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The (Fake) Dating Game – III

3-1MOVING

So, you’re still here. Even with the bad beginning, you’re still wanting to give this a try. Great. Let’s get off this site because I’m not on here very often. (Lie! Most sites will give you notifications that the conversation has continued. And if you’re not on here very often, you sure answered pretty quick.) I don’t mind chatting elsewhere, but I’ve learned Google Hangout isn’t the place to go. I don’t know why but it isn’t. It’s become a place for ‘players.’ I guess because it’s the place to go when you don’t want to give out a phone number. However, I have had actual phone numbers given where the woman and I can text. That’s okay. For a short time.

3-2NO TALK

So, you get her number and you talk on the phone, right? Wrong. When I suggest we do that, there is always some reason she can’t. She’s having issues with the phone and can only text. Apparently, she’s limited to text and internet. This is bogus. I have never heard of any phone doing this. But to accept this, one must believe there are a lot of bad phones out there. I did have a new excuse of why she couldn’t talk – sore throat. However, when the next day showed up and I’d reminded her when I was off work and she could call anytime, there was no call and I didn’t hear from her again. No surprise.

However, if you get a phone number, do an online search. I’ve found several sites that will locate a number. Try it. My number shows up in Des Moines. Okay, I live in Carlisle, but that’s close enough. My friend’s number shows him in Oskaloosa. So, why does a woman who claims to live in Dike, Iowa, two hours away, have her number show up as being in El Paso, TX?

Back to the no talking, the reason they don’t want to talk live is because it’s live. She’d have to talk and answer questions, and maybe be asked some questions about things she really doesn’t care to answer because it’s all a lie. Therefore, by limiting the conversation to texting, she can answer with vagueness, obfuscation, or not answer at all by delaying response. So many times the conversation is going along fine, not great, but okay, and suddenly, she doesn’t respond. Maybe the delay is hours. Why? She can come back and just not answer the question or change the subject. I imagine her looking in the playbook to see what the next line should be because I’ve thrown her a curve or insisted she be courteous enough to answer instead of changing the subject.

I did have one promising hopeful who said there was a 99% chance she’d call later. Alas, I fell into that 1%. I let it go. I didn’t respond. She was the one who was supposed to call and I wasn’t going to chase after her and read some lame excuse. If you want to be serious, then call. It’s what normal people do. Another one, the sore throat woman, said she lived in Polk City. That’s the closest to me I’ve had. Of course, when she didn’t call or respond the next day, I explained the facts and wondered why her number showed she was in Appleton, Wisconsin.

I’m going to make this week’s post shorter than usual because next week I want to discuss a number of the biggest indicators of fake women and fake profiles.

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The (Fake) Dating Game – II

2-1PROFILE (cont.)

Besides the images shown, look for location. Most of the sites will have where the woman is claiming to live. Some have a pin showing location and a hometown location. I’m not sure why there are two location indicators, but they’re a great way to tell fakes. For instance, one site I’ve seen the pin show ‘Downtown Des Moines’. Well, that’s not a home unless you’re living in an apartment, so why not just say Des Moines. The home location will probably say somewhere out of state. I’m technologically minded enough to understand how the system is manipulated. When I set my preferences, I look for women in my area, but all of these out of staters show up. How is that accomplished? Plus, why would a reasonably minded person look out of state for a relationship? I’ve encountered women who say they are from Washington, Texas, Tennessee, Indiana and even out of the country altogether. Yet they show up within my preference range. Forget out of the country. That’s never going to happen. The one I texted back and forth for several weeks seemed a very nice person. Showed me pics of her school where she teaches, her farm, and other pics of herself. We chatted, but the conversation didn’t go as it should have (I’ll explain in future posts) and finally she got around to asking about how I was treating this email exchange like we were friends. Well, what else could we be? She didn’t understand why I wasn’t willing to come to her or help her come to me. Did you get that? I had to spend money one way or the other. They’ll say that the distance doesn’t matter, because love will be the bond. Well, that’s BS and we both know it.

The other thing to watch out for is the small town location. Scroll through some of these lame sites and you’ll see fake after fake with women claiming to live in really small towns. I’ve seen a dozen listings for Ackworth and I have to laugh. Ackworth, Iowa doesn’t have over a hundred people living there, let alone the amount of gorgeous women seen on these sites. The funniest is a dozen or more women claiming to live in Illinois City, IL. I know IC. I’ve been there scores of times. My family is from that area. It’s another thing I don’t understand. Why claim small towns? The other thing to watch for is that they’ll claim a town just far enough away to make it a special trip if you felt like driving. Two hours away, for example.

