Promoting Your Book on Twitter: 10 Tips for Shy Writers

I know Twitter can be a confusing medium for many authors – what can you say in 140 characters or less to promote your book? In my opinion, Twitter is actually a writer’s dream for those who like to write short, like the absence of a lot of images, and are willing to experiment.

A news service that the users create, Twitter is a great resource to meet other writers, agents, editors, and book bloggers, people who love to read and review books.

10 Tips on Promoting Your Book on Twitter

1. Open an account on Twitter. Choose a name that is easily recognizable, ideally your author name. In the long run, as an author, you are your brand. If you choose a name like “jamie123” this won’t help you build name recognition.

2. Bring in your email contacts. Twitter makes this easy. In this way, you can see who you already know on Twitter.

3. Craft a profile that tells us 1) you’re an author and what genre you write (romance, how-to, memoir, etc.); 2) your interests that reflects your personality; and 3) what can entice us to want to get to know you better. There is a separate field for your website or blog site, so don’t put that in your Twitter profile.

4. Draft tweets ahead of time because you’d rather be writing, right? Use a service like Hootsuite.com, BufferApp.com, SocialOomph.com, or Tweetdeck — all with free versions — to schedule tweets ahead of time. You can also use these tools to reply to people, and follow conversations. More on Twitter conversations below.

5. Spend most of your time interacting directly and publicly with people who follow you, retweet (RT) you, and “favorite” your tweets. You do this by using the @ Connect tab on the Twitter menu. I spend 90% of my time here.

6. Interact in conversations that relate to your book. You do this by clicking on the “# Discover” tab. This is where you can type in a keyword with or without the # sign, or hashtag. Authors often ask me how to use the hashtag. By typing in your keyword with a hashtag, like “#amwriting” — a hashtag used to connect with others writers who are writing — you can stay in touch and be a part of a larger conversation happening around the virtual water cooler.

7. Use the 5-5-5 rule to keep your time focused and limited: Spend 5 minutes responding to tweets, follows, and replies. Spend a second 5 minutes following new people. Twitter offers suggestions all the time on the left-hand side. You can also use the “# Discover” tab. Use the final 5 minutes crafting tweets, thanking, sharing, and inviting.

8. Take risks. Sometimes we don’t know what will work until we try it. There’s lots of room for experiment and play. As long as you are in line with what you stand for (your platform, really), then what you do on Twitter (and by extension the other social media channels), you can feel good about your actions.

9. Learn from the masters or the more experienced authors. When I see a book marketing campaign done by another author that I think is really cool, I try it — with my own spin, of course.

10. Participate in conversations. There is a plethora of hashtags that writers are using to connect, promote, and learn. As I mentioned above, there’s #amwriting. There’s also #amediting. If you’d like to participate in a live conversation, the tool to use is Tweetchat, a free service, at http://tweetchat.com/.

Two other very popular hashtags are #FF or #FollowFriday, and #WW or #WriterWednesday. If you type these in the Search box, you’ll see lots of writers using these. The primary purpose of both of these is to give a shout out to your followers (#FF) and to your friends and colleagues (#WW).

Source:

http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/03/promoting-your-book-on-twitter-10-tips-for-shy-writers/

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Why Hidden Figures should win the best picture Oscar

Traditionally the period drama sweeps the red carpet at the Academy Awards, training the best picture statuette in its sights with the aid of lavish costumes, detailed sets, a casual approach to factual accuracy and important historical figures stuttering or slaying evil kings. In 2017, however, it’s not easy to argue the case for this sort of crowd-pleaser when the rest of this year’s slate boasts largely gritty, groundbreaking and norm-challenging nominees. But Hidden Figures manages to both stay faithful to the genre’s most enjoyable elements while puncturing the boundaries with a knowing kick of its kitten heel.

Theodore Melfi’s biopic tells the previously untold story of Katherine G Johnson (Taraji P Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), a trio of female African-American mathematicians working behind the scenes at Nasa in the early 1960s. These human computers helped to mastermind the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit during the great space race at a time when, in Virginia, Jim Crow laws were still in effect, there being two entrances, toilets and coffee pots, to separate white and black Americans. Indeed, it’s still shocking to see the “colored” signs that delineate them on screen.

