Posted On April 29, 2013 by Print This Post

From Jane Austen to Jane Jetson – Making Yourself At Home Online with Pamela Mason

I’m happy to welcome Pamela Mason to the RU campus! I met Pamela last year through her on-line group, 5 a.m. Writers. Today, Pamela talks about finding your comfort zone in the ever changing world of social media.

Great to have you here, Pamela!  

You’ve emerged from your writing cave and followed all the advice. You’ve opened an account on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr or any of the other social networks… you’ve set up a blog….  

And you can’t conjure up a single original post, pithy tweet, or humorous – if not brilliant – status update that will attract an agent or editor, much less readers and supportive writer friends.

The pressure’s on. What to say? How to tweet? What on earth do I write about day after day after day?

And whose crazy idea was it to do this social networking and online promoting anyway?!

If you’re like me, you’re in the “Double Decker Sandwich Generation”. Not only are you sandwiched between teens and aging parents, but you’re also wedged between Jane Austen’s quill-in-ink-on-parchment-handwritten romances and Jane Jetson’s voice-recorded-digitally-uploaded-to-the-cloud fiction.

As much as we want to shrink back into our writing caves and create our own worlds, we have to accept what Neil Gaiman said at the Digital Minds Conference – “Amazon, Google and all of those things probably aren’t the enemy. The enemy right now is simply refusing to understand that the world is changing.” (PWDaily, April)

If a Spirograph or Etch-a-Sketch were your space age toys instead of a smartphone or Apple iPad, welcome to —

WriterMason’s Guide to Making Yourself At Home in the Digital Age, or  Virtual Girls’ Night Out can be Fun … and Without the Work of Finding a Babysitter! 

Make yourself comfy, and let’s just start with some basics here:

Pamela MasonThe online world is actually its own culture.

Well, actually it’s a collection of cultures, but let’s talk OUR culture – Writers and Readers. We relish digging into the guts of characters’ motivations, crushing our heroes‘ spirit beneath our heroine’s stilettos, and then resurrecting our stubborn couple to a glorious happy ever after – preferably after they’ve rocked their world once or twice!

We prefer to leave the endless hamster wheel of Facebook updates, social media management, book promo, and blog posting to someone else — ANYONE else. We don’t even really care that much about the stiletto heeled boots – except for how perfectly they fit our heroine.

Authors are readers’ Rockstars.   

Lucky for writers that our readers feel the same way! Give us comfy sweats, a rainy day and an ereader fully loaded, and we’ll just imagine the stilettos on our heroines, thanks. Readers love their authors.  When you’re down to one name like Cher, or better yet, only your initials – like JRW and KMM – you know you’ve made it.

>>> 2 winners of $5 Starbucks giftcards via Facebook to two unique commenters who correctly spell out the authors’ names from the initials above!

Readers want interaction and conversation. Being open to making friends equals S A L E S … Eventually

Readers crave making connections with their favorite authors. It doesn’t take much to offer up a Good Morning Monday! or TGIF – It’s 5 o’clock Somewhere post… or to ask a simple question like, “How do you like your coffee?” You might feel like you’re talking into the Black Hole of Network Nothingness, but a consistently upbeat attitude and persistence are key to finding the friends and readers you’re looking for. The positive energy that can explode from a fun conversation or online party results in book sales. It just takes time and patience to cultivate those friends and to let them discover you and your books.  

Transparency and authenticity are necessary to success. The trick is how to do this without giving Hannibal your home address and daily schedule.

Transparency = Honesty. Don’t copy others’ posts – share them and credit the source. A simple “thanks Jane!” is all it takes – and you’ll attract her friends and followers to your post if you link Jane’s name.

Authenticity = Be Yourself! Show us your smiling face in your Facebook avatar… a recent one please. Like… no more than five years old. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting several people I have regular conversations with online… and guess what’s one of the first things everyone likes to do? Out comes the camera and in two minutes our on-the-spot meeting is uploaded. It’s a good idea to have the same color hair as you have on your profile pic.

As for the Hannibals out there…

Remember the Jetsons episode where Mrs. Spacely called on the videophone early one morning, and Jane was still in pre-coffee mode? She had to pull on her “Morning – Mask” to look presentable for her husband’s boss’ wife, and as it turned out, so had Mrs. Spacely, because she sneezed and her Morning – Mask popped off! Okay…so I preferred the Jetsons to the Flintstones…. Who wants a dinosaur licking their dinner plates clean? And admit it! you wish you had a Morning – Mask too! My point is – keep your online presence professional, just as if you’re at a speaking engagement, booksigning, or conference. There’s no need for your Morning – Mask to fall off and land in TMIville. DO post a picture of your latest adventure in the kitchen… DON’T post your latest adventure in the bedroom! DO post your new hairdo … DON’T post the stylist’s phone number!

***

This is just a Netiquette Primer for you aspiring Jane Jetsons. What can you offer today’s readers on how to attract friends and readers on social networks?  

