Tag Archives: Twitter

(Reblogged) How to Save Your Twitter Profile from the Algorithm

I don’t often reblog other blogger’s posts very often, but this one has some important information regarding a Twitter algorithm change that may affect how you see posts in your timeline.

(In other words, they’re trying to emulate the Facebook timeline).

It’s an easy fix, but I didn’t realize they had made the change.

Drew Chial

On February 5, Buzzfeed reported that Twitter was doing away with their chronological timeline in favor of an algorithmic one. Users would no longer see tweets as they were posted in real time, but rather in an order the algorithm thought users wanted to see them. Buzzfeed theorized that this would help manage spam links and adjust Twitter’s signal to noise ratio, but users remained skeptical.

Many users feared, myself included, that Twitter was downgrading everyone in order to sell priority placement tweets to power users, just as Facebook had done with status updates on its Fan Pages. Social media services were shifting stanchions onto their free dance floors, relabeling the spaces as their VIP sections. Twitter appeared to be doing the same; gutting the democracy of the service to benefit a monopoly held by power users, celebrities, and advertisers.

We feared that the algorithm would put an end…

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Thoughts on Everything – A Cover Contest, A Giveaway, And A Bit of Twitter Fun

Today I’ve got a few various bits of news to share, from a fun cover contest, a Goodreads giveaway for Magic’s Stealing, and a bit of fun that can be had on Twitter. 🙂

Starting off…

Author Shout Cover Wars Contest

Last week, Paul Ferrante’s book, The Curse of the Fairfield Witch (which I did the book cover for), won the Author Shout Cover Wars contest and is currently this week’s Book of the Week.

Cover Wars is a fun contest that pits book covers head-to-head to see which can get the most votes for the week. It’s mostly for fun, but it’s neat to see all the options, and it hopefully affords authors a bit more visibility for their books.

SBibb - The Curse of the Fairfield Witch - Book Cover


Speaking of visibility…

Magic’s Stealing Goodreads Giveaway

If you’re in the US and looking for a chance to win a free, signed paperback copy of my YA fantasy novella, Magic’s Stealing, I’ve got a Goodreads giveaway going on from now until January 24th. I’m trying to promote the book, and I figured a giveaway would be a good chance. Not sure if it’ll help promote sales or not, but we’ll see how it goes. 🙂

In the meantime, if you want to see a Goodreads Giveaway from me but you’re not in the US (as I know several of my blog readers aren’t), let me know which countries you want to see a giveaway in, and I’ll run by the post office and see where I can feasibly ship review copies to. I’m hoping to do another giveaway later in the year if this one goes well, and I’d like to open it up to more than just the US. 🙂

Click here to enter the giveaway!

SBibb - Magic's Stealing Cover




Every Wednesday there’s #1lineWed fun on Twitter. Basically, there’s a theme posted every week, and you try to find a line to match that theme from one of your current works-in-progress. It’s a lot of fun, and a good way to meet another writers and see some really awesome lines.

This week, the theme was “Old.” These were my tweets:

“Her face revealed only parsimonious wrinkles, what he fondly referred to as marks of wisdom.” (The Multiverse Chronicles – written by both me and Isaac)

“Faint cracks ran along their stone skins from a long history of mortal fingers stroking the statues for favor.” (The Shadow War)

If you haven’t done so already, put it on your to-do list for next week. They usually announce the theme several days in advance, so if you’re not around for Wednesday, you can still schedule tweets (I use Tweetdeck) to go live at a later date.

That’s it for now. 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this post, and you can look for information about Battle Decks: Trials of Blood and Steel and The Multiverse Chronicles release dates to come very soon. 😀

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Filed under Book Covers, Business Ventures, Writing

Thoughts on Writing – A Short Post

Well, I was going to have a longer post up today, but I forgot to write it yesterday and today was even busier than I expected. So, instead, I’m going to make a quick note on the benefits of scheduling early.

When you have a blog (especially one that allows you to schedule posts, as WordPress does), you may find it handy to write your posts at the time you have the initial idea, then set them to release on a later date. This is what Isaac and I plan to do when we release The Multiverse Chronicles, and what I often do for regular posts (except today). This is a great way to ensure that your posts have a reasonable consistency of release, a great way to schedule guest posts without worrying that you’ll forget to post them on the right day, and a great way to relieve the stress involved with trying to get a post done by 8:00 Monday night. *Ahem.*

You can also schedule tweets, if you use Twitter. I’ve used Tweetdeck, which is also a great tool for managing hashtags and watching a conversation unfold. (A necessity if you work during the day of #Pitmad, which has new rules for next time).

