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about me fiction opinion

My amazing promotional campaign idea crashes and burns

… before it’s got off the ground. Anyone have a celebrity friend I can borrow?

Still using the new editor. You need lots of Real Estate in order to create a post. I’m on my phone. And no Siri that’s not a capital R and a capital E.

Today, I had a brilliant idea while I was having lunch. I dropped my food and wrote everything down.

Going off on a tangent here, let me say that I’m sick and tired of people telling me how amazing social media is for promoting myself. The number of unanswered tweets I read daily made me sad. On top of that, Twitter wouldn’t allow me to promote my tweets because my account was too new. It seems difficult to grow through organic engagement. 

facebook application icon

I read that on social media, between 4.7% to 5% engagement is good. And anything above 9% is rare. It is a lot of singing and dancing for paltry rewards. Therefore, I thought it would be efficient to use many existing networks to get my project idea out there. I want to meet and correspond with people who like to read books. I don’t know how many people are reading my chapters on this blog and I don’t want to trash my project because I don’t get a lot of feedback in this forum. The plan was to create redundancies by launching as many promotional campaigns as possible and renew them periodically.

Do I continue writing or do I shred my novel? I thought it would be a good idea to encourage people to sign up to beta read it chapter by chapter in chronological sequence. Based on demand or continued mailing list subscriptions, I could decide what to do next.

My plan so far: Readers who are interested in reading an entire book for free will subscribe to a mailing list and receive a new chapter each week. Subsequently, I will ask readers to share testimonials and links to my blog, or write reviews. I estimate it will take several months to a year.


Soon, I found everything I needEd for my campaign. All of the individuals I contacted were popular and sought after. They advertise shout outs, interviews and advertisements. I was thrilled. I typed out my stump speech, added some bona fides and messaged every one I could find.

Six hours later, almost everyone responded. I got three positive replies. However, most were not willing to do any promotion for a new author. Others needed to read the whole book first.  

This means I may not get my project promoted as widely as I’d like even though it’s a FREE fiction novel. But isn’t that the point of promoting a product via a total influencer roll out?

I agree that name recognition helps. Chanel, Dior, Estée Lauder, Fancl and Shiseido give away skincare and makeup products all the time. They’re still able to sell full-size products for high prices.

Even so, I felt like a start-up skincare company being told by a beauty vlogger that they won’t even patch test my products because they’ve never heard of my “brand”. I appreciate everyone’s honesty and will now proceed to feel sorry for myself.

Other images in this post are free from Unsplash.
Categories
fiction women

Tear up that cheque

Rue et Cassidy

Cassidy looked at the cheque. It was written in the amount of ten million euros. The recipient’s name was Asparagus Saints, LLC. She looked at Rue with her mouth open. With a puzzled laugh and flutter of her eyelids, she asked, “Why are you giving this to me?”

“I think you mean to ask why I am not offering it to you through a representative,” said Rue. Her calm voice disguised her irritation. Cassidy’s tone was informal and they were not close friends.

“Well …” Cassidy said, while rolling her eyes.

“Let’s get some things sorted. You could take that cheque to a journalist and repeat everything we spoke about here,” said Rue. “However, as soon as someone rings my attorney for a comment, you will be thrown in jail for extortion, blackmail and money laundering.”

“What?!”

“The person who wrote that cheque runs the Kiev underworld. I asked him for ten million euros, and he gave it to me no questions asked. Do you have any friends like that?” It was a rhetorical question, but the princess waited for a response.

“No, Ma’am,” responded Cassidy, feeling put in her place.

“I also asked him to register that business in your name and open an account for you at a bank in Niue.”

“I didn’t ask for this,” said Cassidy.

“Your endgame was to spend the Count’s money,” responded the princess, referring to her first ex-husband. “House, car, boat, plane, diamonds, clothes, bags, shoes, skin, hair, nails, boob job, lip fillers, vitamin drips. This is more than you would get in a divorce. Doesn’t refusing this cheque make you a liar?”

“No!”

Image by Sebastian Coman via Unsplash

“Really? Do you love him?”

