*** NEW Online Content | Social Media Strategy

Any self-respecting business nowadays has a website as well as presence on all the social media outlets.

But it’s not just enough to be online – to have a single static page – your website needs to be visually striking and be content-rich, featuring full information on services, costs, samples of recent successes, testimonials for clients and, of course, contact details.

It’s also key to fully embrace social media and not just have a Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest account sitting out there, unloved and untouched. It’s important that any business carefully select the social-media outlet(s) suitable to their business and then regularly post to them. It’s also important to know how each outlet works – people expect different things from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – it’s vital to know how to optimise each.

Having designed a number of websites over the last ten years, I can help create the right content for your website, content that will drive customers to your company, keep them there when they arrive, buy your product and then come back for more.

I also have extensive knowledge of social media and am social media manager for film production company OC Productions. I can guide you on which are the best services for your business, what to use each outlet for, when is the best time of the day/week to post and how they can quickly generate business.

Feel free to have a look at some of the websites and social media I have been involved in. If you think your company might benefit from some new online content or social media strategy, give me a call or drop me an email.





Paul FitzSimons Writer on Facebook

Paul FitzSimons Writer on Twitter

Paul FitzSimons Writer on Pinterest

Courier Twelve Scripts on Facebook

Courier Twelve Scripts on Twitter

OC Productions on Facebook

OC Productions on Twitter

OC Productions on Pinterest



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Follow me! (Or don’t, I don’t really mind.)

I will admit right now, Twitter has become a significant part of my day-to-day life over the past couple of years (thanks to fellow writer/blogger/tweeter Margaret Scott D’arcy for getting me hooked) and it has been a great help / means-of-networking-with-fellow-scribes / source-of-entertainment in that time. It also helps to stave off cabin fever that comes from being a stay-at-home writer.

I’m happy to say that I have about the same number of followers (who I hope find me interesting on some level) as I have followees (yes I know that’s not technically a word). How-and-ever, I am finding that what I am doing all-too-often nowadays is un-following people. Not because they tweet once a year or their profile photo is of Wiley Coyote, but because almost everyday I look at what they tweet and say (out loud) ‘Oh-for-fuck-sake’.

So to cut my diatribe as short as I can, here’s what to do if you want one less follower (that would be me).

  • Only ever tweet promotions for something you’re trying to sell. If you’re a writer, as a lot of my followees are, this will includes links to your amazon page, reviews (only the good ones obviously), that passage from chapter-whatever you reckon is a ‘hook’. If you’re using Twitter purely as ad-space…buh-bye.
  • Repeat-tweet – post the same tweet more than once. It was interesting/funny/insightful the first time, after the 2nd or 3rd time (or 7th time) , it just shows how interesting/funny/insightful you think you are. Newsflash – you’re not.
  • Tweet unsubstantiated or under-researched ‘facts’. I have to admit, i find out a lot of what is going in the world on Twitter and, for the five seconds before I google it or pick up the newspaper, I assume that it’s true. Tweeting that ‘OMG Tayto Cheese-and-Onion give you cancer’ will be quickly proven incorrect, show you up to stupid or naive or both and direct you quickly to my ‘unfollow’ bin, do not pass ‘Go’.
  • Tweet an opinion based on an unsubstantial fact – a certain F1 driver recently dissed his team-mate for unfollowing him on Twitter, suggesting that it was a sign of disrespect and unprofessionalism. Then he found out that said team-mate had never followed him in the first place. Oh dear.
  • Tweet-report your everyday life (in a non-funny/interesting/dramatic way). I don’t need to know that you just put the bins out. I do that myself a few times a week – it’s not worth talking about. Unless of course something interesting/funny/insightful happened while you were doing it…then I’m all ears – ‘Just put bins out…got attacked by a bear. Didn’t know there were bears in Longford. Typing this with my left hand, feeling light-headed.’ Now that’s tweetable.
  • Tweet-report your child’s/pet’s everyday life. I definitely don’t need to know that ‘Eldest’ just went number two or that your cat is ‘chasing a bottle-cap around the kitchen floor LOL’. Unless of course, it’s number two in the singles-charts or said cat then picked up the bottle-cap and put it back on the bottle.
  • Repeat-tweet the link to the amazon page of your book about your child’s/pet’s every day life. Yeah, unfollowing you won’t be enough. I might just have to send the boys round.

By the way, I assure you I’m not being hypocritical and if I ever do any of the above, feel free to send the boys round. In the meantime, why not follow me on Twitter.

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Adverse as I am to public speaking…

The first and hopefully annual Shore Writers Festival will be taking place in Enniscrone in Co. Sligo on the first weekend in November.

A novel idea (pardon the slight pun) by Wordlegs.com founder Elizabeth Reapy, Shore is the first writers festival that is absolutely free. By which I mean it is free to attend all the seminars and workshops.

And if you’re there on the Saturday morning (not too early – 10.45),  I’ll be presenting a workshop ‘The First Novel and Beyond’ for all budding authors. If you have any specific questions/aspects of writing a novel you’d like me to address, feel free to drop me a line.

Have a look at the Facebook page for the festival and the schedule for all the details.

See you in Enniscrone!

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I ain’t no puppet…

…and hopefully, I’ll never be tempted.

No, scratch that. I’m going to hoist my flag to the mast right now. I’ll never be that desperate.

The whole ‘sock-puppet’ controversy seems to be growing legs, with more and more writers being exposed as, or at least accused of being, creators of sock-puppets. For those who don’t know, sock-puppets are fake reviewers, (created by less-than-honourable writers) on the likes of Amazon who positively review their own books and, in some more sinister cases, set about trashing competing books.

The Crime Writers Association are talking on Twitter about acting against these sock-puppeteers and, in doing so, protecting their members and the crime-writing community at large. But, in this writer-and-reader’s opinion, the damage has already been done.