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The civil rights movement gently gathers pace in the background, whether it’s flashes of Martin Luther King on television or Dorothy encountering a protest outside the library. But the focus here is on the three friends’ individual battles within the forcefield of racism and sexism. As a result the film feels contemporary, rather than just a timely reminder of the troubling past. Dorothy faces off with Kirsten Dunst’s prim supervisor about equal pay and promotion; Mary wins the right to train as Nasa’s first female black engineer; Katherine negotiates being the only woman in a room full of fusty white male colleagues with unflattering buzz cuts. These are everyday encounters won out by sassy, headstrong leads, proving that Hollywood films centred on black characters can be positive as well as successful (it is the highest grossing of this year’s best picture nominees).

Source:

https://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2017/feb/21/why-hidden-figures-should-win-the-best-picture-oscar

Donald Glover, James Earl Jones cast in Disney’s live-action “Lion King”

That’s right: Favreau’s upcoming live-action adaptation of The Lion King, first announced in September, will star Donald Glover as Simba—the adult version of the character voiced in the original film by Matthew Broderick—and James Earl Jones, who will once again play wise lion monarch Mufasa. Disney officially confirmed the casting in a press release Friday night, adding that in the film, “Disney and Favreau will build on the groundbreaking technology used in The Jungle Book to bring the story of Simba to photorealistic life.”

This announcement should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention to Hollywood lately. Glover, still hot off his best actor Golden Globe win for his FX comedy Atlanta, has recently emerged as one of the industry’s most in-demand young stars, especially for blockbuster franchises; he’s set to appear in this summer’s sure-thing blockbuster Spider-Man: Homecoming, and he’s currently filming Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s highly anticipated, still-untitled Star Wars anthology film about Han Solo—another Disney property. (Glover will play a young Lando Calrissian, a part originated by Billy Dee Williams.)

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As for Jones? He’s a living legend with an unmistakeable, inimitable voice; as long as the 86-year-old actor is available to reprise his role, it would simply feel wrong to see any other actor take on the part of Simba’s wise father. (In a neat coincidence, Jones, of course, also has a history with the Star Wars franchise; he voiced the fearsome Darth Vader in George Lucas’s original trilogy, as well as a split-second of Revenge of the Sith.)

The Lion King does not yet have a release date, though it does have a place on an increasingly crowded Disney slate of live-action adaptations; in addition to another iteration of the studio’s 1994 animated hit, it’s also planning live-action takes on a horde of films including Mulan, The Little Mermaid, Dumbo, and Snow White, among others. (Oh, and an Aladdin that the studio promises will not star a white guy.) Its live-action Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, hits theaters in March.

Source:

http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2017/02/lion-king-disney-live-action-donald-glover-james-earl-jones-simba-mufasa

China’s latest robot police officer can recognise faces

This intelligent robot in China could be the cop of the future.  AnBot is the first robot in China trained to carry out security checks and has started working in one of China’s busiest airport, reports the People’s Daily Online. 

The droid will patrol the departure hall of terminal three at Shenzhen International Airport in southern China.

The 4ft 9in robot has four high-definition digital cameras and is able to use mobile face recognition.

Images are then passed on to security stations where they will be analysed. 

The 165-pound robot is designed with four main capabilities which are independent patrol, face recognition, intelligent service and emergency response. 

The droids have a top speed of 11 miles per hour (18kph) and can even taser people. 

The taser is activated by someone in the control room. 

According to China.org.cn, the robots can also answer questions about flight information. 

The aim is that some pressure can be taken off airport police during the airport’s busy periods. 

AnBot was developed by Shenzhen Public Security Bureau, the National University of Defense Technology and a domestic technology company. 

It’s hoped that more robots will be deployed in other terminals of the airport. 

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Source:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/peoplesdaily/article-3803748/Robotic-policeman-Anbot-begins-patrolling-China-trouble-makers-ruthless-TASER.html

India wants to make credit and debit cards obsolete for payments

In its bid to promote digital economy in the country, Government of India has launched a new payment method using QR codes.

After various new payment methods like UPI payment and BHIM App for smartphones, Government of India has now launched Bharat QR code.

 

Bharat QR Code, the latest initiative to boost digital transactions, will make use of QR codes system for payments across merchant outlets. The solution comes as a first of its kind throughoout the globe.

As of today, QR code system is the easiest method of payment for users. However, different merchant outlets across the country use different QR codes.

Bharat QR code aims at standardising the QR code payment method through the country. For this, payment networks like MasterCard, American Express, National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) and Visa have collaborated to promote wider acceptance of the Bharat QR payment method.

