It is almost a year and four months since my first ebook went live on the Web. I expected a learning curve. No one mentioned the curve meandered around a glass mountain-oiled slick as a greased pig, too. I now have seven or eight ebooks floating in cyberspace, anchored in on-line booksellers such as Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook, iTunes and Kobo. It has been a hectic and frenzied year. I still don’t know what I’m doing. Before entering the universe of epublishing I was acquainted with only one electronic device–my ATM card. I no more had a book contract in hand than I learned I was expected to build a webpage, find a host, build a blog, submit my books for review, buy advertising, tout my books in blogs, on blogs, write articles, have an account on GoodReads, Shelfari, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter; sign up to receive e-mail newsletters of a half-dozen sites such as The Romance Studio, the ARe Cafe, Savvy Authors, Marketing for Romance Writers, visit my sister author’s Facebook pages, hit ‘like’ or ‘follow’. On every site that sells my books, reviews my books or I contribute to an article, I’m supposed to like, tweet, pin it, link it and donate $$$. On every site that promotes authors for FREE, I must produce a bio–tell folks a little something about myself–mostly so you know I’m a real person. I hate writing bios.
Here’s my new bio: I was born and I’m still living.
I am not an interesting person. I have done interesting things and met interesting people. But none of it rubbed off on me. Also, I’m old and cranky. I did dream that once old, I would be a darling, sweet-faced old lady spending afternoons rocking away on my front porch. That dream is down the tubes. Houses don’t have front porches any more. Instead, I’m spending my golden years trying to figure out the cyberworld of self-publishing.
Rich Myer, an Indies Unlimited tech guru helped me through the process of publishing a paperback edition for Flaps Down–The Reluctant Hero. I keep receiving emails from Createspace the book is approved–but I can’t find the Publish button. I may NEVER. I have author fan Facebook page. I am having so much trouble figuring it out. I sign in and it’s not my page. My name is on the bar at the top, but there are pictures and posts and snipits of strangers. Where are all of you coming from? Hello. Oh. One must sign in and ask permission to join groups on LinkedIn and Facebook discussion groups. I’m in a dozen or so with other Kindle authors. Nice folks–everyone, but most of them don’t know what they’re doing either. I am glad to make your acquaintance–but when do you write? Everybody is trying to get other authors to ‘like’ and ‘friend’ their Amazon Author pages, buy one another’s books, write a review and post it on Amazon and Goodreads. It’s depressing–as if we’re a group of wallflowers–dead on sight. Somehow–every time an author posts in one of the FB forums, it lands in my email. How did that happen? There are 450 of those suckers in my e-mail waiting for some sort of resolution. If I delete them, will I hurt feelings?
Amazon encourages me to visit reader/writer discussions. Thus far, I have yet to meet a reader in those discussions. Perhaps readers ‘lurk” (I just learned about lurking). If they do, all they’re hearing is writers complaining about their Amazon ranking. Every time someone posts a discussion–here it comes to my mailbox. Now, I can’t find the discussion again to tell it to stop sending me author rants. Oh my gosh! The complaints I hear from Kindle authors about one, two and three star reviews. Hey, folks. A book is a product. You put it out there, a reader buys it–that reader has the privilege of saying she liked it or not. You are still getting the royalty–so zip your lip. Same thing if you give away your books. 75,000 Bookbub subscribers downloaded The House on Persimmon Road last week. One of those 75,000 folks hated it. Gave it a one star. That’s the way the mop flops. Wring it out and keep on mopping.I have learned a lot in the past year. I am still not tech savvy. I beg help to manage my webpage and program my iphone (thus far, I can dial 9-1-1-). My blog is a mess. But–I have learned how to put out a newsletter. I’ve learned to separate the wheat from the chaff. Invitations land in my mailbox everyday full of testimonials about how wonderful the promoter is–I’ve learned to check those testimonials by clicking on the author’s name and the title of the author’s book. Yep. Clicked on a title yesterday written by an author giving kudos to a promoter touted as “an author’s best friend.” Book was published on Amazon eleven years ago. No rating–because it hasn’t sold a single title. No reviews either–not even a one star. Hoo Boy! Not my kind of friend. If you are stepping into the indie publishing universe or even considering signing with an ebook publisher, educate yourself. Start here: Indies Unlimited–read books and articles by Martin Crosbie, David Gaughran and Donna Fasano. All three are successful and each candidly shares how success was achieved.
All of this brouhaha has interfered with my writing. I have a new work in progress and I want to get back to it. I don’t like to leave characters hanging in thin air. I like them and I want to finish their story. When I take a break from my writing, I like to go crabbing in Matagorda–a tiny community on the Texas Gulf Coast or down to a little fish camp called Indianola, all that’s left of a town after a hurricane swept it into the bay. I like to sit on the deck–read a book and watch folks reel in their catches. I don’t want to cruise the Internet, Tweet, or Facebook. I appreciate every single reader and reviewer. I will answer every one of your e-mails. I know some are buried deep, but I’ll find them. You make my writing life a joy and you are hovering in the back of my mind with every word I put on page…but in the same way we tick that little curly-cue on the computer to refresh a page–I need to step back and refresh my brain–I feel like the dang thing is leaking out of my ears.
So here’s the skinny. I got caught up in the frenzy, but I’m gonna cool it. I like my life. I love writing. It’s what I do. It’s my day job. Moreover, I write old-fashioned, soppy, corny, sweet love stories. Some will make you cry, some will make you laugh–or not. In ebook lingo, my books are two flame, one flame–or the candle went out. They are all nice reads and will entertain you while you’re waiting for the clothes dryer to ping, the meatloaf to bake or the baby is down for a nap.
I am so happy to tell you the paperback is published!
Click Here to Read an Interview with Jackie Weger on Our Grains of Sands.
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Click HERE if you just want to browse a few pages or buy a book on Amazon. (Recommended)
OR JUST STOP CLICKING AND GO READ A GOOD BOOK! (One of mine, please)
P.S. I don’t Tweet, FB, Blog, E-mail or Write on Friday nights. I go to Bingo!