Tag Archives: writing

Social Media…Secrets?

I’ve spent the past few years writing books and trying to figure out this “social media” thing. This blog is part of the social media experiment, as was my involvement with a couple other author blogs. Mine is equal parts “here is information about my next book” and “I don’t know what the hell to write.” In the past couple of years, I’ve experimented with content. I’ve run tours, posted reviews, featured excerpts of my own work and that of close friends. I’ve posted original content (like this). One factor remains constant: Nobody is reading this blog. Few who buy books see my posts on FB or Twitter, and I see no point to Instagram. I’m not one of those people who takes pictures of things.

The fact that nobody reads my blog doesn’t upset me. I mostly wanted it so that I could link my website to excerpts from my books. However, I’ve forgotten to do that in 99% of cases. It might be on my mind now, but it’ll be gone in 5…4….3…2…1…

In an effort to get more personal, I posted my workout diary. Note to self: Look up synonyms for “boring.” At the very end of one, I confessed to being disheartened with the 80% drop in sales I experienced in 2017, and that I’m contemplating throwing in the towel.

In this one, I’ll confess that I can’t stop writing, so I’m currently throwing books onto Amazon KU under another name as fast as I can write them. I’ve put up two this month already, and I’m halfway finished with another. These 30K stories are simple love stories, so they’re quick to write. They’re selling as well as, or better than, my MZ titles, so I may just keep going that route. Who knows what the future will bring?

This has led me, so far, to conclude that social media is a lie. Posting on FB and Twitter haven’t netted me any sales or increased my exposure. How do I know? Because I did zero marketing and promo for my new pen name and series, and it has sold more copies this month than Re/Captured, which came out last month. The first book garnered 8 reviews, none of which came from a review team or marketing efforts. These were people who read the book and felt compelled to post reviews. The 2nd book came out yesterday and already has a good review and is gathering steam as far as sales go. Again, NO MARKETING, no social media plan. The FB page I threw up for this new pen name has zero likes. Nobody is seeing that content. Nobody. And it doesn’t seem to matter.

So what is the secret? Apparently, going on Amazon and seeing what’s selling, then popping off a simple/cute love story in 3 days sells. No additional marketing necessary. So, I guess that’s where I am right now. And I’m kind of happy to be writing something that people are reading.

I’m Not Famous: A Tribute to Love

Warning…randomness ahead.

 

Since I re-started writing about nine years ago, it’s been a source of pride and satisfaction. I write for the love of it, and not for any other reason. Lately I’ve been experiencing a measure of success. My family was able to take our first vacation in five years last year, and this summer, we’re looking at finally being able to replace the windows and doors on our house. Based on looks, they’re original to the house, which was built in 1977. We live on water, so the entire backside of the house is either a window or a sliding door. It’s gorgeous, but prohibitively expensive to replace using a company–and darn cold in the winter. Thankfully Wife can build, install, or fix anything in/around the house. Still—windows and sliding doors cost money.

The photo is the view out of one of four sliding doors. In the distance, you can see our snow-covered fire pit that Wife built last summer when she tripled the size of our beach. Thank goodness we found this house on a clearance sale.
The photo is the view out of one of four sliding doors. In the distance, you can see our snow-covered fire pit that Wife built last summer when she tripled the size of our beach. Thank goodness we found this house on a clearance sale.

As great as that is, I’ve never thought of myself as an Author with a capital A. I’m a writer, one of the millions of people driven to put words on paper, not one of those Authors who drive people to have fan moments.

That’s why I was shocked recently when a friend I’ve known since middle school told me that she doesn’t email me often because she feels like she needs to check over her grammar and spelling 100 times due to my Author status. My first reaction (after shock) was that I spend my days reading things written by 10-14 year-olds. I look for meaning, not necessarily spelling, and I only look at grammar if the meaning is obscured. This fear—despite my assurances to the contrary–stops her from sending me a quick text or email, and that makes me sad.

As you’re no doubt aware, Prince died on April 21, 2016. This friend, whose name is ironically, Love, introduced me to Prince. She’s the superfan you often read about, constantly listening to him, thinking about him, or talking about him. My love for him is inextricably linked to my friendship with her. When I heard he died, I wanted to call her (but I was teaching 2nd hour). I sent a text and email during passing time, but it took her a long time to respond—and her writing was flawless. That made me even sadder.

12938342_10209117629719941_1284887546926593190_nNext October, I’m going to be at the Midwestern Book Lovers Unite. I don’t expect to have lines at my table or anything like that. I’ll be honored and pleased if anyone stops by. I write for the Love of it, and I only want people to enjoy my stories. Other than that, I’m just an introvert who is shy but friendly. If our paths happen to cross, don’t think I’m judging you. That’s just an introverted personality combined with terrified shyness and Resting Bitch Face. Inside, I’m just happy to see you.

Binge-Everything–It’s What Authors Do

Since I’ve had Netflix this past year, I’ve learned that I love to binge-watch shows. I’ve enjoyed old favorites, like watching every episode of MASH or Gilmore Girls in order and back-to-back. It makes a huge difference. For instance, I don’t think people realized how inconsistent MASH was. One day it’s freezing and the middle of winter. The next it’s boiling and the height of summer. Of course, the setting was exactly the same. Or you see that Gilmore Girls wasn’t just fun and filled with rapid fire repartee. When consumed en masse, the brilliance of the writing and plotting shows up. Okay, it’s a soap opera and very over dramatic, but I like TV-lite because it helps me not think about all the heavy responsibilities of my life.

I’ve discovered new shows, like The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which was obviously written to be consumed in a binge style, and I’ve had a chance to watch shows that I didn’t catch the first time around, like White Collar (which I LOVED–consuming 6 short seasons in a week–don’t judge.)

But this phenomenon, while probably unhealthy, I have realized, typifies creative behavior. When I write, it’s not often in small spurts. Because it takes time to get my head into the story, I resist leaving that world. During the school year, I’m limited to writing for 2-3 hours at a time, but during the summer, I’ll go at it for 10-12 hours a day for a couple of weeks. I’ve learned that when I put down my work, I put it down for several days (or a week, as when I consumed White Collar.) When I return to my work, I’m fresh and committed. Or I put it down and do something else.

Is this behavior healthy? Probably not, but it’s cathartic, and who doesn’t love a good catharsis?