Tag Archives: FaceBook

Why Facebook promotion is a waste of time, and how to make people love you by not doing it


http://www.horizoncourt.ca/the-horizon.php

I enjoy wasting time on Facebook, and I like keeping in touch with my friends and family and other writers and Writer’s associations and happenings around my section of the world, but I agree with this blog that endless self- promotion of yourself and your books as an author is totally annoying and a waste of time. I don’t buy books from authors postings on Facebook – rather I buy them from reviews and/or if I like the author.
So hey, if you want to promote your book, list it on LibraryThing or NetGalley and get some reviews. Those will sell your work quicker than telling everyone yourself how wonderful you are.

Let the work speak.

Self-Love, or geez, some writers need to get a sense of perspective!


Okay, writers out there – here’s the thing. I KNOW we’ve all been told we have to develop our “platforms” and get known and be followed and all that such stuff, but we need to stop the self-adoration long enough to realize a few hard truths.

1. If you are self-published, make good and sure someone else has edited your writing for you at least a couple of times before you start flashing it about. It’s like smiling with spinach in your teeth to wave an unfinished book in people’s faces.

2. Be perhaps a bit certain that your story has merit. Have you read lots of books in your genre? Are you writing good stuff or are you trying to catch the latest curve – zombies, erotica, whatever? Unless you are insanely lucky, this will not make you rich or respected. I say “perhaps a bit” because a lot of tripe gets sold in huge numbers and while that makes me gnaw my fingers to my elbows, I can’t be responsible for the taste of the audience. So the best of luck to you if you can write sloppy derivative garbage and sell it.

3. Cross postings are boring. And annoying. I have one dear friend or two who posts their announcements in a variety of places, OFTEN MORE THAN ONCE. A lot of these places have the same members, so we poor facebookers get an onslaught of postings all about the same thing and see nothing else for days. This makes me want to go to your home, pick up your computer, and smash it on the ground with extreme prejudice. Spread announcements out if groups overlap. Keep track of them so you aren’t posting the same thing everyday. And don’t be so damn unrelenting about yourself. You may be interesting but no one is that interesting. Don’t post every damn blog posting in every Facebook group. If people like your writing, they’ll follow your blog.

4. Develop a sense of humour about yourself. Giles Blunt, a man who writes grimly dark and wonderful mysteries, and who is a success at it, has a hilarious self-description on his blog. I’ve always loved his writing, but now that I’ve read his blog, I want to meet him. Which means, since imprisonment for stalking isn’t my favourite thing, I will have to buy more of his books. (Many thanks to Judy Penz Sheluk for steering me to this blog, and hers.)

See, here’s the thing. We readers WANT to like new writers. I WANT to get to know new people, ideas, approaches. I read probably seven to ten books a month, easy, and I’m one of those good customers out there. So you don’t need to beat me over the head with stuff.

Write well. Post rarely. Have something to say. Whisper funny stuff in my ear and I’ll follow you anywhere.

Sending all of you wonderful writers out there much love for Valentine’s Day.

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Settling, or, is it ever worth it?


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from the awesome Last Kiss archive…

An old and dear friend of mine just posted on Facebook an analysis of Pride and Prejudice by Joshua Rothman from the New Yorker. It discusses the choice by the plain and undesirable Charlotte to marry the offensive Mr. Collins. The author’s perspective is that Charlotte was being extremely sensible, given the time in which she lived. Charlotte also acted as a soothing balm to Lizzy’s romantic thrashing and leads her to understand that perhaps accepting Mr. Darcy wasn’t such a bad thing after all.

Lizzy learned that despite marriage, women remained who they were, and could still be friends and confidants despite the presence of men and housewifely duties.

The core of a person isn’t so easily changed; and, conversely, a person can change a great deal, can navigate her way through extreme circumstances, and still remain herself.

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2013/02/on-charlotte-lucass-choice.html#ixzz2KQ2tXBxJ

I’m not sure about this. I’ve never met a woman yet who remains unchanged by the Imagepresence of a man in her life. We’re still too bred to please others, to adjust ourselves to the irrational amongst us, often the men in our world. We still have some inner drive that tells us we aren’t complete without a man, so we drop everything to try and hold onto them. At first.

The problem these days is that we don’t put up with it for as long. We have options now – we are financially independent for the most part or have some escape routes available to us that aren’t as damning as they used to be. So while we may try and please our men for awhile, we get tired quicker and leave. Which I suppose is a good thing…

Until we come to the conclusion that we truly are unloveable and stay with the latest fellah, no matter how unsuitable.

I like men. I enjoy their company. Sometimes, when I am feeling tired or blue or unsuccessful or fat, I think to myself, well, I should just settle, and keep this one or that one.

But it isn’t the right thing, really. I know it isn’t, and that I’ll be restless sooner or later and escape. Or become disengaged, step back, not participate in the relationship anymore.

I’m not Charlotte, nor am I Elizabeth. I fortunately don’t live in the times they did. I, unfortunately, am less willing to believe that living with the wrong man isn’t damaging.

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Facebook birthdays


Opened up Facebook today to see that it is my cousin Mary Brown’s birthday today. Nothing really surprising, except that my dear cousin is no longer with us – she passed away last year. It was horrific, her passing – a sudden onslaught of cancer, lack of ability to stop its inexorable progress, the loss of a life force so filled with charm and love that I honestly felt the earth change shape. It broke my heart, and the hearts of her closer family and friends and associates and probably just the people she passed on the street and shared her smile with.

But she lives on on Facebook.