The prevailing method of payment necessitates a consumer to swipe a debit or a credit card and enter its PIN code to authenticate the payment.

However, after the introduction of Bharat QR code, a consumer can simply open his or her banking app or BHIM app, scan the merchant’s QR code, enter the payable amount and enter the four digit code to authenticate the transaction.

The amount will be directly transferred to the merchant’s bank account once the transaction is complete.

In short, Bharat QR code will provide customers with an easy scan and pay option irrespective of their card type.

Both the merchant and the customer will receive instant notification after the payment is successful.

The method would eliminate the need of PoS machines on a merchant outlet.

This will help merchants in avoiding investments in PoS machines and the transaction fees charged by the banks for transactions through the PoS systems.

The merchants will now just need to avail the Bharat QR code for their outlet and display it at the payment desk.

Bharat QR code will certainly remove a lot of discrepancies in using digital money for the citizens.

Firstly, the individual payment portals like Paytm, Freecharge and MobiKwik required money to be transferred into their wallets first and then be used for further payments.

Also, to make payments through these portals, both the parties involved in the transaction must be using the same payment service to make it possible.

From the merchant’s perspective, these apps charge a transactional fee from them. Also, there is a limit to the amount of payment that can be put in these portals.

Bharat QR code will eliminate all such roadblocks as it is directly linked to the bank. The payments will go straight to the merchant’s bank account through IMPS. Also, there is no limit to the amount of money the merchant can put in the bank.

Hence digital payments will be made much easier for both the parties after this launch.

If in case a user loses his or her smartphone, all they need to do is call their respective bank and inform them of the mishap.

The initiative will also support payments through UPI Payment Address and AAdhaar Number soon.

Source:

http://www.news18.com/news/tech/bharat-qr-launched-all-you-need-to-know-about-the-qr-code-based-payment-system-1351571.html

Japan’s latest mascot is a flying drone puppy

In perhaps the first case of a robot being picked, the town of Oji in Nara, Japan, has picked a flying puppy as the area’s official mascot.

The mechanical dog, named Yukimaru Skywalker, has made his flying debut in a promotional video as he floats past attractions including the Yamato River, Mount Myolin, Mount Akishi, the Eternal Bell, and Daruma Temple.

The pup is powered by a quadcopter and while in motion, moved its paw

In one video, Yukimaru passes the spot where the drone’s namesake a white dog called Yukimaru, is buried. The dog belonged to ruler Prince Shotoku (574-622), a member of the imperial clan who created Japan’s first constitution for political affairs and was said to be the politician’s beloved pet.

According to legend, Prince Shotoku assisted a beggar he found by the roadside by offering him food and drink.

However, the beggar — which was secretly Buddhist monk Bodhidharma in disguise — “died,” and Shotuku chose to honor him by burying him in a tomb. A few days later, the body had vanished.

The legend is linked to the creation of the Dali Temple.

 

According to the town’s Facebook page, a human version of Yukimaru is also in frequent attendance at public events:

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Every animal from a bottlenose to a sheep and cat have appeared on town and city mascot lists, but a drone is an unusual contribution. However, considering the pup’s namesake and history of the town, perhaps you couldn’t find a more fitting promotor for the town.

Source:

http://www.zdnet.com/article/japanese-town-chooses-flying-puppy-drone-as-official-mascot/

Microsoft CEO says artificial intelligence is the ‘ultimate breakthrough’

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella kicked off a three-day visit to India in the nation’s startup hub, Bengaluru, by speaking on a number of topics close to his heart, meeting the startup community and announcing a critical partnership with Flipkart.

“First one is cloud and AI, and they kind of go together,” said Satya Nadella. The fact that you have the power of the Internet and infrastructure to read large amounts of data is what powers artificial intelligence. And India is well on its way to rolling out technologies and services powered through the cloud and magic of AI, according to Satya Nadella.

The second thing that’s exciting, according to Nadella, is the power of Cortana, which is like the third runtime when it comes to humans’ interaction with computers is concerned. Natural language processing and the ability to converse with a computer, phone, gadget or service — powered through Microsoft Azure Cloud — is the ultimate promise of Cortana. And it’s also being rolled out around several products and partnerships (Microsoft & Tata Motors, for instance).