With that said, I hope those are helpful insights.

In other news, Rebekkah Ford did a book feature of Magic’s Stealing on her blog. Click here to find another excerpt from the book (an excerpt which isn’t available in the preview on Smashwords!), and check out the other books she features while you’re at it. 😀

Now I’m off to write a much longer post. Have you found any handy tricks to managing a blog?


Filed under Writing

Thoughts on Gaming – How Online Pet Sim Sites Helped Me Develop as an Author and a Book Cover Designer

My husband recently picked up a free app on his tablet: SimCity BuildIt. It’s a rather addicting game where you build a city by collecting resources from a factory, make various commodities and goods, and then use those goods to upgrade houses or sell on the global market. If you sell the goods, you make simoleons, the game’s currency. Needless to say, Isaac and I managed to work out a system (at least while I’m waiting for my seasonal day job to start back up), where Isaac manages the actual city stuff before and after he does his article-writing job, and I manage the game’s resources and make in-game money. Our city has grown quite well, and I’ve enjoyed playing with the ‘global market’ aspect, in which you figure out what items sell best, how many to sell at one time, and which items are worth the time it takes to make.

All of this got me thinking about how various different games have helped me further my writing and book cover design work, along with marketing.

For example, website design. When my husband and I sat down to create our website for Infinitas Publishing, it reminded me a lot of my time running a Petz fan website, my time playing online, text-based RPGs, and the time I took a class on Dreamweaver in college.

Let’s break these down.

Petz was a PC game ranging from version 1-5, which was actually two separate games: Catz and Dogz. If you bought both, your petz could interact. P.F. Magic (the company that developed the game) encouraged fan sites. A whole community sprang up from this, where fans created elaborate websites where other players could adopt petz, show petz, earn awards for having an awesome looking site, play mini games of ‘find-it’ across the site by looking for a specific images (usually one of the petz or toyz), or download custom content. Most ‘kennelz’ had an about page, an adopt page, and a linkz page (‘S’ was commonly replaced with ‘Z’ if it came at the end of the word, a reference to the name of the game), along with whatever else the site owner wanted to take care of.

I got started in the petz community by adopting petz. Most sites would have an adoption form where you would give your (online) name, your email, name of the pet you wanted to adopt, and state why you wanted that pet. There was usually a code word to insert in the form so they would know you had read their rules. Sometimes you would get the pet (and it was awesome when you did), and sometimes you didn’t. The more popular sites might have several people vying for the same, adorable, pixelated bits of code.

In a similar vein, you could sign up for a site review so that the owner would look at your site, rate it and give you feedback, and hopefully include a link to your site on their review list. Other players who browsed the original site would see the link and click on it… thus bringing you potential ‘business’ in the form of show entries and adopted petz.

How does this relate to writing?

Well, when I started looking at review sites to get a feel for what to expect when sending out review copies of my books, I realized the process was similar. You have to find blogging sites where the site owner hosts reviews. You’ve got to see what criteria the site owner has, then write to them with the reasons why you think they might like your book.

In terms of ‘adoption,’ you want readers to go to your book page, like what they see, then go buy the book.

Anyway, I also mentioned that online text RPGs helped me in setting up the website. Aside from helping me improve my writing, many of the RPGs were hosted by the same site. Basically, the host site used templates. Once you figured out how to use the template, you could easily design an RPG forum, even with restrictions. This came in handy when creating the main site (and in creating a WordPress blog) because I was familiar with the concept, if not how Zoho (the host Isaac and I use for Infinitas Publishing) specifically worked.

My Dreamweaver class came in handy because it taught me the basics of CSS (I already knew basic HTML from my days of running a petz site). Knowing those basics allowed me to do minor alterations to the template so that the site looked more like how Isaac and I wanted it to look.

But having a functional website wasn’t the only thing online games taught me.

I spent several years playing Furry Paws, an online dog-showing simulation. In the game, you have in-game currency, but you also have FPP, which is usually purchased with real money, then used to buy an upgraded account. I was a teenager when I played the game, and I couldn’t funnel real money into an online game. So I created art (various tags for the players on the forums) who would pay me in-game currency, which could then be exchanged for FPP via other players, then be used to buy an upgraded account.

Players also wanted shiny photomanipulations for their show dogs, so I learned to blend images (my first step in learning the skills needed for book cover design) along with learning the basic rules behind creative commons and royalty free licences in terms of personal use for a game. (We couldn’t just grab any old image. I sometimes question if our understanding of those rules might still have been a tad bit off, but we tried our best to keep the use of the images legal).

