Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Advertising on Facebook

I finally gave in and paid for an advertisement on Facebook.

Now, what's especially difficult about advertising, at least in my case, is the fact that I write ninety-nine cent ebooks. I don't sell 'widgets.' I don't even offer a hard copy of my books to put in your hand.

For a long while, I wrestled with what to do. Then I decided I wanted to make the cover recognizable. So, I uploaded that. It was rejected. The text totaled 44% of my image(?). According to their standard, it could not exceed 20%. Here's the rejected cover:

So, I put up a link.

The link connected to my blog post, which offered another link to Amazon, which offered the opportunity to purchase my ebook, McShane Mini-Mystery, The Trilogy of Thrills, a compilation of the first three ninety-nine cent ebooks of the series. How did having to click three separate links do, you might ask? Well, you might. C'mon! You might.

Okay, okay. It did a great benefit. For my JL Mo fb page (feel free to 'like' my page!). For the sales of my ebooks, not so much. But, as the spirit of the great Marketing God has been quoted, "it got my name out there." The stats on the fb page said that my five bucks got me 2,607 views (if you can believe that). I still didn't make enough to cover the five bucks.

The moral of the story? Well, 5 divided by 2607 is 0.0019 (that calculation is for those who have read the books). I couldn't buy that kind of audience, for that price, to see my name in any other forum that I know of.

So, I just keep writing, working, hoping, that one day, someday, maybe I'll make my five bucks back.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Commiseration with "I am grateful now f* off"

I'm a mother of two grown sons, and after I read a blog post titled "I am grateful now fuck off" I had to share this.

     I tell this true story to both of my grown sons about a time in their infancy. Yes, it happened twice.


     You were just over a year old. I worked a full time job, and had all of the other responsibilities that go with being a young wife and mother.
     In the course of two weeks, because of you, no one in the house had slept more than three hours straight. Your wails at two a.m. were the stuff of legend! We visited the doctor, only to be told it’s "a phase", and you would grow out of it. In the meantime, sleep deprivation had started taking its toll on me.

     On one late night/early morning wake up scream, you’d been changed, fed, rocked, sang to, and pleaded with, all to the ear splitting screeches of your protests. At one point, I held you at arm’s length to protect myself from your furiously kicking feet. Your face became fire-engine red as you inhaled for another round of gut wrenching, head spinning, glass-shattering screams.

     “What?” I howled in frustration. “The doctor said there’s nothing wrong!” At that point, I had an Ally McBeal moment.

     50-somethings will recognize this reference. For those younger, let’s call it a Scrubs moment.

     In my mind’s eye, in the midst of the screeching, and kicking, and tears (mine), a barbaric roar escapes my lips as I hurl you into the wall above your bed. A cartoon outline remains in the drywall as you fall face-first into your crib.

     Reality flash. I’m still holding you aloft, you’re still screaming. I lay you, ever so gently, into your bed, and walk away, closing the door behind me.

     You screamed for another ten minutes, alone in the dark, my heart breaking for you, and the horribly funny image still burned in my mind. Then your screams turned to whimpers, your whimpers slowly falling to silence.

     Shhh! The baby’s sleeping! I thought to myself as I danced up and down the hallway at four in the morning. As I laid in my bed later, the crushing guilt of what I'd thought while holding my screeching infant made me feel like a monster.

     I called my mom the next day and told her the story of my disturbing fantasy. She laughed and told me I should be grateful that I have kids with healthy lungs. Standing three hundred miles away from her, I threw her from the top of the Empire State Building.

     I tell you this story to let you know, those Ally McBeal moments are okay. It’s even okay to be frustrated to the point of wishing you never had kids. And, if you ever stand in their room at two in the morning, feeling like throwing them into a wall, just lay them down gently, and walk away.

     You can be grateful later.