And thirdly, just like Tim Cook spoke about this last week, Satya Nadella also believes that Augmented Reality holds a revolutionary potential in its applications through breakthrough technology — like the Microsoft HoloLens. He spoke about just how excited he was the very first time he tried on the Microsoft HoloLens, trying to go through a virtual anatomy class, something that blew his mind away in terms of the limitless potential of AR and VR technology.

On Entrepreneurship

Three years after being appointed as Microsoft CEO in February 2014, Satya Nadella — who’s an alumnus of Manipal Institute of Technology batch of 1988 — also had discussions on digital transformation in India, the need for intelligent cloud, and other topics to ensure speedy digitization of the nation. In terms of startups, Satya Nadella said there was a lot of potential for entrepreneurs to achieve great things by solving unique problems in India through the power of technology, reaffirming Microsoft’s commitment to building the relevant tools and technology platform that enables and empowers others to build great technologies on top of them.

Microsoft & Flipkart strategic partnership

Flipkart will adopt Microsoft Azure as its exclusive public cloud platform, the partnership was announced by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Flipkart Group CEO Binny Bansal at an event in Bangalore.

Source:

http://www.indiatimes.com/lifestyle/technology/satya-nadella-in-india-talks-entrepreneurship-ai-ar-revolution-flipkart-partnership-271922.html

Netherlands’ electric trains become 100 percent wind-powered

All Dutch electric trains are now powered by wind energy, the national railway company NS has said .

“Since 1 January, 100% of our trains are running on wind energy,” said NS spokesman, Ton Boon.

Dutch electricity company Eneco won a tender offered by NS two years ago and the two companies signed a 10-year deal setting January 2018 as the date by which all NS trains should run on wind energy.

“So we in fact reached our goal a year earlier than planned,” said Boon, adding that an increase in the number of wind farms across the country and off the coast of the Netherlands had helped NS achieve its aim.

Eneco and NS said on a joint website that around 600,000 passengers daily are “the first in the world” to travel thanks to wind energy. NS operates about 5,500 train trips a day.

One windmill running for an hour can power a train for 120 miles, the companies said. They hope to reduce the energy used per passenger by a further 35% by 2020 compared with 2005.

This article was amended on 11 January 2017. An earlier version said all Dutch trains were now 100% powered by wind-generated electricity, according to the national railway company NS. The company said all electric trains were now powered by wind energy.

Source:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/10/dutch-trains-100-percent-wind-powered-ns

India starts drilling for its first undersea bullet train

Drills for India’s first bullet train has begun, according to reports. Construction of the 7-kilometres (about 4.3 miles) undersea rail corridor between Mumbai and Ahmadabad in western India is slated to begin in 2018.

The drilling will help ascertain soil conditions under water. “Soil and rocks below the 70-meter-deep see are being tested as part of the geo-technical and geo-physical investigation undertaken for the entire project,” a senior Railway Ministry official reportedly said. 

Estimated to cost about Rs 97.6 billion ($14.5 billion), 80% of the project’s funding will come by way of a loan from Japan that operates the Shinkansen bullet train between Tokyo and Osaka. India will replicate that system. The project cost includes possible cost escalation, interest during construction and import duties. 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who traveled to Japan last year traveled in the Shinkansen bullet train alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Japan’s decision to give virtually free finance for Modi’s pet program is reportedly part of its broader push back against China’s involvement in infrastructure development in South Asia over the past several years. 

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Currently it takes about seven hours to travel between the Mumbai and Ahmedabad and the bullet train aims to reduce it to about two hours. Construction of the corridor is expected to be completed by 2023 provided it starts next year.

As always, Twitter users had quite a few cents to spare on the topic.

Mark Cuban: Robots will ‘cause unemployment and we need to prepare for it’

Investor and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban reiterated his warning that total robot takeover of blue-collar manufacturing jobs could come sooner than people may expect.

“Automation is going to cause unemployment and we need to prepare for it,” he tweeted on Sunday night, sharing a Medium article about similar warnings in recent weeks by Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Stephen Hawking.

In December, Cuban, a Shark Tank judge who has invested in Amazon and Netflix, penned a blog post that called on the President of the United States Donald Trump to make America a world leader in robotics, otherwise, “if nothing in the States changes, we will find ourselves dependent on other countries for almost everything that can and will be manufactured in a quickly approaching future.”

Source:

http://fortune.com/2017/02/20/mark-cuban-automation-robots-prepare-artificial-intelligence-ai-unemployment/

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