2-2CONVERSATION OPENERS

What is the usual beginning to a conversation for two people wanting to get to know each other? “What do you do for a living?” Right? If that isn’t the first question, then it’s right near the top. What the fake women on these site forget is that they need to treat this opening salvo as two people meeting in a coffeeshop and talking. The following questions aren’t those that either person would ask upon meeting.

Questions that raise the fakeness flag that come before employment:

  1. What are you looking for here?

Well, except for some obvious sites and blatant descriptions about hooking up, what else would one be wanting? A relationship. If it’s anything else, or some details need to be known up front, that’s what goes in the description. You wouldn’t ask this question right off in the coffeeshop. Both know the answer. However, the woman’s answer is also a giveaway. It’ll be something along the lines of “I’m looking for my soul mate to spend of the rest of my life with and be happy.” Really? Don’t start the conversation going over the top.

  1. How long have you been on this site?

It took me a while to figure out this one. My first thought was, who cares? It does matter, though. The less time spent on the site, the fewer fakes encountered. I’ve had so many women pretty much end the conversation right there when I say I’ve been on several months. They know I’ve probably run into fakes and are wise to the game. They’re looking for gullibility. Again, you wouldn’t ask how long you’ve been doing blind date meetings if talking in the coffeeshop.

  1. How is your success rate?

Well, that’s an obvious answer. None, since I’m still on here. The follow up question will be why. That’s usually when I mention the fake profiles. I may go into more detail which will end the contact or they may try to plow through and see if I still might be conned.

Next week, I’ll move onto further conversation and see what doesn’t develop.

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The (Fake) Dating Game – I

1-1Alright, I’m going to admit something not many people know. I’ve used dating apps and have tried numerous dating websites. I thought it might be interesting to see if I could get a date from some of them, but after several years being on several, I’ve not gone out on a single date as a result of these sites. (Actually, I haven’t been on a single date, period, but that’s another story). Some of these places are ridiculous in the money they charge and for the number of profiles that I would consider contacting, it’s not worth the money.

The main issue, other than the lack of quality profiles are all the fakes. There are thousands of fake profiles from women whose game I have to figure out. I mean, some of them are pretty obvious: scams to get money. I understand that. It’s the dating version of the foreigner who works at a bank contacting you because he/she has access to millions of dollars and wants to share with you, a random stranger. Knowing it was a scam, I spent several months playing the game with them to see where the hook was. Actually, it was quite fun stringing them along because of their stupidity. Often times I would tell them I knew they were scammers and liars and criminals, yet they continued to play. For those of you who haven’t taken it that far, what happens is the package with the ‘money’ supposedly gets to the U.S. but is tied up in a consulate and can’t be released unless you pay a fee. Pay it and you’ll never see or hear from them again. I haven’t been duped but I ended up forgetting my part in the scheme. Even after I explained their mistakes, they still tried to deny the truth.

Anyway, my topic is the fake profiles on these dating sites and I want to go through about seven aspects I’ve have discovered through the years which indicate falsehood. Nowadays, I’ve learned to spot them pretty much right off, but my hopeful heart keeps thinking the next one will be different.

So seven aspects. (Should give me blog fodder for a while, no? Lol.) Let’s start with the first.

1-2PROFILE

May I first say something about profiles in general? I think of them as being parallel to job interviews. If you want a job, you don’t go to the interview wearing shorts or flip-flops or PJs or with an attitude. You want to look presentable. Ditto with dating sites. Anyone with a blurry photo, no photo at all but rather some quote or a picture of landscape, anyone showing the middle finger, anyone showing partial faces or feet, I’m not going to like or swipe right or contact. Don’t show your pets or your children. Show YOU with your dogs/children. Don’t show you in a long distance shot. Don’t show you with any of your friends. I particularly think that last one is important. If your profile pictures are all with you and someone else or with a group, that makes me have to work to figure out who you are. I’m not here to play detective. In addition, I may find one of your friends more attractive and you don’t want that. I want a nice smile, a few head and body shots. Don’t do the clicking your phone in front of a mirror where the reflection of the phone light or the phone itself covers or blurs your face/body.

