I have been told in the past that life is lived and that living is a constant re-calibration of the natural dissonance between our reality and our expectations. Today, I re-calibrate my online presence.
In my exuberance I wanted to build a twitter and Facebook following base to a million (yes, my goals were modest) and sell my books by the truckloads to adoring fans. I began to focus on the logistics of this, analysing other people's accounts and trying to determine how it was possible for them to have so many followers--unless they were Oprah or Obama or Bolt. I learned that following avatars could be purchased--giving great optics to the casual observer. There are programs that automatically follow and unfollow and monitor and publish, all with the objective of increasing traffic and interest in one's site. These 'bots' are everywhere once you can recognise the signs. It tends to turn off people looking for original content. For me, I have only become aware of this.
I am guilty of using a program to automate my "thank you for following" messages. I read that I needed to automate as many of the processes as possible. So I started with the easiest thing first. I think I'll keep that going as it is only polite to say "thank you" to someone joining.
I am also guilty of pulling articles and publishing them on twitter/facebook. I assumed this is what people did (and they do). Many of the streams that I see are full of quotes and articles and packaged goods that are consumed by all of us. I don't mind it; I like some of it. But I am going to stop doing this (there is a buffer of a few days, so the last of my packaged publications will end in the next week or so).
I am going to tweet and post original material--my material. Hopefully there are people who may find some of it interesting and relevant to themselves. In any event, it will be real. No bots.
I will continue to focus on my journey in social media--I anticipate this will occupy this space for at least a year as I learn and unlearn things along the way. I will also talk about my writing, the thought processes behind my writing and my ups and downs along the way. I came to this realisation as I became more obsessed with the internet and marketing of my wares. I was losing the enjoyment of why I started this in the first place--to write. I don't like to market myself or my wares. But, at the same time, it has become clear to me that wares don't market themselves. Hence, the calibration and re-calibration of the process.
My struggle with regard to my 'wares' is that I write in different genres. I have a non-fiction book (The Art of Wealth) that deals with wealth and business elements of our lives. It was an important work for me because it represented everything I knew about business and money presented in a way that was easy to read. I wanted everyone to realise that they could achieve more from their lives. I have a spiritual book (Revelation) that deals with existentialism and our inter-connectivity with all things. It is everything I (think) I know about that subject. It is presented in a way that does not argue the point (ie. this is correct because of x,y,z). It states my conclusions and lets the reader continue on his/her journey. It is a tool. I have a book on Faust which was my first attempt at literature. It takes the classic story of Faust (by Marlowe and Goethe) and uses the existence as set out in my Revelation to explain why a Devil character would want our souls to begin with. Then, finally, I have my fictional series Man on the Run. I am enjoying the series as each book is a stand alone novel but the series is an interwoven saga that spans decades. I have written volumes 3-6 and am now writing volumes 1 and 2. It is very exciting and I hope to share the process of writing with you. Volume 3 has been published and is available from all the retail outlets.
I have just signed off the final forms with FriesenPress on Volume 4 which should hit the stores in the next few weeks. (FriesenPress is my publisher/printer and Ingram is my distributor; I am the author and marketing guy. I'll need to do a blog specifically on the difference between publishing and marketing.) Chaos (Volume IV of Man on the Run) has a number of story threads, the main one being that of a good man fed up with a bad world. His solution is to show how bad things can get if you piss off your core citizenry. His solution is extreme. I don't know if I'm supposed to tell you everything here and now. Needless to say, hundreds of planes blow up simultaneously and hundreds of thousands of people are killed. This is the backdrop to the lives that are lived in the book. I am happy to send out Advanced Reader Copies for reviews. You will be able to post your reviews on Amazon (and the other retail outlets) once it has been published. If this is of interest to anyone, please let me know and I'll figure out a way to get you a copy.
Until next time, that's it for today!