Who would title a blog: Half a review of three-fourths of a year?
August 6, 2012
This is one of those look back, look forward types of posts.
On August 1st, 2011, a year ago today as I write this, Caleb Pirtle and I were looking forward to the launch of Caleb and Linda Pirtle, a site designed to showcase books and works of art. We were learning about Twitter, building connections in cyberspace, anticipating the shape our new digital enterprise would take. Caleb and Linda Pirtle finally saw the light of day the first week in October 2011.
I’ve learned a lot in the last year.
Some of the lessons are:
1. There are a lot of independent writers in the world, and most of them are kind, generous souls who are ready and willing to help each other anyway they can.
2. No one holds the key to effective book marketing on the Internet.
3. Everyone wants to find that key.
4. If you keep at it day and night, whether you feel like it or not, some people will find their way to your door. (Tens of thousands of you have done so.)
5. Blogs are fun to write, and they are a lot of hard work to write five or more times per week. Sometimes, I feel like I have enjoyed all the fun I can stand. To date, we have published over 1,100 blog posts on Caleb and Linda Pirtle. I’m not making that up. Caleb has written about 1,099 of these. He is a machine.
6. Book reviews are a mystery wrapped in a conundrum. They are one of the most blogged about topics in the digital book world. Independent writers crave reviews until they receive them. Readers don’t read them. Writers read them too often.
7. Amazon is a mystery wrapped in a conundrum. I still have trouble spelling algorithm and have no confidence that I understand what one is or what Amazon’s is designed to do. The minute I think I have an elementary grasp of the subject, something happens to disabuse me of the idea.
8. Barnes & Noble is a conundrum wrapped in a mystery (I just changed the order of the words for the heck of it.) At this point, I have forsaken BN altogether to cast my lot exclusively with Kindle Direct Publishing Select (KDP Select).
9. Twitter is a mystery with conundrum-like qualities. I enjoy my Tweeps, especially those who occasionally take the time to send a personal note or reply about a topic that interests them. I haven’t learned to reply to non-English tweets, except for an occasional happy face although I have no idea whether that looks wise or idiotic.
10. I sometimes stop in the middle of a blog post for no apparent reason. Today, Caleb asked me about one of those instances. “You said you had three things you wanted to share, and you stopped after the first thing,” he said. “I forgot the other two,” I said, as if that was a good explanation. It is the only one I had. I’m a pantser. I was waiting for the next scene.
11. Writers love to read stuff about writing. Anything, even reading stuff like this, is better than having to pour out their souls on paper.
12. People like crazy stuff. Forget about newsy, contemplative blogs that interpret current events, inspire and educate. Bring on the born-again vampires (That was a blatant bit of merchandising about my recent satirical piece called God’s Love Sucks. Our publicist said about ten percent of the time I could do something like that, and since I am at number 12 on the list, I calculated, without the aid of an algorithm thank you, that I have only done so eight per cent of the time in this post.)
13. I don’t believe in any item numbered 13.
14. I don’t believe in any item numbered 14.
15. Ibid., or ditto.
16. If you buy other people’s books, they are happy. It’s like when you check out at the grocery store and ask if they accept cash. First they look at you funny, then they smile.
17. Just because you make other people happy, don’t expect them to make you happy. How do you spell one-way street?
18. This blog is getting out of hand.
19. That doesn’t mean I am going to stop.
20. Some bloggers need a filter.
21. There are no filters.
22. Some writers need a filter.
23. See number 21.
24. Never stop a list at number 23.
Okay, so I only looked back, not forward.
1. See number 10 above.