Thursday, April 21, 2011

Giving Your Characters Life: Online

I am cross posting this on MariMiniatt.com and the Self Published Author Blog

I did something crazy, but fun this weekend. Something other authors have done, but I was a little nervous to try.

Giving your fictional characters on online presence.

I used Twitter for one. Facebook for the other.

How do you do it?

Things you need.

An email with an alias.

A third party client like Hootsuite. Not really needed, but makes it easier to manage.

Email with alias

You are going to need an unique email. You could go through the process of registering for a new email. OR if you have gmail (maybe some others) you can make an alias email address.

1. Log into your gmail. At the top, next to the search box, there are two choices. Click on "create filter"



2. In the TO: box. Enter your email with an alias, so it looks like this email+alias@gmail.com. Your email name with +alias then @gmail.com. Use an alias that is unique, because it is your character, their first name is perfect. Click on Next Step.


3. Create a filer: click on Apply a Label. Use the drop down to make a new label. Enter your character's name. Now everytime an email comes in for your character it will be sorted for you.


4. Last step. Send yourself a test email to see if it work. From you. to You+alias.

All done. Good.

Twitter

You set up your fictional character profile, like yours. BUT use the alias email. Twitter only allows one profile per email. The alias email gets around that.

Here is mine for Steopa: @SteopaR

Noticed I did not come out an say he is fictional. But anyone reading his bio should figure that out. For the website, use yours. Unless you are maintaining a website for the character as well.

Here is another good example: @crookedfang


Facebook


YOU CANNOT CREATE ANOTHER PROFILE. Facebook will kick you off for that.
What you have to do is make a page:

Very simple.

1.Go to: https://www.facebook.com/pages

2.Click on create page.



3.Choose Entertainment


4. In the drop down box. FICTIONAL CHARACTER!

Facebook made it easy. Follow the rest of the instructions as you make the profile and page. As you fill out the profile; you could use your alias email as the characters email. But, it will be visible.

Once you get 25 likes; your address for you page changes from https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Vincent-Hugh/149281288471540 to https://www.facebook.com/Vincent-Hugh

What can you do with them?

1. Interact with fans as the characters.
2. Help promote your book.
3. Help you practice writing in your character's voice.
4. Have fun.

Don't go too overboard. Plan it so you only have to spend a few minutes to an hour a day maintaining them. That is where a program like Hootsuite will help. On the free version you can link up to 5 different social networking profiles. I find it works better for keeping twitter straight. Facebook moves slow enough that all I have to do is log into the page or twice a day to keep it maintained.

I hope this helps and gives you some ideas.

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