And don’t forget – 2 random commenters who spell out the authors’ initials above will receive a Starbucks gift card via Facebook!

***

Author Diane Vallere joins us on Wednesday, May 1st, to talk about her method on tackling that difficult scene. 

***

Pamela Mason blog pic Bio: Pamela Mason is the ‘Jane Jetson of Digital Publishing’, the founder of The 5 a.m. Writers Group on Facebook, and can also be found on WriterMason.com, Twitter, Google +, and Pinterest…so far. As a member of RWA and Georgia Romance Writers, she gets plenty of opportunities to meet her online friends in person. She contributes to BetterAfter50.com and Five For Fiction. Her company WriterMason Productions is an online promotions business for romance authors. Her southern contemporary romances and N’Awlins paranormals are yet to be published. Married for over thirty years to James Bond’s clone, their two sons are divided between Apple and Android and are spending their inheritances at colleges. In spite of her business achievements, her primary function is minion to a dowager duchess reincarnated as a shelter rescue cat – who quickly recovered her royal cat-titude.

Similar Posts:

Share Button

Romance University

Discussion

35 Responses to “From Jane Austen to Jane Jetson – Making Yourself At Home Online with Pamela Mason”

  1. Hi, Pam. Nice to see you here. One of my goals is to get better at social media. Thanks for the words of wisdom.

    Posted by Sia Huff | April 29, 2013, 7:25 am
  2. Thank you Sia! I’m glad you popped in and said hello here. Now I’ll keep an eye out for you elsewhere!

    Posted by Pamela Mason | April 29, 2013, 8:45 am
  3. So enjoyed the witty post, chock full of good tips. I will raise my hand and confess I’m still learning how to be Jane-Jetson ready. My skill and knowledge are growing thanks to Pamela Mason’s tutoring. I’m hoping she’ll do a several-hour seminar where she does the “show” and I am able to ask ALL the questions I have. Yes, I’d pay money to have her as a teacher for a day.

    Smiles,
    Linda Joyce

    Posted by Linda Joyce | April 29, 2013, 9:47 am
  4. Some great suggestions and I know you’ve helped me a lot in this area!

    Posted by Kellie Kamryn | April 29, 2013, 9:51 am
  5. Morning Pamela!

    I’ve fallen off the twitter wagon for awhile..but I’ve made some excellent friends, and hope to find time to get back to it again.

    I DO know the answers to JRW and KMM, =) but hopefully one of our readers will come up with an answer ….come on RU readers – who are they?

    =)

    thanks for posting with us today!

    carrie

    Posted by Carrie Spencer | April 29, 2013, 10:12 am
  6. Hi Pamela,

    Loved the Jetsons’ theme song and live in maid. Being true on social media is important. Just sharing everyday thoughts make a good connection.

    Mary Jo

    Posted by Mary Jo Burke | April 29, 2013, 10:14 am
    • You’re singing it now, aren’t you Mary Jo? *grin*
      I can’t help myself – whenever I open my laptop or smartphone, it rushes through my head.
      There’s an everyday thought to share: What’s YOUR theme song? Mine is ___.
      Watch – easy engagement there.
      Thanks for commenting!

      Posted by Pamela Mason | April 29, 2013, 10:26 am
  7. Hi Pam! I much prefer FB to Twitter. Sometimes (most times) on Twitter, I talk to empty rooms LOL

    Posted by Sandra Sookoo | April 29, 2013, 10:35 am
    • Sandra, I know what you mean about Twitter’s empty room syndrome…. I think it’s designed to accomodate people who are talented with the pithy one-liners and to facilitate conversations like the one Kellie and a blogger had to promote a book last December. There are also the pitch sessions and agent “lessons” there that are good.
      May I suggest that you find a television show you love and its hashtag (try search.twitter.com for the trending hashtag) and jump into a conversation? I love Dancing With the Stars (it’s the new Jackie Gleason show, sans Honeymooners) #DWTS – but you might like The Voice or something else. Jennifer Weiner (author Good in Bed, In Her Shoes) even hosts tv conversation streams with certain shows like The Bachelor (I can hear the groans!).
      I know from Facebook you don’t watch much television, but it’s a ready made group with a natural conversation going on… and you might just see your own tweet on the show in real time!
      Think of the marketing potential there!

      Posted by Pamela Mason | April 29, 2013, 12:22 pm
    • Sandra try this – if there is a tv show you love (yes, I know you don’t watch much television, but try something like Castle) jump into the conversation stream using that show’s hashtag. #Castle #DWTS = Dancing With The Stars (really the June Taylor dancers reincarnated – remember them?) Jennifer Weiner even hosts twitter/tv convos.
      And think of the marketing potential if your tweet shows up on tv!

      Posted by Pamela Mason | April 29, 2013, 12:54 pm
  8. J. R. Ward
    Karen Marie Moning

    Thanks for your post to RU. Very helpful.

    Jann

    Posted by JA Barineau | April 29, 2013, 10:51 am
  9. Me me mememememe!
    Karen Marie Moning
    J.R. Ward
    Susan Elizabeth Phillips

    I just “met” Diane V. the other day on email. Small world, eh wot?