I’ve learned to spot the fakes because their profiles are almost professional in nature. Clean, glossy. Even those taken by phone cameras. They’re not blurry or grainy. Make up and hair are perfect. However, the biggest point in the pictures is one or two that advertise what’s underneath those clothes. Cleavage shots. Anytime you see those, you’re probably dealing with a fake. Sure, I’ve seen bikini shots and T-shirt poses, but you can tell the difference between amateur and deliberate.

So, next week, let’s move onto more about the profile and what it can tell you.

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Characters: Lawrence Cameron

lc name tag

Lawrence Cameron wasn’t in the first draft of Alpha when I wrote it in the middle 90s. If you’ve read the book, you’ll remember Mallory is investigating the murder of her boyfriend she met a few months earlier. (If you haven’t read the book, why not? Well? Why not?) In the first draft, Lawrence wasn’t around because I had a different scenario for the story. He didn’t show until Beta. If you’ve read it, you’ll remember Mallory visits the Quad Cities and meets Detective Cameron and a subsequent relationship develops. (If you haven’t…see previous parenthetical questions and get moving.)

As mentioned in the Origin series of posts, his first name was Laurel. I took his surname from a classmate of mine. The first name was the closest I could come to the classmate’s first name and still remain male. As also previously discussed, women writers thought Laurel sounded too feminine and advised me to change it.

When I brought back Alpha, I had a problem in that Beta had already been published, but was technically the second story in the series. Beta takes place in November, Lawrence had been introduced, and Alpha was supposed to have taken place in October. How to write a prequel sequel. Or a sequel prequel. Which is it? Anyway, I latched onto the idea of a Then and Now theme where Mallory is relating the October story to Lawrence while they spend a snowy December evening together at her place. The Now sections are present tense in December with conversations between Mallory and Lawrence. The Then scenes are the actual story.

I’ve also discussed somewhere how I keep having a problem with bad guys Mallory encounters. She’s 6’ tall, so the bad guys have to be at least as tall or taller. No 5’5” punks. Although there is a future story, Gamma where she does come up against a midget. But we’re talking Lawrence. He also had to be taller so I made him 6’5”. He’s 35, strong, but not chiseled muscular. Brown hair, brown eyes, handsome (of course. I mean he’s me if I were 6’5” with a larger frame and that handsome). He works as an investigator for the Special Squad based out of East Moline. He, along with his four other team members take on cases throughout the QC metro area. They were supposed to handle some of the major cases, but usually get stuck with the usual robberies and such.

His father was a former officer who now spends time in Springfield trying to get better laws passed to benefit the police.

Lawrence is romantic enjoys being with Mallory. He ends up being a supportive character because Mallory feels guilty for the bad things that happen to her and him. She is her calm logical rock to which she can turn who will provide her with care and solid advice and comforting words. She may not always accept the words at first, but he never gives up on her.

Lawrence is in every Mallory Petersen novel thus far both published and waiting to be. I’ve switched to a Reznik story because I wrote two Mallory stories back to back and the next one, I have an idea for, but haven’t started an outline. I’m still forming the plot; however, it won’t include Lawrence. In fact, the story after that (oh yeah, I’m thinking two, three books ahead) doesn’t include him, either. I haven’t decided whether to include him in third book out because I’ve had only bits and pieces of scenes created.

I like the Lawrence character, and I think he’s good for Mallory. Where the relationship will go is still up in the air, but I’m sure he’ll keep showing up.

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Book Reviews – V

bad reviewA few authors have thanked me for the reviews, even when they received lower ranks. One White belt author asked me to be his beta reader for his next book. I couldn’t imagine trying to slog through what he had written next and turned him down. One author came back months after the review was posted-months, mind you-and asked me to remove it because there was something he didn’t like. When I asked him the reason, he mentioned a name that he had inadvertently written instead of the character’s real name. Melissa instead of Marlene or something like that. I said I wouldn’t take it down, but I would change the sentence so it didn’t mention the alternate name. He was afraid the person whose name he used, an acquaintance, would see the review and be upset. I thought it a goofy request, but did it. Then months later, he comes back and asks me to change the same sentence on my Amazon review page. I was unable to do so but mentioned, for heaven’s sake, the review is buried so far down the list and the review was posted a long time ago, the chance she’d see it was rare.