“Yes.”

“Yes? I handed you a cheque for ten million euros, threatened to have you locked up, and there you are, still holding it.”

“I’m trying to understand what this is all about.”

“I believe you’re hesitating because you think you can cash that cheque and keep sleeping with my ex-husband,” said Rue. “You are an entry-level backstabber. If you had any real gold-digging skills, Karl would have married you already.”

“I’m not a gold-digger, or a grifter, if this is what you’re trying to prove,” said the woman.

“Did you earn that money?” Rue looked at the cheque, looked at Cassidy’s face and leaned her head to one side. She felt she was exercising a great deal of self-restraint.

“Of course not,” replied Cassidy.

“You’re holding a piece of paper representing an amount you haven’t earned. If you loved that man, you would have torn it up and stomped out of here.”

Cassidy calmly put the cheque on the table, hooked her arm through the handle of her purse and stood up. With a curtsy, she said, “Your Royal Highness, if I may be excused.” Her voice was trembling.

“You may not,” said the princess, smiling. She leaned back in the sofa and looked up at the Cassidy. “Sit down.”

Cassidy obeyed. Tears were welling up in her eyes. She asked, “What do you want from me?”

Image by Rod Long via Unsplash

“I believe that in spite of your low aspirations, and uncouth behaviour, you think that you’re ambitious. However, you have misunderstood people’s opinions of you. You think they respect you for spending Karl’s money. But they think you are a sex worker. You would know how not to act like one if you had a good mentor.”

“Ma’am? Are you offering to mentor me?”

“That would be inappropriate, not to mention unpleasant, given how thick you are. Put the cheque in your purse. Accept it as a generous payout from a concerned third party. Consider that you would get nothing after the inevitable demise of your opportunistic coupling.” Rue inhaled deeply and glared at Cassidy with a glacial glare. 

Cassidy picked up the cheque and neatly tucked it into her wallet, which she had retrieved from her purse. Rue continued, “Now, I’m going to introduce you to a stylist.” She turned her head towards the doorway behind her and called out. “Harlowe?”

A petite, curvy woman with ankle-length, rose pink dreadlocks entered the living room from an adjoining room. She was wearing a white dress that looked like an apron over a blue silk jumpsuit. There were thong sandals on her feet. The straps were bejewelled.

Picking up a pen and notepad from the table, Rue scribbled something on a page, tore it off, and handed it to Cassidy. “When Miss Harlowe is finished with you, arrive at that address, on that date, at nineteen o’clock, sharp. No plus ones, thank you.”

“Ma’am,” said Cassidy. Now intrigued as well as confused, she curtsied to Rue again and followed Harlowe into the adjoining room. She didn’t hear when the princess exited the suite.

(o^  ^o)

Hello everyone and thank you for reading. This is a rough draft of a scene in my novel, The Quarter Percent. Context is everything, I suppose.

Categories
People

Notes 4/3

This is an update to Art of the Force, specifically about the entitled behaviour I called out.

I understand that some bloggers desire engagement in the comments section of their posts. I say again, it is best to ask for a comment. A cordial invitation at the end of a post will do. Coercive tactics and name-calling are not the way to build up a community of supporters.

And now I will explain why I don’t like to comment on other people’s blogs. I will tell you why I have abandoned comments after writing them. I sometimes write fiction, but when before accusing people of inappropriate behaviour, I will search for evidence first. In that spirit, I spent Friday night and Saturday afternoon testing two assumptions:

(a) Bloggers want me to comment on their posts.
(b) Bloggers acknowledge my comments.

I tested these assumptions with posts tagged art, beauty, life, love, poetry, romance and women. All posts had been published within thirty minutes of the start of the exercise. Excluded from my assumption were posts published by subscribers to this blog.

Here is what happened. All forty (40) of my comments went to moderation immediately. This is an issue with Akismet, and not the content of my comments. This means that only subscribers who were aware of this issue would be able to check their “Pending” folders for stray comments. I received only ten responses within 30 minutes. Responses included “x liked your comment”. After that, three more responses came in after two hours. Forty eight hours later, I am still waiting for 27 further responses.

