Digital Fishing (and The Deal)

Okay, so it’s the end of the working week, and I’ve achieved very little in the way of actual fiction writing this week, so I’m going to devote myself to that for the afternoon and hope there are no interruptions. We shall see.

Meanwhile, I haven’t done ANY book promotion since last week, when a new friend basically applauded me for NOT self-promoting my new book on Twitter. I have no idea how to sell books if I’m not self-promoting, as I don’t have anyone to do that for me, and I rarely ask for Retweets (which I rarely get in any case; the Twitterverse doesn’t love me) so I guess I’ll have to upset my friend a little, just for today:


There. That’s that out of the way. Now we can talk.

See, there’s a problem, and it’s getting worse by the day. I know you want to like me (or you don’t and you wish I would just go away), but you’re conflicted because you want to know me better, but you don’t want to read pimp posts on Facebook and Twitter and Google+ and Tumblr by me any more. See, I know YOU already know I make art and music and fiction. YOU don’t want to be reminded that I’m trying to sell these things every day. I’m fine with that. I’m not posting them for you; I’m posting them for that person who came in behind you. I don’t like my fiends trying to soft- OR hard-sell me creative product every hour of every day, either. It makes me want to ‘unadd’ them. I don’t simply drop them just because they do self-promote, but it does get tempting, so I know how you feel. I do. I can’t read endless pimp posts any more than you can.

But here’s my dilemma: I don’t HAVE a fancy agent or publisher or publicist to do my pimp posting for me. I’m also not a Big Name Creator with over a million readers, and thus don’t have to try too hard to get people to click my rare-but-vital ‘new content’ links. I know, you’re thinking, “and you never will, with these pimp posts every day,” but try to see it from my side for a second. I’m getting almost no Share/ReTweet/Repost love from anyone, friend or foe, and the only way I can drum up a mere traffic spike of a few dozen views on my website is to remind people on an almost daily basis that I did something I think is cool, and that I have a business I’m trying to run, and my business is selling interesting noises and doodles and lies. I can count on one hand the click-throughs I get to my book pages per month, and those few don’t necessarily translate to sales, either. I won’t tell you what I sold in 2012, but let me assure you, I can’t call myself a ‘full-time professional author’ yet, by any stretch of the imagination.

“Well then,” you reply, “maybe you’re not GOOD ENOUGH to be a pro, and should just give it up and go home”. Well, maybe I’m not. Maybe it really IS a waste of my time and everyone else’s. But I’m not going to go away until enough people tell me in no uncertain terms that I’m not good enough. And the only way I’ll take those people seriously is if they can prove they actually read my stuff and found it entirely unenjoyable. I’ve had very few people finish my books, but the few who have finished them have generally said they are ~either~ pretty good ~or~ quite excellent, depending on whether they’re married to me/trying to keep me humble, or genuinely love my work. I’ve had no one who has actually read my work say ‘You suck. Go home.” Not one person. Not yet.

So, here’s the deal: If you want me to stop promoting my work online, read it, and tell me I suck, and then, get your friends to read me and tell me I suck as well.

Let’s put a number on it, to make it fair and square: if you can get yourself and ninety-nine (99) other people (no sock puppets) to read my fiction and tell me that my writing genuinely sucks, then I will stop posting pimp posts and leave your social media wall(s) of choice pristine. Forever.

Here are the caveats: (WTF else did you expect? This isn’t a surrender; it’s a duel!)
1) You have to tell me why it sucks. This is the only way I can be sure you’ve read something of mine. If you try to BS me, I’ll know you didn’t read it, and I won’t count your vote.
2) You have to read more than one short story. If I’m promising to leave, you can at least try a little harder than simply reading a few hundred words in one of my shortest short stories and thereupon declaring my entire body of work crap. You can try it… but I won’t count it. So let’s call it 10K words or more. I think I can work out from talking to people how much and how far they’ve gotten in my fiction, but to keep it square, I’ll simply ask what the ten-thousandth word was. You can either add together enough short stories to equal 10K, or read a few chapters of one of my novels or novellas.
3) If you or your friends read my work and actually like it, you/they have to say as much, and allow me to tally that on the ‘Cool’ side, which will be used to counterbalance the ‘Suck’ side. If I get to 100 ‘Cools’ before you get to 100 ‘Sucks’, we agree that I deserve a shot (and less of your lip).

For my part, I promise to only self-promote my books once per week, which I hereby designate Friday around 12:00 PM, because that seems to be the day most people are screwing around on the internet for kicks, and are more willing to consider clicking the link to go read about fairies and pirates in storm trooper boots and such.

Do we have a deal?


Don't be shy. Tell me what you really think, now.


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