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Fan Pages, Sweet Romance, & Open Submissions!

Good morning, all!

I’m here to share a few FaceBook tidbits for some amazing FaceBook Fan Pages, and a special FREE READ TREAT!

Become an Ashley Ludwig Fan on FaceBook: Follow THIS LINK to FACEBOOK and join me — where we chat about this and that and upcoming releases.

Become a fan of SWEET ROMANCE: Follow THIS LINK to join SWEET ROMANCE AUTHORS on FACEBOOK – lovely ladies, many with an enviable time for Promotion!

Become a fan of LAMP POST PUBLISHING: Follow THIS LINK to join LAMP POST PUBLISHING on FACEBOOK – Lamp Post, a publisher of edifying Christian Fiction, ventures into fiction Genres – outside of mere Romance – into areas of Suspense, Action, Adventure, Science Fiction, and Fantasy. Incidentally, Lamp Post is also open to submissions right now! www.lamppostpubs.com

Social Networking Free Weekends

I made a promise to my husband a while back.

I promised, avowed, and affirmed that I would not social network on weekends. No facebook. No twitter. Very little e-mail. (Just so I wouldn’t be buried on a Monday morning.)

And guess what?

Everyone is still there when I return on Mondays. Still chattering away about the latest debacle of the government, the implosion of the publishing industry, whether or not one has time to curl up with a cup of coffee to be read to by a hot, British actor. Still twittering and discussing, and message looping. And though I long to know what my college roommate had for dinner last night and how her children received it, just as she longs to know about me and mine, they can wait a few days.

Why?

For the sake of my marriage. For the sake of my friendships and family.

Think to yourself. How many times have you not picked up the phone because you didn’t need to ask how someone was doing? You already knew?

I challenge you to stay social network free for 4 weekends in a row. Can you do it? Can you sign off from myspace or facebook on a Friday and stay away all weekend?

Give it a try and let me know how it goes?

All a Twitter

I’m an Anthropologist.

I’m a novelist.

I study people. I write about people. And now, facing the release of my first novel – and analyzing the beleaguered publishing industry – I’ve been analyzing the social networking platforms that we writers can use to promote our wares.

First of all – there’s the blog. No brainer. Here, I can show you (not tell you — wink) my writing style. My sense of humor. Where my interests fall. If yours match up, we’ve found each other. The music can play, and we can run across a field of flowers, spinning while the hills come alive with music. Or, at least, you can get a free read, a cheap fast, fun e-read, and news of the much awaited Novel… note to self! start the countdown clock! it’s almost May 1!! So, I have my “About Ashley Ludwig” Blog – current place of residence. I am also a regular blogger at www.mamawriters.com. This is where other ladies, like myself, who work, write, and raise kids, discuss our foibles and follies. The ups and downs. The ins and outs of the trade. On Wednesday, we highlight the authors who have “made it.” With publishing contracts or agents, or what have you. I drool over someday being a Wednesday MamaWriter.

Secondly – there’s FaceBook. I’ve friended many. I love FaceBook. Where else can you refriend someone you sat in front of in Journaling class in 4th grade? 🙂 Waves to Kym!

Third – there’s twitter. Now, Twitter is something that I have eyed much like the container in the back of the fridge that could be cookie dough, or could be meat loaf from two weeks ago. I’m happier thinking it’s cookie dough, and leaving it alone as testament to my new bent on health! but, it’s probably meatloaf. Still. I must determine the truth. It must be inspected. It must be dealt with. One cannot put off moldy meatloaf forever, however one wants to.

The point is this: The world is twittering. The news is twittering. The entertainment industry is twittering. And no one really knows why.

So, as an author – who could use some followers, and as an anthropologist, who is vastly interested in social behavior – I’ve taken two steps to twittering:

One, I am @QuickieReads. I read and review books in 140 characters or less. Is this fair? Well, as an author – I’d say, yes. I want to know how the review moved you. But ultimately, I want to know if you recommend it or not. SO, @QuickieReads will tell you this.

Two, I am @WireMamma. (See MamaWriters Blog above.) This is where I plan on twittering about the novel, about interviews, about my writing career in 140 characters or less.

The question becomes, who to follow and why? Should I follow Nathan Bransford, literary agent – because everyone else does? Should I follow fellow authors? Editors? Publishers? Publisher’s Weekly? The New York Times? As my list of following and followeds gets larger, this really gives me pause. Too much information ceases to be news and becomes noise. If everyone is tweeting, does anyone really pay attention? that said…if everyone is following each other around (mental picture of Verizon ads)…is anyone actually going anywhere? Are we all just stumbling around in circles, yammering into space?

Now, I realize I’m an inspriational author. But I have to give props to a blog I follow: Smart B*****S, Trashy Books. They are only following about 30 people. Their following is much larger – close to 3,000. But, these ladies are actually vetting their follows. In that small bit of information they receive, they are actually filtering out the noise to determine some sort of news. I’m fascinated with how they operate. Though the content is abrasive – ahem, that’s their point: They call them like they see them – their method is pure. I’m a fan. I love the irreverence. I respect the platform in the spirit it’s being given. And, (hangs head) I follow them on Twitter.

My goal over the next few weeks is to see how @QuickieReads and @WireMamma can work to deliver meaningful content to the twitter-sphere. I promise to strive to deliver meaningful news, and not random observations about cleaning out the fridge. Give me a follow… We’ll see where we go, and return to analyze the results one month from tomorrow…which, incidentally, is All or Nothing‘s release day.

Why do I Blog?

I was asked today at work – of all things – what is the purpose of a blog. That got me thinking… because–as you know–I love to blog. It’s my journal. It’s my way of keeping in contact with people who have similar likes and interests (such as you all!), and of course, it’s a way of sharing triumphs and tragedies, and contemplating this fast paced world we live in. Things change by the minute around here. Okay. Sometimes, even by the second.

Blogs are a great way to stay connected. Add a follower, or two, and you have people who are pinged when you post something new! If you have a contest, people can participate by the tens, twenties, and even hundreds! If you keep up with the latest technologies, it’s a great place to pool resources, and find out if other folks can rate a product (see e-reader posts), or e-book Applications to see what we’re all talking about. We keep up with predators and editors, and congratulate one another on a job well done.

Most of my readers are either small press authors, e-book authors, mothers, friends, family, or all of the above. Perhaps even a co-worker or two. I cherish each and every comment, and do my best to respond to every one. It’s how we roll. Blogging is just a natural part of my thought process, much as FaceBook has become part of my social life. (See my husband shake his head, in his inability to understand my need for online interaction).

I’m an odd case. I work remotely, for a company in New Jersey. I keep odd hours, as I’m a full time working mother, so my writing time comes in the late evening and early morning. When asked, I’m sure most don’t understand – but my husband can attest to my idiosincracies. He always knows when I’m deep in edits or writing, as the house descends into utter chaos!

So, why add blogging on top of all that? Because of you. So, thanks for stopping by. Leave a comment, and I’ll answer. 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend.

Saving Face…

I’m undergoing a little experiment. I’ve recently signed up for facebook and I’m trying to determine if it’s a fun diversion or a time sucker.

Any thoughts on the matter?

Points for:
1. Finding old friends
2. Staying in touch with friends out of town
3. Networking with fellow employees
4. It’s like instant messenger on steroids

Points against:
1. Time spent adding silly applications is basically wasted, while we pin flair on each other and serve up margaritas
2. Time wasted looking for people who I could care less if I ever talked to again
3. Be careful what you post online – see networking with fellow employees. ha ha.

The jury is out. Are any of you face-bookers? Feel free to friend me and we can chat about it!

~Ash