Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Brain Hurts

Before we get started, it’s plug time. We’re hosting Kate Hill over at Shapeshifter Seductions today at On Sunday Eden Glenn drops by for a chat. Then, on February 15, my YA Slayer for Hire makes its debut. I’ll be plugging that one closer to release time. And now, my latest rant.

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After seven books and sales figures nowhere near what Stephen King (or even Larry King) enjoys, it’s finally dawned on me that maybe I should do some promotion. I’ve got this blog and Shapeshifter Seductions. I’ve done a couple interviews here and there, and posted on D. Renee Bagby’s 1st Chapters blog. And I’ve, uh …

Not done much else.

I’m not on Facebook. I probably should be, but I’d just rather not. I hear people post photos of themselves over there. Not a chance, pally. Pictures taken of me always suck. I suppose I could do travel photos, and I will, just as soon as the price of gas drops and I start roadtripping again. And as soon as I get a cell phone so I can take uploadable pictures. Plus you need more than one page because they don’t want you promoting yourself in public. You have to have a fan page for pimping and a personal page for regular stuff. I don’t know how to set up either, and like I said, any picture other than a book cover is out of the question right now. You won’t be seeing either my words or my pictures on Facebook any time soon.

I did take the plunge and signed on for Goodreads. I’m not only on Goodreads now, I’m a Goodreads Author! I’ve got my own page and everything! It’s got a list of my books on it! I don’t have a blog yet, but I can start one. I can add friends and review books and tell everybody what I’m reading and what I’ve read—

If I can just figure out how.

By now you’ve probably deduced that I’m a technophobe. The lack of a cell phone should have been the giveaway. I’ve got a laptop that I’m sure can do a lot more than what I’m using it for, which pretty much ends after writing and email and watching funny videos on YouTube.

When it comes to tech, I only own and use as much as I absolutely need in order to function in the modern world. I needed a computer with email and Internet access in order to sub my writing. I’ve still got the old one, the one built before there was an Internet, because that one has the printer. Once it dies, I’ll finally get a printer for the laptop. I have one flash drive for backup. I just feel better with print.

I don’t use my phone that much, so I have a landline with an answering machine. At some point, I suppose I’ll cave and get a cell. But then I’d have to learn how to use it and all the crap that comes with it, like the camera so I can take and upload photos. I think I can download to the laptop. I’m not sure. The laptop didn’t come with a print manual. The instruction book is included in the program. Which didn’t help when I was trying to figure out how to turn it on, or even which port I needed to connect the plug. How are you supposed to check the manual to find out how to operate the system when you first have to know how to operate the system so you can access the manual? It’s like “Who’s on first?” for Luddites.

Today kids learn all this stuff in school. When I went to school—and this includes college—we were still using typewriters. Thanks a load there, Progress. I owe you a good swift kick in the nuts and bolts.

Now here I am, forced to muddle through the Goodreads instruction pages so I can customize my new page so people will stop by and may want to read my books. There has to be a better way to bring in fans. Hey, I know. Maybe I could, y’know … write something? After all, I do have the laptop, and I already know how to type. All I need is a plot and some characters and I’m in business. Yeah, simplicity itself.

I need a break now. All this is too confusing. Have I mentioned I had to sign up for PayPal because the new book’s publisher is in Canada and I needed PayPal to get paid? I miss paper checks. I miss paper, period. If all the power went out tomorrow I’d still be in business because I’ve got a ton of pens and paper in the house. Take that, technology!

As for social media, I was never that social to start with. Back to winning fans the old-fashioned way, writing one good book at a time.


Serena Shay said...

There are so many options/sites/social media out there for promo. Some work and some don't...sometimes it's just a crap shoot as to if it makes a difference. :)

I Twitter, facebook, blog, goodreads...but getting the next book out seems to be the best bet.

If you have questions on set up or would like help getting a blog or anything going, give me a holler. I can help. :D

Savanna Kougar said...

Thank goodness for Serena! I'm very tech-limited about what I can do.

Yep, one book at a time. I just wish my production rate was so much faster. However, life doesn't see it that way. Can't blame it on the Muse. She's usually a champ when it comes to a never-ending story idea list.

I've never been able to get a handle on Goodreads, and it makes my head hurt.

Blogs, obviously, I can handle okay.

FB, Twitter... well, I simply don't have time, and I won't do anything with FB, given their policies. Not to mention, I just saw an article where FB is being used by debt collectors now. Okay, that's not a problem...knock on wood...but criminals use it to target people. As long as you keep your anonymity you might be okay, but that's hard to do because FB increases their demands, like photo IDs, in some cases. And, not to mention FB is censoring people heavily, if you dare speak out about anything really controversial. They hide behind being a private company while saying they provide an open public social space. Yeah, right.

Sorry, I just despise hypocrisy. Anyhoo, yeah, there are lots of GOOD ways to promo. It's just such a time sink. The Yahoo loops are still active like the Paranormal Monday loop.

Pat C. said...

For my next trick, I think I'll start a blog. Just a short one. Maybe I can send readers from GR over here or to SSS for cross-plugging.

Right now, my biggest concern is making sure the books listed under my name are actually mine. I'm not the only "Pat Cunningham" out there. Then wait'll I try to add Slayer, which is my book but has the "P. E. Cunningham" byline. This is why my brain hurts. Serena, I may be calling on you for help in the near future.

Savanna Kougar said...

Cross-plugging is always good. ~smiles~

Serena Shay said...

Yep, cross plugging is a very good idea. :)

Let me know if you need help with removing books that are not yours on GR. I signed up to be a librarian on there and can make some edits to accounts if problems are identified. I'm glad to help with that and the blog.

Pat C. said...

Thanks! I seem to be getting a lot of military books added to my list. I did not write those. People looking for shapeshifters and vampires in love and finding "Fighting Forces of WWII" are going to be very confused.

Savanna Kougar said...

Pat, now that's funny. Not for you or the readers... but, yeah, unless they want WWII vampires and shapeshifters, which there a few written during that time period.