Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Oh Facebook! My Facebook!

Well, hell's bells.


I mean, it was just getting safe to come right out in public and opine that maybe a certain large retail web site isn't gonna to punch us authors in the face and take our kids' lunch money for sport, what after all the uber-sales authors got in the middle of what was essentially a contract negotiation between them and a major publisher, which finally ended after the giant retailer embarrassed the snot out of the other side by happily coming to terms with someone else, which made the other publisher whimper up to the table and the mega-sales authors run a full-page ad asking the DoJ for--um, something--and everybody finally SHUT UP about it and then finally the whole angry, disastrous mess came to an end just like this overly long run-on sentence is doing.

Now it's Facebook's turn to poke the bear, apparently.  According to this article in the Wall Street Journal, the big evil giant of a bad-man corporation is out to punch entrepreneurs in the face and take our kids' lunch money for sport (sound familiar?).  Or, at least, take our advertising money for, um, revenue.

Yes, Facebook!  My Facebook has announced that commercial operations have to pay to play, now.  Or will, then, in the near future, anyway.  Which means, I assume (they haven't, near as I can tell, released a description of their actual algorithm yet, nor are they likely to), that people are far less likely to see what I put on my author FB page unless I pay to Boost the post, in which case they're actually more likely to see it.  Which is, um, how advertising is supposed to work, by the way.

Which, I think, ain't all that bad of a thing.

Look, here's how I see it.  If you want to see what's on my author page, go look.  Please; I'd love for more people to do that.  In fact, I'm about to start putting even more stuff up there, considering the tremendous success I had through NaNoWriMo with activity.  To tell the truth, I'm'a gonna start havin' some fun. But that said, if you don't want to see what's on my author page, then you must be insane you shouldn't have it stuck in your timeline.  Shouldn't, that is, unless you've identified yourself as someone who likes the kind of stuff that's on my author page, and I've paid Facebook to run a targeted ad in the hopes of getting your attention. Which is, again I say, how advertising is supposed to work.

Yes, I'm an author--an authorpreneur, as I've been referring to myself since--well, quite some time ago.  I'm also a Facebook user, though, and to be perfectly honest, the number of times I interact with authorly stuff  on FB is pretty minimal.  Oh, I've bought a couple of books thanks to interactions on FB, but usually I'm on there just trying to convince my friends of the opposite political persuasion that I'm right and they're wrong, or posting pretty little pictures of my Chihuahua, or stuff like that. 

And the thing is, I bet you are, too.

The part of FB's message that is being forgotten, or ignored, by so many folks right now is that "Facebook’s paid-advertising options have become more effective recently," a claim that I, personally, have seen.  My Thanksgiving promotion was wildly successful, in fact, in large part thanks to a simple and fairly cheap Facebook ad. 

A friend of mine wrote (in a massively-popular Facebook post about, of all things, Facebook's new policy) something to the effect of "I'm sure, if you complain loudly enough, Facebook will refund every penny you've ever paid for your free advertising."  Zing.  That's a tad snarky, perhaps, but the core is something I agree with wholeheartedly.  Facebook created for us a social media platform, somewhere we could go for free and post pictures of weddings and weedings and kittens and puppies and everything in between.  Yay, them!  That some were able to tap into it for a free advertising platform is good for them, but there's no reason to expect the practice to continue.

Anyway, there's an awful lot of opinion flowing around out there.  Assuming you made it this far, then you've now read mine.  Feel free to share yours in the comments; I love hearing from you! 



Monday, December 1, 2014

NaNoWriMo: Done

NaNoWriMo is done for another year!  Woo hoo!  I mean darn!   I mean yay!  I mean aww shucky rootbeer float!

Mixed emotions are overflowing here.

So, remember that post two days ago? You know, the one on November 29th where I said "*yawn* I can do it, but I don't think I will, because I don't really care enough."  Well, not those exact words, but close, anyway.  Yeah, I did say that.  Right smack in the middle of the day before the final day of NaNo, I threw in the towel.

Unfortunately--well, or fortunately, I suppose--my blog posts are shared on my web site automatically, and a couple of my fans/readers/friends/coolashellpeeps said "Oh, no you don't."  They poked me, and to be honest it didn't take much to get my writerly engine going again. 

Hey, when it comes to writing prose, I'm a cheap date, so to speak.

So yeah, I put 3K words onto the 6K words I'd already written that day, and added another 10K words on November 30th, and poof, I became a Winner.  A rather sore-fingered Winner, but a Winner nonetheless.

I still don't really care.  I got a cool graphic.  Woo hoo!  The prize I really wanted for winning was the cool discount on Scrivener, but since I already got that and bought the software when I won in 2012, this one is--pointless.

Well, no, it's really not pointless, come to think on it.  I did get a draft done, sort of.  I mean, it's not done.  It's a solid story behind all the writing, and it's going to be well over 50K words when I label the draft as actually done.  In fact, it's going to be well over double that, and likely triple that.  So, yeah, I still have a lot of prose to fill in. 

But you know what?  It's started.  It's ended, too.  The skeleton of the plot is there, and all the people are there.  The hard part's done, so yay!  Go, NaNo!

A good friend (who, admittedly, I've never met, and it's just as likely we'd hate each other if we did, but hey, he's a guy whose blog posts I like) wrote a post lining out exactly how I feel about it, and what to do about that as well.  I'm not gonna repeat it, of course, in part because you're here to read my writing, not his, and also because I'm scared he could send his penmonkeys out after me for copyright infringement, or something. 

Anyway, go read it here:  Chuck Wendig's beautiful but NSFW piece on why NaNoWriMo doesn't matter  

(I do have to quote one line of his: "Because now it’s NaEdYoShi month — National Edit Your Shit Month."  Isn't that beautiful?  Brought a tear to my eye, it did.)

Now, once you're done with that, here was my response in one of the NaNo groups I'm in:  

I--I gotta stop for a while, man. No, not stop writing, I mean stop drafting. I have 2007's NaNoLoser, 2012's NaNoWiener, 2013's NaNoWiener, and now 2014's NaNoWiener, in addition to two other drafts, sitting on my stinking hard drive (yes, and backed up in Google Docs) waiting on my tender slash-and-crash revision love. Even Scrivener is looking at me like "you better slow down, man."

So, yeah.  The reason I've only put out one book this year is that I've written and revised and worked on other projects, but you can plan on this spring bringing two, if not three or four, new Stephen H. King novels to market.  


Anyway, for those who just won NaNo--congrats!  For those who didn't make it to 50K words--congrats!  'Cause, right now, what matters is that you wrote something in November.  Awesome work, all!