Monday, May 21, 2012

Anonymous Me, No More

Okay, so I've spent the majority of my online life in anonymity. I don't necessarily have a hard and fast reason for this, but I just felt more comfortable posting personal information about myself and my family without the world knowing who we are. I mean like Sally of When Harry Met Sally said, " can't take it back, it's already out there." And people have been known to post certain things that probably should've remained "thinking thoughts." They inevitably wind up unemployed or even sued for libel from their poor choice to post pictures exhibiting their bi-sexual tendencies which spontaneously came to light at the company Christmas party. Not that I have ever done that-I mean I'm not remotely gay for one thing, but I know my friends and they have quick trigger fingers so chances are, they're gonna get something on camera and it'll wind up on freaking Facebook, so, I just don't do anything too untoward in the first place.

However, anonymity poses a certain set of issues when you go to market yourself and/or your product.  This is especially true for authors and other artist type people. The crux of it is this: How are you supposed to garner attention if no one knows who the hell you are? It's true I considered writing under a pseudonym, but as it was pointed out to me, readers aren't stupid; they'll eventually figure out who you are. It also seems a little pointless when you look to your friends and word of mouth to get things rolling...there's explaining to your friends why you're not who are, there's difficulty in keeping your multiple personalities organized (trust me, I know from whence I speak here), etc... The solution I've decided to go with is to just be me. Jenn Cooksey.

The problem I face now is making myself public. It's not easy. I've had to create a whole new blog and things have changed from the last time I designed one. That in turn has created some unexpected headaches for me. For example; I cannot for the life of me figure out how to make sure that damned little FB Like button is attached properly to every blog post. It's there on every one, but it's not an individual post's a Like for the page in general. Also, I've reluctantly created a public Twitter account. I'll be honest, I feel like both Twitter and Facebook are huge time sucks and I'd rather spend my time writing. This won't do, though, if I'm to hope my books will have any kind of success--thus "going public" in the first place. I have also joined some online communities specific to writing and reading such as goodreads.

All these things equate to a part-time job if not a full-time gig, and the thing is... I kind of suck at PR and marketing (And I have my doubts as to whether I'm even a decent friend sometimes, too. I can be *ahem* extremely self-involved even though I don't mean to be. My friends are for the most part and, sadly, used to it. I really think I owe some of them enormous gift baskets of Bacon for putting up with me). That being said, I'm a writer, not a salesperson. At one point in the past I ventured into direct sales (I wanted the discounts and freebies that consultants get) and I found myself so unbelievably uncomfortable asking my friends to host parties, I chose to give up doing so and only placed orders if people came and told me they wanted something. That's not gonna cut it this time. That is, not if I want people to actually read my books. Thankfully, I've already written 3.25 out of 6 in the current series I'm working on, because I just have a feeling that doing all the required networking I need to do to launch Shark Bait is gonna keep me from writing for a bit. Not to mention all the technical aspects of publishing.

I mean seriously, UGH.

And let me just give you an idea of what I go through a daily basis... I search and search the web for, let's say, how to make or build an ARC (advanced reading copy) so that I can give them out to book bloggers and other people so that they can review my work before it's actually published. Sounds pretty basic, right? Well, usually by the time I've searched and searched using multiple different key words and so on, I have a migraine, both my daughter's female cat and dog are discovered to have erectile dysfunction, and I still have no answer as to how to make an ARC--although I did find the blueprints for building a replica of biblical proportions the ark Noah made so if anyone's interested, hit me up and I'll point you in the general direction.

Oh and did I mention that in addition to learning how to market myself to the public (which still weirds me out a little), I really have no idea how to even go about launching a book? Yeah, I don't have the foggiest clue. I'm afraid to Google it, though, because I think I might be closing in on the last of A's cat's 9 lives. For now, though, I think the safest route for everyone is for me to continue building up my real name, putting some feelers out to people with experience in web design and such, other self-pubbed authors and whatnot, and then concentrating on what I do best, me. There's editing to be done and it won't get done if Jenn Cooksey is busy inflicting embarrassing disorders or deadly diseases on her family's pets.

Yeah, see? Typing and then reading my name on something that's going out into cyberspace is just odd. I wonder if Stephanie Meyer or J.K. Rowling felt the inherent weirdness in the beginning or if they were too busy raking it in to notice. Oh to be so fortunate...

PS. As I said, the stupid like button is general (you can still like the page, I mean I won't complain) but if you feel so inclined as to "Like" this particular blog entry, maybe do me a favor and share it wherever it is you share things. Thanks, you're the best.

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