I also learned, however, the importance of not spamming.

While I usually didn’t fall for this tactic, I joined a horse showing sim on a whim. But unlike Furry Paws, which had regulated forums, the horse site had a relatively unregulated chat room as a means for advertising your in-game sales. As such, about the only way to get your advertisement viewed was to button-mash the enter button with your message and see a whole stream of your ad go up at once (before quickly vanishing due to the next button-masher).

The whole process was ineffective, and I felt scummy afterwards (though that might have had something to do with being home with a fever that day). I didn’t play that game very long, but I did see the value in not spamming, and only ‘bumping’ threads once. On Furry Paws, if you had a strong advertisement or product, other people would comment, and that would keep your thread active.

This was useful background when learning to use Twitter, especially #Pitmad. Pitmad is a pitch contest for writers interested in finding an agent or publisher for their finished manuscript. However, it has a limit of two tweets per hour, per manuscript, because you could otherwise spam the board and make it hard for all the entries to be seen. It’s hard enough as it is.

I recently followed an author on Twitter who posted some really useful links. However, I’ve been considering unfollowing them because they post a couple times an hour, every hour, making it difficult for me to see anything else in my feed. And they’re reposting the same information. I don’t mind if the information is new, but after I’ve seen it a couple time, I want it to cycle through. Maybe once in the evening, once in the morning, but not every hour. I’ve found Twitter Lists, which helps me sort through tweets, but be careful that you don’t end up spamming your followers.

Finally, I wanted to mention fan art. In particular, music videos. While I don’t have any of mine up anymore, at one point I’d made several Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic music videos. Unfortunately, Youtube didn’t like me using popular music, so I took them down (another learning experience regarding copyright law… even though I was trying for fair use). Working on fan videos taught me how to do basic video edits, which I suspect may come in handy when I go to create a book trailer.

There’s plenty more examples that could be made, and plenty of other games I played (Power Pets, Mweor), but that’s all for now. The main point I wanted to make was that because I wanted an in-game commodity, I learned valuable skills that I still use today.

So if you play online games and have learned skills to make that game a more enjoyable experience, you might consider whether you could use those skills in marketing your books, using social media, or creating promotions. You might be surprised what you come up with.

I hope you enjoyed this post. 🙂

Have you ever benefited from skills that you learned in a game?

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Filed under Business Ventures, Gaming, Writing

The Infinitas Publishing Site is now Live!

I’m happy to announce that Isaac and I now have our Infinitas Publishing site live. 😀


Took most of yesterday (including a couple photoshoots) and a few hours here and there to get it up and running, but after finally figuring out how to get the domain properly mapped, it’s now up. You can read about the behind the scenes process on our first blog (written by Isaac): http://infinitaspublishing.com/blogs/post/Behind-the-Website/

A few parts of the site aren’t quite working yet (the upper banner doesn’t want to resize for mobile devices), but I’ve sent an email to the web host to see if they can help.

Also, we have a new twitter account where we’ll be making announcements in regards to the books and games we’re publishing: https://twitter.com/InfinitasPub

Not much up at the moment, but it’s a start. We hope you enjoy it, and we have more plans for it as we continue to move forward. 🙂

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Filed under Business Ventures, Personal Work

Twitter Me This

For today’s post, I’m going to briefly tangent my usual cover work posts to a post about twitter. I’ve had a twitter account for a while now, but I really couldn’t really say I tweeted. Mostly, I used it to keep up to date with industry news. Since it’s used for small amounts of texts, Twitter works great for people and businesses to posts links to news or other blog posts, usually with a little tag noting what it’s about. When I first set up my account, I followed publishers, agents, and authors whose blogs I admired. It was a great way to keep up with news, find out new information I was interested in, and generally keep up to date without having to read every blog post out there.

I pretty much watched Twitter invisibly for several months. Then, here recently, I realized there were some links I wanted to be able to return to easily to refresh my memory (writing advice, mostly), and my favorites folder is invariably overwhelmed by random links. So, I started using the retweet function. The posts now show up on my Twitter feed so I can see them again easily, but also, so I can share blogs I found useful easily. I recently updated my photo and header to make it a bit more unique.

Just thought I’d share. It’s been a useful way to sort through information. 🙂

And, in case you’re curious, you can follow me at https://twitter.com/SBibbPhoto

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Filed under Book Covers, Personal Work, Photo Illustration, Writing