One beauty blogger, in her post, specifically asked for questions so she could do a later blog answering those questions. I wrote three questions for a total of eight from other readers. She “liked” my comment but this alone satisfies my definition of a “response”. Of the 40 bloggers, two bloggers received compliments about their sense of humour; only one acknowledged and responded with a comment. Both had published their posts within minutes of each other.

This is how I felt. That was a horrible experience, and I understand why bloggers are so hesitant to post comments on other bloggers’ blogs. Some posts are scheduled; comments go to moderation and are cleared or approved. I felt that I had wasted my time. However, I felt somewhat vindicated because I had proven my point from the few responses I received.

Bloggers, add value to your brand by offering some quality interaction around your product. It’s not necessary to use the Queen’s English or talk much. We have control over what happens on our blogs. I have turned off like buttons to encourage comments; I have turned off comments whenever I felt that none was necessary.

There was a time when I wished someone would say something. Now, readers do. I warmly welcome longer comments and take them as a compliment, as affirmation that I’ve written something worthy of a response.

After I’ve used the Force and readers start joining the discussion, should I get super annoyed because they’re, like, writing comments on my bloaaaaag and I can’t deal with that? Attitude is everything. If you go to a book launch and the writer speaks to you in a “yeah, yeah, this is all about me… buy my book… I’m too busy, yeah” tone of voice, how would you feel about it.

Of course, you would. Because behaviour like that is ridiculous.

Categories
about me creative writing opinion women writing

Viral Harsh Realities

Freshly Pressed is bogus. It’s got a year-old article from a man who posts every two years. And a Christian expatriate living in South Korea who’s obsessed with pre-marital sex (and the prevention thereof). She’s married to a man who gives her butterflies. So, it’s okay for her but I should want not.

She’s also a greedy young woman who has complained that 1.6 million article views aren’t making her happy enough. Writing is hard work so she’s scared because the expectations are plenty. But, on the other hand, she wants more followers so she can feel validated as a writer, “It’s not fair! Only 200 + people are following me”.

You, fellow blogger, are preventing her from getting more subscribers because you are taking up space on the Internet. She wants you to delete your blog so she can get more readers. She has nine hundred plus subscribers as of this post. Should her readers say “congrats” or hand her a tissue?

If I have my way, this blogger will define herself forever as the woman who got 1.6 million views for one article. When she meets people she will find a way to sneak it into the conversation. This obsession with a statistical anomaly will stunt her personal growth and dampen her creative outpourings.

Our Christian blogger has another problem. She says writing is hard work and she wants to give it up. She envies friends who have book deals. She projects unto them envious thoughts of her million-view spike. A sensible person should be asking, “How many of those views were from real readers?”

This behaviour is typical of greedy people. They are bottomless wells of want. They want what they don’t want. Then they fantasise that everyone wants to be like them.

Life is too precious to get hung up on page views. If no one reads a post, it is okay to feel bad. But find out more about the numbers, where they come from, and leave your self-esteem out of it. Acquiring new readers requires an effective strategy, hours of work, and perhaps a consultation with a professional.

On a slightly tangential note, I want to say that I am amazed at how writers are beholden to publishers. They outsource the reading of your manuscripts to freelancers but you are offering up your self-worth to them?

I sort of get how that starts. One editor told me, “I’m promoting feminism among women of colour to make the world a better place.” An essay of mine addressing those two issues was not accepted for publishing.

A week after that, the editor published a rant from an Asian-American woman saying nasty things about “white belly dancers”. I realised that this is a game called, “the editor is a two-topic pony (white people are racists/you all hate fat women) and will not publish material she could not write herself.”

This same editor later went to a grocery store and when the staff did not genuflect to her highness, she tried to create a national scandal about it on Twitter. I now see why she would not publish my essay.

And as the world continues to marinate in that sauce, I continue to have zero expectations and immense gratitude every time someone shows me that they are paying attention. I am defined by the desire to create. I let my  stories write themselves. I am their engine.