Anyhoo, I've got today off and I'm at the Wayward hoping to get some writing done. But first, a blog post!
First, a mention of our local Crossed Genres Anthology Release Party. I'm friends with fellow author Nathan Crowder. He in turn is friends with Jennifer D. Munro. With 25% of the writers in one location, we figured it would be fun to celebrate. It's a small triumph, but a triumph nonetheless. I will feel extra loved if you attend.
Connected to this, I've been dabbling around with resources out on the net to promote yourself as a writer. I always feel a little weird doing this, in part because I don't really have a lot to promote. Also because I hate intrusive and unnecessary advertising. Even the opt-in kind. As an example: I signed up for a mailing list for "Early Morning Buddhist Wisdom." Every morning I check my email to find quotes of a Buddhist nature. It can be a little hit or miss, but it was kinda charming. The downside is that this is offered by a store that sells Buddhist and Buddhist-related paraphernalia, and so they use this as an opportunity to promote their in-store specials. Okay, fine no big deal.
Except they do this twice a day, rain or shine. Do I really want to hear their Easter specials on buying statues of the Buddha? Or how a Buddha makes a good Christmas present? I tried changing my subscription options to just get the quotes. Regardless of what the site claims, I still got the emails. Which moved this from "tacky" to "unethical." The quotes I got weren't good enough to justify this lameness.
So I'm iffy about overusing whatever stuff I have out there.
I've had fairly mixed results with the resources out there. It's been kind of a challenge because many places don't have accurate information about the books I've worked on, especially the game books. There's often 10-12 people working on a game book. Amazon will often only list the first few people billed. And then other sites will seem to just clone that data.
It's gotten a bit more annoying the last few days. Marking the release of the first Crossed Genres anthology, two of the other authors in Seattle and I are getting together for a "launch party." Since this is my first "authorial event," I thought to myself, "Well, there's places on all those writer profiles out there where I can post an event, I'll do this." And... that's kinda worked.
From my Facebook Fan Page, I can schedule events but I can't link into events that other people have scheduled. And because I didn't post the original event, I can't link it to my fan page. Frustrating.
GoodReads has a fairly easy to use Event listing. (In fact, I've liked 90% of my GoodReads experience.) But most of the people on my friends there were already on the list of people from FB I invited. Rather than spam them twice, I just tried to invite the people that didn't overlap. That was, like, five people. GoodReads also has a "Giveaway" section, so I talked Nathan into signing a copy with me. Then we could give it away for free on the site to help promote awareness of the book. What I didn't realize was that there was an approval process. Which is fine. They need to restrain the use of people just going on there with bogus promotions. But I submitted it on a Friday, and then didn't hear a peep about it for a few days. It looks like it's available now, but I received no notification that it was going. Blargh.
Having a profile on Amazon certainly seems like the shmexiest. It makes it look like, "Wow, this guy's really something." Even if I'm... still nobody. But it's also the most frustrating to use. It was easy to edit my info on books on GoodReads. Not so easy to do it on Amazon.com. First I alerted them that I was an author on books that didn't credit me. I point to some links that have full list of credits for those books, mostly the Pen & Paper Database. They reply back with a form letter that says they only approve these if I'm listed on the book or I can provide a link to a publisher site. The first is frustrating, because if I was listed on the book I wouldn't be contacting them. The second is awkward because one of the publishers is no longer in business. It was easy to send a link to Goodman Games. But Guardians of Order is out of business, and White Wolf no longer has that section of their site up. But I was able to link to the store entries on DriveThru RPG. The preview PDF has the credits page. They sent me a form letter back to say they were adding those to my profile.
But they didn't change the credits for the books. They just put reciprocating links between my profile and the book. I went through and updated the entry for Steam Warriors as best I could. I was a little thwarted by the fact that they only allow eleven authors to be listed on a book, and there are twelve for the book. (Not counting editors, illustrators, etc.) I'm hesitant to muck with the Game of Thrones books, because they require a link but don't have any comments section so I can again clarify that you need to look at the PDF.
In trying to schedule my event on my Amazon author page, it only lets me put in venues that they have in their system. A bar in Greenwood is hardly the most literary of places, so I had to manually request that they add the bar. They sent me back a form email saying that they have added it in their system, but I won't be able to do anything for 1-3 days. Still not working.
The worst so far has been FiledBy. I'd never heard of them before, but someone talked them up on a group I'm part of on LinkedIn. I hesitated, but ultimately I'd rather have control over whatever author profiles exist for me out there, rather than leave them open to other people. They didn't have the anthology at first. I manually added it, and then it had the book posted but only had me as an author. They sent me an email saying they would add the other authors, but encouraged me to have the other writers make their own profile pages. I countered that I wasn't going to recommend it to anyone as long as it looked like I was trying to claim sole credit for the book. So they added the others promptly, and I forwarded the link to Nathan since I don't really know the other authors. I tried sending them updated credits for the other books I'm involved with, they said they'd forward it to their data team, but not a thing has changed.
In order to schedule an event on their site, I have to have a paid subscription. It starts at $99/year and goes up from there. And yet, given their behavior so far... I'm uninclined to do anything. I've had mostly good response from GoodReads and they are free. Why should I give money for worse service?
Okay. Enough blabbing. Writing! (Or, really, editing.)