I have had other requests for review removal because of a low ranking. I’ve refused. I may rewrite a section if an author shows me that I have erred in a mistake I thought was made, but my reviews stand. One author whose book I’d given a White belt came back a couple months later and asked for a revision, since he’d taken some of my errors and things that didn’t work, and rewritten the story. I agreed to read it again, but managed only a couple chapters before I gave up. I revised the review to mention the second try at the story, but that many of the same mistakes still existed and the original rank was still deserved.

As mentioned, I don’t receive many request nowadays. One or two every month or so. I still enjoy reviewing, but I’ve become more selective on what I accept. I can usually tell if the thing is self-published and the probable quality before I even receive a copy of the book. I usually refuse. I would like to be reading my own books. I have enough reviews in the queue yet to be posted to last over three years. I haven’t scheduled that far in advance-only a couple months like I mentioned-but they’re ready to go. Any requests I do accept will be inserted after the last one I scheduled, again, to give me ample time to read the book.

After I have written and scheduled the review, I will email the author and let him/her know the date of posting. I feel it’s a courteous gesture. That way, the author is not sitting out there waiting and forgetting to check my blog. One author asked for a sneak peek. Uh, no. It wasn’t a bad book, but low enough in rank he might have asked me to revise or just not post.

So, if you have a book you think is worthy of review, take a chance with me. My reviews aren’t like any others, but I feel they’re well thought out and pretty accurate as to the quality of the book.

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Book Reviews – IV

  • writingWriting. Here I point out how the book was formatted. Chapter headings, if the book had Parts or sub-chapters. If there was any profanity. I’ll also note the spelling/grammar/punctuation errors. Were there continuity errors or goofs? One book I read had a scene where a bad guy entered a woman’s house and held her by gunpoint. The next scene had the cop and his girlfriend enter a movie theater to watch a show. I don’t remember if there was an interim scene, but the following scene had the cop and his girl exit the movie theatre after the show. The next scene went back to the house where the gunman still stood with the woman. Really? He stood there for 90-120 minutes or more and didn’t do anything? Not believable. Was the story, as a whole, believable? Did it make sense? Did parts of the story leave me confused? Was it worth my time to read or did it start fairly well and then fall apart? Or, as in one book, start confusing and became worse as it went along? I will also see if the writing needs to be tightened, if there are repetitive words, redundant or unnecessary words, too many clichés, or loose phraseology.

Then I’ll assign it a rank based not only on the above criteria, but a lot on the ‘enjoyability factor.’ How well did I enjoy the story? Sometimes that can work for or against. It could be a clean read but the story didn’t excite me much. There could be a few errors that might detract, but the story was good enough I could overlook them.

The shorter versions of the review, used for the books I own, are called Quick Kicks. Here I will copy/paste the descriptive blurb about the story directly from Amazon, then give my analyzation. Many times, these are audio books, so some of the Writing aspects aren’t relevant. These reviews are shorter and more concise but still list areas that don’t work or that I enjoyed.

I post the reviews on Mondays on my WordPress review blog, on Amazon, as well as a few other book sites. Or else I’ll post a link back to my blog.

Next week, I’ll finish up on the aspect of my book reviews.

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Book Reviews – III

The method I use for reviewing author requests is four-fold. I analyze the following aspects of the book.