    No photos of me, kitchen or bedroom (good advice though). My image cannot be reproduced by human means.

    :)
    Sophie.

    Posted by Sophie Sansregret | April 29, 2013, 12:55 pm
  10. PS rats, my browser hadn’t updated and I see I’ve been trumped. Drat.

    Posted by Sophie Sansregret | April 29, 2013, 12:55 pm
  11. Sophie! I can’t wait for Diane’s post on tackling the difficult scene!
    Yes… eh wot (how does that translate to southern-speak?)

    And you get points for knowing SEP’s initials. There will be two winners, so I think your odds are very very good…
    So far! ;)

    Posted by Pamela Mason | April 29, 2013, 1:35 pm
  12. Hello, Pamela!

    I think FB and Twitter are great venues to observe social interaction. For some authors, a simple question like “what are you reading or what’s for dinner?” generates a lot of replies. It gives their followers an oppportunity to interact/connect with them. After all, we all read and eat, and that’s easy “common ground”. And while it’s nearly impossible to reply to 200+ comments, many authors post a general reply acknowledging the response. That’s good enough for me. My biggest peeve is when an author doesn’t respond to comments on a blog or selectively replies to some comments but not all. If someone made the effort to leave a comment, then they should be acknowledged. Remember, those commenters are potential readers.

    I’ve seen major brow raising posts on FB. (Right, we all have!) But I’m a true believer that sharing doesn’t mean crossing the Rubicon of TMI. :)

    Thanks for joining us today!

    Posted by Jennifer Tanner | April 29, 2013, 1:44 pm
  13. Darling — another fabulous post. You always present info in such an approachable manner. Kudos on being able to not only keep up with the digital age, but also to bring others along with you!

    Posted by Maggie Worth | April 29, 2013, 1:59 pm
    • High praise coming from you Maggie – thank you!
      I hope I’m approachable so people aren’t afraid to ask questions. Computer is a language to learn, and it’s harder to learn without support. There is such an explosion of authors who are reinventing themselves for the next chapter of their lives, it’s essential to keep up with technology and connecting.

      Posted by Pamela Mason | April 29, 2013, 2:12 pm
  14. Such great advice, Pamela! I’m guilty of hiding in the cave too much. You’ve inspired me!

    Posted by Terri L. Austin | April 29, 2013, 5:15 pm
  15. Pamela,
    This is an absolutely delightful and fun post–very true and appropriate.

    I have the best people by random comments. And Oh, so true–professional is the key and upbeat.

    Ok, so maybe I do wax a tad poetic about the colds…but I’m learning not to! :)

    Thank you for this!

    Posted by M.V. Freeman | April 29, 2013, 5:24 pm
  16. This is so true, Pamela – especially the part about authors being reader’s rock stars. I have fun on Facebook but I have to remind myself to stop in at Twitter periodically. And I’m not convinced Google Plus has anything different to offer. Remember when everyone was on MySpace? I don’t even remember my password anymore.

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | April 29, 2013, 5:31 pm
    • Becke, I think that G+’s appeal is to a different personality . Facebook is like a neighborhood where we trade Christmas cookie recipes; Twitter is for cutting up with one liners; G+ is for the techno-geeks and artsy among us.
      I think if we use the different networks to showcase our different personality facets, that’s where we’ll get their full potential.
      Thanks for commenting!

      Posted by Pamela Mason | April 29, 2013, 8:11 pm
  17. Great post, Pamela! I was explaining the Jetsons to my children just yesterday. Didn’t realize their poignancy;)
    Thanks for this!

    Posted by Larissa Reinhart | April 29, 2013, 6:21 pm
  18. You know,Star Trek gave us a peek into what was in the future with cell phones and transporters, but gimmee the rocket ship and the vacuum tubes and the conveyor belt for walking Astro….
    And my jet pack!

    Posted by Pamela Mason | April 29, 2013, 8:14 pm
  19. Pamela,

    A big thank you for blogging with us today! And thanks everyone for dropping in to comment!

    Posted by Jennifer Tanner | April 29, 2013, 9:55 pm
  20. The two winners of the $5 Starbuck’s gift cards are…

    Sophie Sansregret and Jann Barineau!

    Congratulations!

    To receive your gift card, please email me at: jennifer@romanceuniverity.org

    Posted by Jennifer Tanner | April 30, 2013, 10:32 pm

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] Spirographs and Etch-a-Sketch’s were on the technological edge. If you missed it, here is a link to my post for Romance University last month – From Jane Austen to Jane Jetson: Making Yourself at Home in the Digital [...]

Post a comment

Upcoming Posts

  • Oct 24, 2014 To Tweet or Not to Tweet: The Writer's Social Media Dilemma - Tessa Shapcott

Subscribe

Writer's Digest: 2013 Best Writing Websites (2013) 100-BEST-WEBSITES-2014 Top 10 badge 2012

Follow Us