WHY THIS BLOG?

I AM PARCA'S CHOSEN:
Parca is the Roman Goddess of Childbirth and Destiny and after you get to know me, you will see why I believe she has, without doubt, made me her Poster Child. I deal with the odd serious issue but for the most part, my posts are just some cheeky fun, reviews of favorite shows, and true stories that will make you laugh out loud (or run screaming...I don't know you well enough to predict your behavior). You'll find satire with the odd parody tossed in....and definitely a heaping helping of hyperbole.

I am Canadian so expect a bit of politeness too. Sorry.

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1) MY eBOOKS CAN BE FOUND ON AMAZON HERE:
DENISE ON AMAZON
2) MY eBook Trailers are on YOUTUBE
3) My website:denisesevierfries.com
4) My Photo-Art Youtube Trailer is here too.

5) My old monthly column: The Lighter Side of Self Publishing
6) Outlander Series Facebook forum: the popular book/tv series group I am admin on, is The BEST and BIGGEST with over 77,000+ members! Come join us! *click on bold red words

Friday, April 19, 2013

My Computer Made Me Blush: Musings of An Over-50 Computer Virgin



I should temper my title by saying that I have actually been around the block a few times on my computer and I am not completely inexperienced, but until I can refrain for Googling YOUTUBE once a week for a new step-by-step tutorial, I will consider myself an innocent. A Pseudo-Newbie if you will. 



My most recent foray into new computer territory has been Tweeting. I put my newest self-published book out there on Tweetland and thought, HEY! This is easy…I will just Tweet the living shit  out of this sucker and get it seen around the world! Media Whoring at its finest! After blistering my finger on at least a hundred Tweets, I went to bed satisfied at a job well done. THAT will get my book out front!

But the next day, I received an email that made me blush. Something I haven’t done since my real-virgin days. It was a message from Twitter berating me for mass Tweeting and informing me that my account was suspended for one hour (was I to stand in the corner?) for it was not allowed… and should it happened again, my account would be permanently deleted. It was against the rules a very annoying to others. I was being a Tweet Twat (my words, not theirs) and I got Tweet Beat (again, my words, not theirs: are you writing these down? I`m offering you literary gems here.)

OUCH!

Red-faced and reaching for a glass of Beaujolais Superior, I sat stunned. Suspended? Me? But I didn’t know! That’s not fair! I drank my indignation and embarrassment down with my carefully measured ‘medicinal’ wine (one crystal glass full; to the brim). My husband walked in at that moment and became rather concerned, “Look at your face! Are you okay?”. I assured him that I was just fine and simply getting an ass-kicking from my computer. He didn’t want to know what that meant and smiled vaguely as he backed out the door. I think I frighten him at times.

I was alone again with my Oppressor. 

So now what? Do I apologize? Write an explanation…a ‘Who Knew?’ excuse that was sincere? I decided to wait an hour and then Tweet ONE message that had nothing to do with my book, just to show that I understood the gravity of my crime and that I really did want to tweet fun stuff too. So after an hour, I Tweeted an article titled “10 Fun Cupcake Recipes” just to show how safe and obedient I was. I should have felt better, but I only felt humiliated. I had been reduced to cupcake recipes. 

The shame has receded and I am now better informed and able to work within the Tweetesphere guidelines. Lesson learned: read the rules of anything you join. Save yourself a spanking.

The only other as-of-late experiences worth sharing here are twofold:

1)      I discovered, while creating my book trailers, a website that offers background music for as little as 99 cents and it is very easy to download and use. If I can do it, anyone can. It is called JewelBeat:http://www.jewelbeat.com/

2)      I was very intimidated by trying to make a 'clickable' Table of Contents on my Amazon KDP SELECT self-published books as recommended, so I just downloaded them without it. Bad move. Not very professional and not fun for the reader. It nagged at me for weeks and made me miserable: people were buying my books and seeing how inept I was. CRINGE! I hadn’t even converted them to HTML yet, which was also recommended by KDP as it seemed to hard to figure out.

BUT…I just, today, found a wonderful tutorial on YOUTUBE (my visual bible) and it was so easy that I re-published all of my books with clickable chapters on Kindle e-reader! Bless the YOUTUBE GODS! I will devote another glass of sacrificial wine in your honor! I converted my manuscript into HTML (just save it on your computer as a WEB PAGE that is found when you click the ‘Save As’ menu) and followed the tutorial. Easy Peezy Lemon Squeezy!

The video clip is called Make Table of Contents in Word 2010 That’s Clickablehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXU86udwsN0

At my age, and perhaps yours, being a blushing innocent is not the fun it once was…so I just wanted to share my new found gems and hope it helps make your beginner’s foray in the world of self-publishing a little less scary. It is surprisingly satisfying to learn new tricks and inside scoops and makes one more confident and worldly, not to mention, part of a growing wave of over-50 quill pushers who want to keep up and, maybe, even excel.

I will continue to reach out and learn, make blush-worthy mistakes, and take my lickin’s as I bungle my way along…but I will never give up my goal to master my Toshiba Laptop, the evil black box that mocks me daily, and to write the next blockbuster bestseller so I can have it adapted to film and ensure that Sean Bean is hired as the main character so we can finally meet. If my main character is a woman, a boy or a plant, well… he can adapt. He is an actor, is he not! If it becomes an issue, I’ll re-write it.

