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.)
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 Clickable: http://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.