s journey.

img_0147This picture was painted by my wife, Jackie Chang.  It’s a picture of the Angel Moroni.  For non-Mormons, Moroni was the last ancient American prophet to write his story in the Book of Mormon and buried the golden plates in a hill where Joseph Smith would find them hundreds of years later.  The image of the angel Moroni blowing a trumpet is commonly used as an unofficial symbol of the LDS Church. Moroni appears on the cover of some editions of the Book of Mormon. Statues of the angel stand atop many LDS temples with most statues facing eastward.

 

(Reference: Wikipedia – Angel Moroni)

 

About the Author

Another are14K_Triada of the book cover is the “About the Author” section.  It’s a very short space, but can be an opportunity to sell the book.  Potential readers may decide whether or not to read the book on that little blurb about the author.  My first version was bland and meant nothing.  This latest version is tongue-in-cheek and hopefully will at least catch their attention.  As always, I’d like to hear what you think. Thanks…Scott

Scott J. Thurman is no longer religious but he was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, and served a typical non-violent, two-year Mormon mission to Hong Kong. He has lived and worked in China for over 30 years, where he may, or may not associate with members of Hong Kong Triads.  He has no tattoos. Today he lives in Northern California with his first wife and two children.

 

The Laughing Buddha

The Laughing BuddhaOne of my favorite characters in my book is nicknamed The Laughing Buddha (aka Danny Wong Wai Man).  The Laughing Buddha is a beloved Buddhist deity that is associated with laughter, happiness, and good fortune. To the left, is a picture that my wife painted.

In Suicide by Everest, Buddha plays a pivotal role.  He corrupts and deceives Brig while serving as his missionary companion, and introduces him to Happy Ho.  He leads a double life, one as a church leader in the local community, and two, as a drug smuggler.

Creating a Community

I am now slowly beginning to unveil Suicide by Everest and develop a community of people interested in my writing.  So far that’s a very small, but fiercely loyal group. 🙂  I am moving from the writing phase of being an authorpreneur and moving to the marketing phase, which I also really enjoy. Some of the things that I did today.

  • Verified my website on Google, and set-up Google analytics
  • Rewrote the books Introduction after receiving excellent input/feedback from Haydn, Pete, and April.
  • Received my first book quote/comment from the novel’s Editor extraordinaire Andrew Wooddell
  • Changed the book cover to include my middle initial…some more good input from my fan base.
  • A few Tweets and added Twitter analytics.  I’m up to 324 Followers.
  • Received my first preorder!!! (Thanks AV)
  • Received notice from Amazon that they shipped out 5 copies/proofs of my novel.
  • Still tweaking, and editing a few things.  Want to get all of my ducks in a row before I hit the publish button on KDP