The moment that reviews stopped being about a person reading a book, liking it or disliking it and telling the world (or at least the online segment of it) what they think, reader-reviewing became absolutely pointless. Amazon should shut down this part of their website and the likes of LoveReading and Goodreads might as well cease to exist as well. And lets do away with TripAdvisor and Epinions while we’re at it. Because how can we trust the reviews we read on there ever again? (How’s that for dramatic…)

All is not lost. We can just go back to the good old days, when we got our book reviews from the professionals – journalists, culture-show panelists…oh and Richard, Judy and Oprah.

And you and I can still review books, hotels and iPads all we want – we can just stick to our own websites, blogs and Facebook pages to do so. And the sock-puppeteers can go ahead and create a fake blog or website, blow sunshine up the asses of their own books and rubbish the competition to their hearts’ content. It’s just that no-one will see them. In fact, they might as well call it http://www.iamasockpuppet.com for all the visitors they’ll get (I just checked, it is available).

I am a fan of the CWA and if they feel that they can arrest the practice of puppeteering and fake reviews, they should try. I’m sceptical that they’ll be definitively successful, it’ll take Intelligence-Services levels of technology to know who’s a real reviewer and who’s a puppet. If anyone can control it, it will be the websites themselves, but they’ll also struggle to weed out the fakers and purchased-reviews (another practice that grinds my gears) from the genuine reviews.

In the meantime, I’ll continue deciding what to read by the book-jacket and by the writers shamelessly plugging them on Twitter.

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He’s quite a character…

There’s a bit of chatter going on on t’internet at the moment about character development – actually, this subject seems to be an on-going conversation…How much detail do we need? Is the name of the protagonist’s first dog really relevant?

There are a few questionnaires floating around (including one which has 253 questions!) which are very useful for developing character. I didn’t use the 253-strong version but friend/fellow novelist Margaret Scott D’arcy is using it and I’m looking forward to finding out how she got on.

Below is the one I used. I didn’t design it so feel free to use it if you like (copy and paste into a MS Word doc would be my advice). I’ve filled it in for five main characters and five secondaries, which I’m now using it for chapter-writing (and finding extremely useful).



Character Name / Nicknames / Aliases:
Birth Date:
Place of Birth:
Clothing Sizes / Styles:
Hair Color:
Hair Length:
Eye Color:
Handedness :
General Appearance:
Relationship with Family:
Key Family / Relatives:
Relationship with Friends:
Key Friends:
Key Enemies:
Educational History:
Work History:
Phobias / Fears:
Bad Habits / Vices:
Best Qualities:
Worst Qualities:
Key Childhood Experiences:
Key Teenage Experiences:
Key Adult Experiences:
Sexual Background:
Personal Goals:
Professional Goals:
Morality / Ethics:
Style of Speech:
Commonly Used Words / Slang / Jargon:
Lies / Misinformation:
Other Important Details:
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Right now….

…I’m working on the re-write of the novel Burning Matches. So far, so good. Ish.

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Previously on…

Here are some of my writing exploits from recent history. You can also visit my old blog or check out the most breaking news on Twitter.



20/12/10 – As I’m sure you’re well aware, the deadline for the Poolbeg / TV3 ‘Write A Bestseller’ competition was last Friday…

And ‘Burning Matches’ is in!

Yes indeed, the ‘masterpiece’ was handed in on Thursday after a 10-day nightmare of trying to perfect….the synopsis. Yes indeed, having written and rewritten 460-ish pages of the novel over the last two years or so, I haven’t had so much heartache as I had trying to write a ‘simple’ one-page synopsis. To say I finally nailed it…would be a slight exageration – still not happy with it but, suffice to say, it is definitely better than it was a week and half ago.

Anyway, look, it’s done and more importantly, is sitting, with the novel, on the desk of the fabulous, gifted and sexy decision-maker at Poolbeg Publishing (who might be reading this) …with the 200 or so other novels that I’m reliably informed have also entered. I guess it’ll make all the sweeter when I win…

By the way, huuuuge thanks to Margaret, Hugh and Ger for all their help with the previously mentioned synopsis…cheers guys.



07/10/10 – The entry for the Storyland competition was submitted to RTE yesterday after a very interesting few weeks of development. After abandoning the first concept (an okay idea but not at all suitable for this), we went with a parody of a dating show. The submission will now be considered by RTE and hopefully will be commissioned for the first 6-minute episode to be filmed in the new year.

However, I have decided that, due to significant creative differences between myself and the director, I will no longer be involved with the project.

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish Ann Marie and her cast and crew the best of luck with the competition.



05/09/10 – I am delighted to announce that , in collaboration with film director Ann Marie Brennan, I will be submitting an entry to Storyland III, RTE’s internet-based drama series competition.

The show will be in the form of four 6-minutes episodes (I refuse to call them ‘webisodes’) and after each episode airs, the public vote on whether the show should continue on to the next episode and vote on who wins the competition of the entries who are left at the end.

As we are in the verrrry early stages of development, I won’t go into to detail as to what the show is about. Suffice to say it will be fabulous.

Lots more details to follow…





30/07/10 – Yes indeed, after an exhausting 10 week marathon, the re-write of my novel ‘Burning Matches’ is complete. I did very much enjoy the process, despite some creative tension-filled periods involving talking to myself in the mirror, travelling to the South of France for some inspiration (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it), and long conversations with MSD, my proof-reader and ‘creativity coach’.

Anyway, tiz done, printed and dispatched to a certain publishing industry professional, hopefully with a future prosperous and successful relationship to look forward to.

And now on to my next ‘highly-classified ‘ project, top secret until I decide I need to talk about it on my blog.

You can visit my old blog here.

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