23 November, 2015

Monday Musings




Let's start off with something amusing on this cold, gray Monday in late November.

An author buddy directed me to a post that includes 22 'dedications' found at the beginning of novels that are both funny and noteworthy for the rest of us.

When it comes to dedications, it was something I used to dream about writing some day, but then when it came right down to actually writing and self-publishing my work, that idea took flight and I didn't even bother with a dedication for my first novel!

With my second release, Love Over Time, I remembered that I should write a dedication and offered it up to my son.

Being clever is not one of my strong suits, and wit usually arrives anywhere from five minutes to five hours or even five days after the fact.

I'm hopeless.

In the newsworthy department, I came across this post on my Facebook feed about an Author Call to Amazon.

The Horror Writers Association (HWA), a nonprofit organization for writers and publishing professionals promoting horror literature, has recently written an open letter to Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, asking for a review of the policies around Amazon’s review system. Namley, it seems the HWA is seeking a way to remove reviews they deem as inappropriate in how spiteful it can be.

There is a petition underway in this endeavor with a current 8,000 count total that includes Anne Rice, who, apparently, is a victim of bullying in this regard.

I don't believe the HWA are the only group of authors who are seeking some type of a resolution to this ongoing dilemma, either. I've been reading articles about Amazon's current ratings system for more than a year now and think it is time that they stepped up to the mark.

A new type of ratings/review system needs implementation, but how, when, and what it might entail remains a mystery.

Which brings me to the next bit of news.

Last week, this article from Gawker made the rounds on my Facebook feed about a self-published author who probably needs psychiatric help TODAY.

These two stories, one about anonymous folk who like to prey on the innocent and then one of our ilk preying on a nasty reviewer, bring the issue of free speech around full circle.

The first article proves a valid point about at least being able to recognize a fake reviewer when we encounter them. It never occurred to me that a potential reader is capable of posting a review when they, in fact, only downloaded the free excerpt.

It also makes zero sense why anyone would target a perfect stranger and then set out to destroy their attempt at wanting to make a living as a writer.

However, in the second article's case, the author is the one doing irreparable damage to not only himself but other authors who find themselves being victimized by the public when it comes to harsh reviews.

And so I'm led to yet, another article found on my Facebook feed that is yet, another self-help and advice column directed at me in general.

I subscribe to Writer's Write, and most of the time they offer up interesting, if not helpful articles geared toward me, the newbie and struggling artist.

Not all the time, but sometimes.

And, their 5 Things Authors on Facebook  Should Know is surprisingly helpful -- if you are an established author with a significant fan base.

Which isn't me.

Still, the tips in the article are smart and worth the read if you hope to become a more engaging, liked author with plenty of follows.

Right now, I haven't created an author 'page' because as I mentioned above, I have a ZERO fan base. In the two years since I first published until this very moment, I have a grand total of TWO 'fans' who are actually my two besties on Facebook.

Apparently, no one has read either of my novels, and no one is responding to the few paid downloads they've received thus far.

I have three e-mail contacts (my son, my daughter, and my sister) and so there is no point in my using MailChimp to generate a fan base.

And, since no one is responding to my attempts at free advertising via Reader's Gazette, or by my joining Triberr to help get the word out, and Tweeting on a once daily basis about both novels, it isn't likely I'll need to create an author page on Facebook any time soon.

I have this blog with numerous excerpts and eye-catching ads for both books.

I am a daily presence on my author Facebook 'profile' not 'page' and work hard to like and share the works of fellow authors there as well as attempting to get the word out about my own works.

I have a Tumblr page as well and uploaded the first 4 chapters of my first novel on WattPad.

I am also rather active on Google+ and joined their Self-Published group.

Even with all of the above-mentioned activity, a startling 99.99% of the articles which I find on my FB feed that are supposed to be geared toward the author are really geared toward and written for the established, popular, and selling-like-hotcakes authors out there.

Not me.

Because the advice never works to help generate sales, much less get the word out about me as an author.

None of it ever applies to someone like me.

Is it any wonder I feel down and out, useless, and like I am spinning my wheels going nowhere fast?

In the helpful advice category of things, I am always being told to continue to write and publish in order to gain that following, have need of MailChimp, and then to create an author page on Facebook.

And, so, I write.

I write as tears stream down my cheeks and more awful thoughts enter my head about being a failure, an awful writer, and with zero talent.

*Sigh

Sometimes, Monday's actually do suck.

This bit of woe-is-me leads me to the last of the online articles for the day.

From Self-Publishing Relief comes Why You Shouldn't Go It Alone

LOL

My first thought is: because you don't want me to commit suicide? ;-)

It says I need proofreading skills and suggests I hire a professional and offers a link to those willing to help (at a cost, of course, which excludes me -- Miss Broke-Ass Unemployed).

Then it says I need to be cover savvy. Which, again, makes perfect sense but excludes me because the article, again, offers a link to hire those who can help in this regard at a cost.

I lucked out with the first two publications and am only hopeful that by the time this third novel is complete that I will, again, have somehow miraculously scraped up just enough $$ to afford another professional cover.

Next, it says I need a marketing strategy.

More money, I think.

However! It does say this much:

Your author website should be the cornerstone of your promotional efforts. Make sure it is professional, engaging, and easy to navigate.

Now, I am willing to bet that readers prefer to visit author web pages that are paid for and designed by a pro, but don't quote me on that one.

Strike three for me!

Yes, as a matter of fact, Monday's truly do suck.

As for my WIP . . . I haven't touched it since last Friday.

No news to report aside from a waffling in regards to the male lead's last name (again).

Onward, ho!


No comments:

Post a Comment