New Facebook and Instagram Accounts

You may remember that a little over a month ago, my Facebook and Instagram accounts were suspended for no reason that I can guess. It could have been that someone reported me, that something I posted tripped a bot/algorithm or they found out I write under a pen name, which is against their TOS for a profile (but not a page, a famous person or a drag queen, go figure).

Anywho, today they disabled them completely, so I started new profiles and pages: Facebook and Instagram. It’s going to take me a while to catch up on all the news that happened while I was away. So please be patient as I rebuild.

While it sucks to lose all my friends and followers, if they are true friends or fans, they will find me again. I am choosing to look at this as an opportunity to start over and have more control over who I friend and what I see. I was in way too many groups anyway. ūüėČ

What I Have Learned from This Experience

  • Build your email list as much as you can. Social media can be taken away from you at any time. (Have you signed up for my newsletter? If not, please do so now in case this happens again–I don’t want to lose you twice! It just might.)
  • Tighten your security as much as possible. FB lets you designate three to five people who can help you recover your account if something happens and I’m sure there are other ways of locking it down. You bet I will investigate every one of them.
  • If you have a page, set someone you trust as an administrator. Any way you can have other people will access to your account (within reason, of course) will help you if you ever get in trouble with our social media overlords.
  • Don’t accept friend requests from people you can’t trust. I don’t want to believe it, but it could have been a friend, family member or fellow author who reported me. So I’m going to be extra careful who I friend. There’s no guarantee it won’t happen with the new accounts. If we know each other well, you are welcome on my profile. If not, everyone is welcome on my page!
  • Be careful what you post. I’m not saying to not have opinions or censor yourself- I certainly won’t because it isn’t who I am. But just to give one example of the world we live in, apparently you can’t use the word “suicide” on any social media anymore. I had the word in a poem. That could be what got flagged. I don’t know how one is supposed to keep up with banned terms, but they do exist.
  • Think twice if you write under a pen name. FB allows drag queens and famous actors/authors to use pen names, but not the rest of us. Just go in knowing this may happen to you. One of my fairly famous author friends has been banned from FB four times for that exact reason. She just keeps coming back.
  • These companies don’t respond to their users. I spent a month and at least a dozen email and form exchanges with them to no avail. I provided multiple forms of ID and proof that [insert legal name here] really is Nicole Evelina. I sent them a “proof of life” photo with things they requested visible on a piece of paper. Yet this morning FB was still claiming I never protested my suspension. FB has no real person you can call and most of FB/Insta’s emails are no reply. Even if you do get an email that looks like it is from a real person and reply back, you won’t hear anything. Plus, the emails you do get will contradict each other. Or at least that was my experience.

So, anyway, here we are. I hope you will follow me on my new accounts. And have you signed up for my newsletter yet?

Just to be clear – I am only calling out drag queens in this post because they are a rare (and hard-fought) exception to the rules. I really like drag as an art form and would never want to disrespect anyone.

TOAFQ is a Contest Finalist & Other Fun Stuff

The Once and Future Queen has been shortlisted in its first contest: The Chanticleer Reviews¬†2017 Instruction and Insight Non-Fiction Book Awards. We’ll find out if it takes home the Grand Prize in its category on April 21, or maybe even Book of the Year! (Hey, it can’t hurt to hope!)

I’ve also had some really fun things happen lately and if you don’t follow me on social media, you might have missed them:

  1. A blogger told me that she’ll be using The Once and Future Queen as part of her sources for presentation she’s giving at her local library and that she has asked them to purchase my books for the library. This is proof that targeted blog tours can result in sales!
  2. My audio book narrator for Been Searching for You, Ashley Clements gave the book a shout out on Instagram Live.
  3. Susan Weintrob did this really cool review of Madame Presidentess where she added in a recipe for the tomato sup Victoria is said to have ordered at Delmonico’s.
  4. Here’s my first moment of having someone fangirl over my books (and on video, no less):

If you can help out Kelly’s literacy project, please do!

Also, I have several books in free giveaways on BookFunnel this month:

  1. NonfictionThe Once and Future Queen
  2. Mythological March Madness¬†Daughter of Destiny and Camelot’s Queen

Please tell all your friends if they want free books!

Social Media Rule #1 for Writers: Be Social!

So many social media choices... (Base image modified by me. "stick figure - choosing" By Obsidian Soul (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

So many social media choices… (Base image modified by me. “stick figure – choosing” By Obsidian Soul (Own work)) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Social media is¬†an interesting part of modern life, especially for a writer. We’re constantly told to use it to build a platform and connect with possible fans, who will hopefully buy our books. I get the logic behind that, but not the way some people go about it. Some people¬†blast links to¬†their books or reviews all day long.¬†But you know what I’ve found it most useful for? Making friends!

Yes, just like everyone else, social media should first and foremost for writers be about making connections. To give you an example, last December on Twitter, I met up with a wonderful group of writers from across the world. I’m not exactly sure how it happened. I was off work (day job) for Christmas break and was participating in a few writing contests, while working feverishly to finish the first draft of my second book. Somewhere in there, we just came together, like it was meant to be.¬†Soon @dyingechoes¬†and @adrianaryansc¬†called¬†us Team Awesome (#TeamAwesome) and¬†@EmmieMears¬†was declaring 2013 would be our year.

Now we do writing/editing/researching sprints together and we just held our first virtual happy hour. An agent among our group came to represent one of our writers and we’re up to about a dozen or so members. I can’t speak for the rest of Team Awesome, but I feel like we’re really friends and I can’t imagine life without them. None of us try to sell our books to each other, but we have read each other’s work and in some cases have become critique partners and collaborators. Most of all, we’re support for each other¬†in a profession that can be both isolating and lonely.

And that’s not to mention how much Twitter influenced NaNoWriMo for me, or how it helped me get my agent – but those are stories for another day.

I’m slowly figuring out the Facebook page/profile thing.¬†For me, the biggest advantage there has been to connect with groups of other Arthurian/Celtic enthusiasts who I can learn from. Some are even historians whose work I’ve used in my research or authors I’ve long admired. Without social media, I wouldn’t have had the chance to interact with them, ask questions¬†or meet with people of like mind. Sometimes through our interactions we naturally¬†end up subscribing to each other’s blogs or buying each other’s books, but very few are overtly selling, which is the key.

Now I’m trying out a new form of social media called PushPages. I found out about it from my favorite actress and muse, Rachelle Lefevre, who tweeted about it. The thing I like about PushPages, besides being really easy to use, is that the whole point of it is a giant Q&A. It’s like an ongoing interview that allows you to get to know people. It seems to be very new, and could possibly be a rival for Tumblr (which I cannot for the life of me figure out.)¬† If you have any questions for me, drop by and ask. I’ll answer as long as they aren’t proposals of marriage or anything obscene. ūüôā What its long-term benefits are remain to be seen, but I like the idea of being able to interact with people spontaneously.

There are so many types of social media, I could go on for another 1,000 words. (If you want to read another great article visit Andy Rane’s page.) I guess¬†my¬†point¬†is this: if you’re going to use social media as a writer, or a purveyor of goods of any sort, get to know people and transactions will naturally follow. Shouting about your books or shoving them in people’s faces is just going to annoy them. Be a friend first and if anything else is meant to come of it, it will. And you’ll be enriched in the meantime. Who knows what friendships or future business connections you may make?

What about you? How do you use social media? Which ones do you prefer? What have your experiences with writers, celebrities or anyone else with a product to sell been like? Who do you think does social media particularly well? Do you have any tips on using it successfully?