I’ve been exploring ways to market my books, an endeavor that makes writing them look like child’s play. The only good news I could come up with is that apparently every other self-published author feels exactly the same way: the time and effort spent to create something one is proud of become dwarfed by the time and effort needed to let people know one has something out there in the marketplace.
Back when I wrote An Accidental Cowboy (on a typewriter, if anyone remembers what those were), marketing meant my publisher lined up a few readings-cum-book-signings and some interviews. Each of those represented a day out of my life with very little to show for it in terms of sales, so the amount of time and effort (not to mention money spent on travel) would have been overwhelming if my publisher had decided to spend big bucks promoting the book. With that in mind, I have to admit using the internet for self-promotion for self-published books is an improvement, but…
But that presupposes the happy author has some basic familiarity with the computer (She Who Must Be Obeyed) and with She Who Must Be Obeyed’s evil handmaiden, the Internet. I do not. I tremble in fear before my computer, and the internet appears to have a speech impediment that only allows it to use acronyms. The Evil Handmaiden also delights in leading me into intricate mazes where I get hopelessly lost.
I decided to take advantage of some of Amazon’s tools for their authors. They have something they call “Author Central” which is supposedly designed to help authors market their work. But the Evil Handmaiden’s speech impediment makes it almost impossible to use. There is a way to link my blog to my Author Page. Okie dokie, that certainly seems like a sensible thing to do. How hard can it be, I thought to myself?
She Who Must Be Obeyed and the Evil Handmaiden laughed so hard they had to support each other. Then SWMBO wiped the tears from her eyes and cracked her whip and EH informed me I had to have an RSS feed. Huh? I emailed my computer guru, a superhero born of a cross between Einstein and Merlin, and he informed me that RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. Oh, yeah? Really simple for whom? And why couldn’t EH simply have said that without an acronym designed to make me feel even more computer illiterate than I already do?
Think of all the damned acronyms you have to deal with every time you crawl, cowering, up to the keyboard. From ACL (which I thought was something in my knee that doesn’t work anymore, but turns out to mean access control list) to BLOB (binary large object, whatever the hell that is) to FLOPS (floating point operations per second) to GIGO (garbage in, garbage out) to MIPS (million instructions per second, which is just about how overwhelmed I feel) to PROM (not a dance you’ll enjoy going to, it means programmable read only memory) to SMART (oh, shut up; it means self-monitoring and analysis reporting technology) to TWAIN (Mark is turning in his grave, but it means toolkit without an informative name) to XML (not one of the classic Jaguars, but rather extensible markup language.)
I’ve decided to fight back against SWMBO and EH with my own acronym: FU.