SEO for Authors: Naming Yourself

Something to seriously think about if you plan to be a professional writer.

 

Alicia K. Anderson

What should I call my blog?

What should my Twitter handle be?
Should I use a pseudonym? How will I choose it?
Should I be First Name + Last Name? First intial + Middle name?
What’s in a name?

Here’s your marketing take away killer blurb line:
Your presence online serves for readers to be able to find you. People look for books by Author Name more often than via any other kind of search.  
 
If it’s not too late for you, use your chosen author name for your website, for your twitter handle, for everything you possibly can.  (Including Pinterest, Facebook, Google Plus – all of them. And I don’t care if you don’t use it. Grab your chosen name as soon as you can and park it. Just OWN it.)  When a reader Googles you, your name, your face, your website should show up in search…

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Some of the hard realities of writing

An insight into the modern world of professional writing.

 

Matthew Wright

I didn’t do National November Writing Month, though I was happy to cheer from the sidelines. I’ve been writing professionally for decades, it’s thirty years since I wrote my first book for publication, and every month is NaNoWriMo month for me.

Fitting in writing obligations around everything else that has to be done in a day, including sleep, is a perennial challenge all authors have to meet.

It’s getting more challenging as the publishing industry tightens. Not least because quality MUST NOT get compromised for speed. That’s one of the realities of writing. It’s one authors have to know, understand and accept if they’re to get ahead. It’s also true for self-publishers.

Put another way, the age of authors being able to casually rise from their beds at ten thirty, drift across to the typewriter after a leisurely brunch and tap out a few words, then maybe go fishing for the…

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Is Britain the World’s Creative Capital?

Okay, I am now just starting to procrastinate enough to avoid working on my Word Count (wc) and yet not be distracted enough to forget it.

On LinkedIn, I have Sir Richard Branson on my Influencers list so I get articles from time to time from Virgin. Not written by him but still…

Anyway, today on my Updates Stream, I received this article: http://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/blog/is-britain-the-worlds-creative-capital. This is something I have considered true for many years and is part of the reason I went to university to do a Professional Writing degree. I have often seen articles on the BBC News website, the Daily Mail, the Guardian and various other news outlets saying and giving examples of how the British Creative and Media sectors are some of our biggest exports in the world. They are also arguably the toughest to get into and find consistent employment in.

I don’t really have much to say on this matter but I sincerely just wanted to share this article with you all.

 

Book Review: Air Babylon by Imogen Edwards-Jones & Anonymous

Yes, another Babylon book by Imogen. I don’t know why, but I have really got into these at the moment. Maybe it’s because of my own fruitless job search and these books are about books.

Set in an airport and following employees of a fictional airline, Air Babylon follows the high, lows, the weird and the wonderful events that can take place in an airport as the staff help the young and the elderly, the mad and sometimes the downright ridiculous. All the stories are true, as told to Imogen by Anonymous, a group of industry insiders and take place in one 24 hour period. Only the names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Starting on the ground, Anonymous goes through his shift dealing with various problems and letting the reader follow and explore what happens when someone dies on a flight, how they deal with illegal immigrants, animals being transported in weird and wonderful ways (leading to a chapter in the animal welfare centre), what the chaplaincy service does in the airport and the tricks that passengers try to get free upgrades. There’s also what happens when the rich and famous checks in and flies.

The action then moves into the air, exploring what the captain and first officer does in the cockpit, the tricks that are played on new colleagues, the secrets behind the food on the plane, the entertainment, the different types of passengers and includes, yes, those that want to join the Mile High Club.

There is also a small section that takes place on the ground at the planes destination and what the plane’s crew gets up to during their stopovers. It is very eye-opening.

Just like Hotel Babylon, this book is great fun and is told from the first person perspective. It gives a real insight to the world of air travel post-9/11 and shows just how highly unionised certain jobs and groups within the airport have become. It has the same share of shocks and surprises, amusement and sadness, the funny and the truly crazy that Hotel had. Again, this is the sort of book that would be very appropriate to read in an airport and on a plane…or maybe not!

This is also very interesting and provides a great look at an industry that is often seen as glamorous and very appealing to people to work in and gives the real story of how things work. For anyone wanting to work in the industry or is just interested, this would be a great read for all.

Unlike Hotel, I had a few issues with this book. First off, the swearing again. Far too much in my opinion. Secondly, this has a lot of exposition and a lot of facts and figures are given in large chunks which slows and distracts from the great story being told. Thirdly, and this might be just me, but it took me until very nearly the end of the book before I realised the protagonist, Anonymous, was male! I actually thought the main character was gay for the best part of it. Whoops!

Over all, Air Babylon is a great read and provides a great insight into the excesses, the tricks and the truly shocking things that happen in airports and on board the plane and on the other end. I really enjoyed this book and would definitely re-read and dip back into it when needed during my writing. An excellent read for all (adults)!

Book Review: The Road to Somewhere A Creative Writing Companion by Robert Graham, Helen Newall, Heather Leach and John Singleton

Okay, a return to normal service here.

The Road to Somewhere is not a how to book but rather it covers all the topics from starting to write, the materials you will need for the journey (journals, reading as a writer, etc.), the process of writing itself (including some discussion on poetry and scriptwriting), getting published and further. This is an academic book, aimed at students and teacher of creative writing courses but it is also a good book for individuals too.

This book was on my reading list back in  the first year of my university course but it has become invaluable for me as a companion when writing and when I need advice and I am stuck on things, I have turned to this book for help and advice. It is easy to read and provides practical as well as academic information. This is mainly for students as it was written and edited by current and former lecturers at Manchester Metropolitan University and Edge Hill University. I have looked at other writing courses around the country and seen this book appear time and again on reading lists.

This book also includes Agony Aunt sections covering being scared about failing, not having any ideas, finishing and the next steps, among others. I have used these sections a lot when needing quick help and then consulting the chapters and their essays when I have a bit more time.

I have had various books on my reading lists at university but this is definitely one of my favourites and is the reason I bought it. It might be an academic book but I found out that I could get a second-hand copy in good condition on Amazon Marketplace for cheap. If you are serious about writing and thinking about studying it as an academic subject, I would recommend buying this book.