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Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World Paperback – September 24, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
Until now, I've viewed Kristen as a humorous and insightful social media blogger. In this book, she also proves herself a first-class arbiter of social media philosophy (without losing her sense of humor). She delves into the history of technology, drawing from sources such as Malcolm Gladwell, Robert Greene, and Neil Postman. Did you know, for instance, that Goethe predicted our current dilemma? He saw the future as a "velicopedic age," characterized by speed and the deadening of the human spirit.
Kristen calls her solution "WANA" -- We Are Not Alone. It's simultaneously a movement, an Internet community, and an intimate manner of book marketing. She advocates a "holistic" approach to social media, one that sees platform as "a living work of art that is meshed with the soul of the writer-artist."
Don't worry if all this sounds big and vague. She covers specifics in sections titled "Learning to Blog" and "Putting Together a Plan" -- ten steps to build an author platform, including crafting a "word cloud" to find all the facets of your "brand" (a term used loosely to mean "who you are").
Kristen mostly targets fiction authors, but as a nonfiction writer, I found plenty of tips I'd overlooked. This week I'll be working Kristen's plan as I learn to align my platform to art and soul, share more of myself online (difficult for an introvert, but Kristen provides guidelines), and totally immerse myself in this brave new world!
Highly recommended, especially if you're new to online platform building and feeling a bit intimidated.
I am most impressed with her plan for building an author platform. I still haven't finished all ten of her steps to success, and I doubled the following of my blog in four days. FOUR DAYS! Kristen is crazy brilliant and she really wants to help authors succeed. I follow her blog and she even agreed to be my friend on Facebook.
Kristen's wild sense of humor doesn't leak through as much early in this book, but don't worry she'll make you laugh a few times (laugh while learning - awesome)!
Kristen's advice, tips and tricks are easy to understand and implement. Did you know that fiction writers aren't experts? They're story tellers! Don't believe me? Read this book! She covers it. Kristen breaks down the necessities for writers and authors from building a word cloud and platform to writing a "high concept blog". Added bonus: She does it with a sense of humor. Her advice will leave you feeling clean and accomplished.
Kristen's explanations of what social media is and is not, and the advantages and disadvantages are crisp and refreshing. She leaves specifics where they belong, in the hands of individual site experts, and opens a whole new view of author platform and branding. She goes no more than a page or two without stressing how vital a brand is as a connection point to every potential reader, and takes no excuses. Don't have a book ready for publication? Start now. Already have three books and no platform? Start now. Traditionally published? Start now! Blog, be active on social media. And she doesn't leave it there.
Her advice on blogging, the do's and don'ts, finding topics, are just as clear as the rest. I'd never heard the term High Concept til I read Rise of the Machines, but High Concept makes sense. The ideas that make us human. Love, hope, happiness, and funny kitten videos. Her writing took my instincts by the collar and shook them awake, giving me the direction I need to truly plan and execute a platform. Like Tony Stark and the Iron Man suit, her words and style guide authors through each command and control. Frank and devoid of the typical 1000 likes a day promises, this book takes for granted that we live in an era of technology so integrated that we, at times, feel more like the suit than the man. This book surpassed any expectations I might have had about social media advice, and showed me how to own that suit and use it to fly.