In a way, it’s a good thing. I like having her pop up from time to time on my family list, though I am somewhat glad she hasn’t sent updates – I like the suspense of not knowing and besides, I’m hoping that she is having too wonderful a time in the afterlife to think of us back here. I still regret not knowing her better, I regret not going to see her dad the weekend before he died, too. Seeing her still there on Facebook reminds me of the times when I focused on other things, rather than relationships, and how wrong I was to do that. I’m trying to make family and friends more of a priority, though my body, with its traitorous MS, is making that difficult.

I’m going to keep trying, though. Because Mary is there to remind me.

Love and all that to family and friends everywhere. I’ll be in touch…

Nanowriwon’t, or how my life conspires to prevent me from writing…


Okay, it’s morning. I’m awake, perky, eager for the writing demons to take over my head and heart and fingertips and maybe even help me type without the need for constant correction. It works best if I don’t look at what I’m typing, so I can’t see the wiggly red lines under everything. Why, oh why, didn’t my mother let me take touch-typing when I was at school??? She said, “No, daughter mine, that WILL NOT DO. You will end up being a secretary and I won’t have it.” So untrue. She should have realized by then that she was the only person I would ever take orders from. Sometimes I even ignored her. Not often, though. She was ferocious.

Still and all, I miss the touch-typing skills. By the time I decided I needed to learn it, I’d already developed my three fingers and thumb method and that, my friends, is impossibly hard to retrain.

So up I spring, joyous, ready. But wait. What sound through yonder door breaks? Tis the dog, and his walk must begin. Well, fair enough. I can’t expect to have him cross his legs until I finish the novel, tentatively titled “Stigmata”.

Of course that’s a working title. Of course I know there have been other books and movies and such already written, viewed and trashed with that title. But it’s a good short form for the story I plan to write. I already have the visual. I need a visual to start a story. It’s my method.

But first, the walk.

We meet everyone today, which means the walk is punctuated with pauses to allow said dog to smell other dogs in areas I avert my glance from, plus the usual inanities of conversation over a pooping dog, which of necessity are distracting and yet not so much so that you lose the location of the poop, which you must them carefully enclose in a bag for disposal. Perish the thought you leave a bit behind. And heaven forbid the dog urinate on the condo’s lawn, as hordes of shrieking aged ladies will drive by in their Lincoln Continentals and throw tissues at you (used) from their sleeves and say such ridiculous things as, “We prefer they don’t,” nose wrinkle, “urinate on the lawns.”

It’s tougher than it looks, this dog walking routine. But finally we are done and I tell myself, well, that was a good thing. The air is fresh, it was good to get out and around as now my brain is freshly aired and ready, yes ripe for the task.

I turn on the computer.

There’s a whine at my feet.

Ah, yes, dog needs feeding. So off I go again, scraping something into the dog’s bowl that looks suspiciously like the stuff I just picked up in my precious bag. He ignores it. He wants the milk from my cereal, which of course requires that I pause to have some cereal. All good, I think. A brain needs carbohydrates to work. I eat, and look wistfully at the coffee pot. Ah, the heck with it, I argue. Caffeine is a writer’s best friend. I make a pot, which requires some hovering because I have foolishly become attached to a Bodum and must wait and stir the coffee grounds with a special spoon until it is perfectly dark and then push down the handle just so before I can drink it. I’ve even knitted a coffee cozy to keep the Bodum warm. That was on another day I was going to write. It’s brown and I haven’t sewn the buttons on it yet, but not today, I tell myself firmly. Today I write.

Back to the desk, and I open my email, just to check for emergency notices which I am sure to get because my life is very very important and if I don’t check and respond to email (well, and Facebook) right now the entire earth will be suspended in space and time.

So now it’s noon.

The dog needs to pee again and is lounging around with a chew toy in his mouth looking at me like I am the most horribly neglectful pet parent the world has ever created. At some point in my wasted morning (though I did have a good conversation with my sister on Google chat and we sorted out some things about siblings and travels and stuff), he’s eaten his food and licked the bowl absolutely clean, and then gone rummaging in my yarn for a treat I unwisely laid under it last night.

I detangle.

We walk.

It’s lunch, so I eat.

It’s two o’clock and I’m feeling a bit sleepy. Perhaps if I take a nap, I’ll be much more able to write later in the day. I’m always best in the evenings, I tell myself. I work quickly then, feeling the panic of an unused day leaning on me.

But I suddenly realize – other than the walk, I haven’t exercised.

We all know how important regular exercise is to the body, and to the mind. I’d better get in a few moments on the bike before I get started. I wipe off the dust and sit in place. Hmm. Need a book to read while I cycle. Go get Kobo, wait for it to wake up, start reading Lawrence Block’s “Spider, Spin me a Web”. It’s almost the same thing as writing, reading about writing, right?

I do my fifteen minutes, arguing that I’ve walked at least fifteen and have met my required “thirty minutes a day or die” requirement.

I smell bad.

I skipped a shower this morning, as I was so keen to get writing this morning. Now I can barely stand myself. My hair itches.

And I know I’ll be more awake if I have a shower. Isn’t everyone?

It’s now six pm.

The dog is looking at me with a lean and hungry look. I go to feed him again. He ignores it. He would prefer my dinner leftovers, but I’ve decided in the interest of actually getting something, anything written, I am going to skip dinner and just drink wine. Antioxidants, right? I might have a carrot or two later. I need to lose weight anyway.

The image of food is dancing through my head. At least I think it is food. The wine has made me a bit muzzy. I watch a few videos on YouTube while I sober up.

I have never been so hungry. I want beef, and lots of it. I happen to have some stew made up in the fridge, but since I abhor microwaves, I have to heat it up on the stove. Which requires some hovering, since it sticks to the pot as I have so frequently burned things in it.

And of course I must have more wine.

I eat. The dog licks the plate. We are both happy.

There was something I was going to do, but I have no idea what it was.

Never mind. Tomorrow I will rise with the sun and leap into writing, fresh and vibrant and alive.