Don’t judge me. We all have our inspirations.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

MEDIA WHORING PSEUDO-MASOCHISTICAL BOOTLICKER: a.k.a. The Self-Publisher

Define Media Whore:  ‘A person who has a psychological need to get into TV, Film, Radio or Print’
Define Masochist:  A person who obtains sexual pleasure by inflicting pain or suffering upon themselves’
Define Bootlicker: ‘An obsequious or overly deferential person; a toady’

Now that we have established what these terms mean, we can evaluate why I have come to the conclusion that I have become a perfect example of the combination of them, and why I know that I am not alone.
First, let me assure you that I am not degrading myself. This may seem illogical considering the individual components, but truly, my evolution into a Media Whoring Pseudo-Masochistical Bootlicker has been enlightening, liberating and, I must say, a whole lot of fun.

The addition of the prefix ‘pseudo’ to masochist was meant to dilute the intensity of the sexual slant of the word, but it was necessary as I simply I do not get any sexual pleasure from self-publishing and marketing my books. I just suck in the pain and suffering part of it and, like a cheap shampoo, repeat repeat, repeat. I do get a huge thrill after clicking the ‘submit manuscript’ button on Amazon KDP Select, but it is hardly orgasmic. Yes, I get slightly dizzy, light up a borrowed cigarette and have to cuddle the nearest pillow for a minute afterwards, but doesn’t everyone?

I think it's important to ‘know yourself’ and having just self-published my book The Saving of NATION on Amazon, and having made a real attempt to market it properly, I now know that I am a M.W.P.M.B. (sorry, it’s not a clever acronym but I couldn’t figure out how to make S.E.X.K.I.T.T.E.N. work). I had Self-Published two other books a while back, but never really tried to sell them, thinking that the sheer brilliance of my writing and genius premises would attract buyers like the devout to a bleeding Virgin Mary statue, but I soon met reality (after making $33.27 cents on my first royalty cheque) and made a vow to not abandon NATION to Smashwords purgatory. And now, as they say in the SP biz, I agree with the generally accepted but unwritten SP Motto “The writing is the easy part”. Yes…the promoting/schlepping is the killer: finding an eye or ear big enough to help get your work on top of the Heap. And I do mean capital ‘H’ Heap. 

So, that is what I did, and am doing. I Self-Published, then set out to promote, spotlight, highlight, advertise and generally shove my book down as many throats as humanly possible without getting bitten. I started out with the usual ‘FFF&T’ (family, friends, FaceBook & Twitter). I got VERY lucky and had a famous author, Ian Ferguson, hop on board and kindly offer me a pull-out quote for promotions which I am flogging to death, but then I realized that the new trend towards creating book trailers was a massive attention getter, so I taught myself to make them which was, besides giving birth, the most ball-busting experience a scrotum-less female has ever survived. But survive I did and I am pleased with the results, especially for NATION, which made it easy for me to offer my video-baby up for sharing on YouTube, but hoping, deep in my heart, that a King Solomon-like publisher will sweep in and make a judgement call, taking my baby away and giving it to its rightful mother: the buying public.

But for now I will hone my wanton ways and continue my
100% Guaranteed Successful 7 Point SP Marketing System:

1) Tweet dozens and dozens of journalists, magazines and newspapers around the world (Canada, USA, England and especially Germany, as my book is about the son of Hitler who was hidden and raised in Canada after the war) saying succinctly, in 140 characters or less that my NEW HIT NOVEL (my white lies can blind the unprotected eye) is the next best thing since sliced bread…dipped in Baily’s Irish Crème;

2) E-mail editors of every known media around the world with a very important looking news release explaining that there is a breakthrough novel out now (maybe I should change that to ‘breakthrough a’la novelle’ to avoid legal action?) that has proof Hitler had a son and they’d better get that on the news RIGHT AWAY before the kid reaches puberty;

3)  Write publishers and agents praising them for their astute business senses, keen eyes for talent and sexy on-line profile pictures;

4) ‘LIKE’ hundreds of Face Book sites that I would never dream to looking at, posting my trailers, Amazon links and my measurements while ‘THANKS FOR LOOKING!’ them all ad nauseum;

5) Repeatedly add aforementioned links and trailers to random forums, my blog site: Parca's Chosen and my website: http://www.denisesevierfries.com/ (see, I warned you... Media Whore) making my poor followers, who never complain about (or notice?) my desperation, suffer right along with me. And shake things up once in a while and caption these posts with an eye-catching 'SEX SEX and MORE SEX!' title, then apologize for the trick. It works;

6) Use pictures for the author's photo that are at least 20 years old. Sex sells and having one chin and my own teeth is definitely a more attractive look. It isn't lying...it's still 'me'. *Actually, I seem to be getting younger in every picture I use, so if you ever come across a book with a fetus on the back cover's author profile...that's me;

7) Continue to e-mail, Face Book, twitter and generally pester the rich and powerful (read ‘connected’) like Oprah, Dr. Phil, Wolf Blitzer, Jon Stewart, Brad Pitt, Stephen Spielberg and Adolf Hitler himself (on the off-chance that he pulled a Walt Disney and is frozen somewhere in Argentina and willing to give an interview after thawing).

And yes, I will continue to write books that tell the myriad stories trapped in my graying head and I will not judge those SP writers who are trying as hard as I am, to be the best MWPMB that they can be. I know I am not alone. I live on writer's forum boards and enter writing contests whenever possible (and if someone comes up with a group that can actually make S.E.X.K.I.T.T.E.N. a useful name, I'm in.)