  • plotPlot. I will summarize the plot in a way a back of the book blurb does. Then I will analyze the plot as a whole, whether it was a decent story, whether the plot was believable or simple or complex or bland. Sometimes the plot will be fine, and the problems lay elsewhere.character
  • Characters. I won’t list all of the characters, but I will list the main cast members along with whatever descriptions are given, what kind of car they own, where they graduated college, and other miscellaneous background info. I’ll also give my thoughts on how strong those characters were in the book, whether they were believable. Did a cop talk like a cop? Did the attorney act like an attorney? I remember a truly awful story about two cops questioning a supposed rape victim and they were entering an area of the questions that might have been uncomfortable to the woman. They said something to the effect of, “We don’t want to lose our jobs so we have to ask these questions.” What? No cop says that. Did the characters adequately support the story, were they important or relevant to the story? There have been several books I’ve read where a character is introduced, then forgotten and either will come in later for no reason or was highlighted too much but really wasn’t important. I remember a couple books where every chapter introduced a new character and only a couple were repeated later.
  • dialogueDialogue. This is a goodie. I’ve seen tag lines that weren’t really tag lines. Too much action after the tag lines. “I’m going to the store,” he said standing and walking toward the door. There are worse examples, but the action needs to be separated from the talking. Are there adverbs? …she said sarcastically. …he said angrily. Blech! Authors should know better. I remember a story where for four or five lines, there was a different adverb after ‘said’. This was consisted throughout. The author saw the review after several months, and was one of a handful to respond. She was not happy and told me that I didn’t know what I writing about and that her story had been accepted by a movie company. I replied that should let me know when the flick is released. Other things with dialogue I look at it is how much dialogue is there. I remember a story where the last fifty or so pages was nothing but dialogue and no real action. Or is there too much ‘ese’ dialogue. Medicalese, too much technological jargon that laymen wouldn’t understand. Do the words fit the character? I’ve read several books by an author where many of the characters tend to speak like Star Trek’s Data, no contractions. It’s fine if one or two do that, but when you have baddies start saying stuff like, “You will stop or I will kill you. There is too much at stake.” or stuff akin to that, I get thrown. Another book had tag lines that described the speakers a different way after each piece of dialogue. Two people in the scene but it went something like this: …” said the eminent professor. …” said the short cop. …” said the notable gray bearded man. …” said the brown haired man. Often I was flustered by just how many people were in the scene. Also, were too many other terms for ‘said’ used. Replied, complimented, shouted, etc. There is nothing wrong with said.

Next week, a continuation of how I review books.

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Book Reviews – II

br2If you look at my review site, braytonsbookbuzz.wordpress.com, you’ll see a list of requirements for review requests. Not many authors have followed the requirements, which, in one aspect is not showing respect for the person from whom you’re seeking help. Some have and even though I probably wouldn’t have accepted the book because I wasn’t interested, the request letter impressed me because it showed the person took time to include necessary information. So I took that book.

When I accept a review, I ask for a copy of the book (naturally) and because I have a Nook, I’ll ask for an epub file. If not, I can usually convert other files into epub. Not always, and sometimes the conversion messes with the formatting. I’ll also need the author to send me an image of the book’s cover as well as an image of him/herself if the person wants his/her face to be displayed. I’ll also provide a tentative time period for the review. Early July, sometime in April, etc. This allows me freedom to read at my leisure, but with an estimated time the review might be posted. I may have other books ahead of the latest request. I also try to have reviews in the queue scheduled for a couple months in advance.

I urge the prospective reviewee (is that a real word?) to read my requirements and a couple previous blogs in order to understand how I review. When I set out to be a book reviewer, I wanted to go more in depth into the craft of writing and not just praise the story. If something didn’t work, I wanted to let it be known. If there were errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, or continuity, I wanted readers to know. I wasn’t going to hold back. I wasn’t going to outright ‘trash’ the book, but would point out how, for me, the book or parts of it, didn’t work for me. Since I was going to read a lot of crap, I had to be tactful and not say it was crap, but to imply it with the errors I found and let the reader decide.

If you visit the site, you’ll notice I do not do the four or five star type of rating. I’ve also seen a four or five mushroom rating, or a numbered cupcake rating. Since I was in martial arts, I wanted something different. I felt the nine colored belt ranks would be interesting. This allowed me to have a bit more leeway on the level of crappiness (lol) the book was. I won’t repeat the descriptions of each belt rank as it relates to the review ranking, you can look for yourself. I believe I’ve stayed true to the ranking system with each book I review. Yes, there have been a number of White belt rankings which means, basically, the book should never have been published, probably not even have been written. There were so many errors or things wrong or aspects that didn’t work, it was a complete waste of my time, paper and ink. Many have fallen into the higher ranks of crappiness and the mid-rank levels where they books were pretty good, but not the best and I probably wouldn’t read another by that author. Most of the books fall into the Purple or Blue belt rankings which means they were enjoyable and I would read the author again. Those that reach Brown or above are excellent. It’s rare I give a book a Black belt, but look long enough, they’re listed. Bloodman and Pobi’s next book, Mannheim Rex both received the top rank. A few others, too. (I see Pobi has a few others published and I really want those. If I had them, I’d put them ahead of any other books to read. I think he’s that good.)

Next week, let me get into how I review books.

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Book Reviews – I

br1Years ago, I got it in my head to review books. I’d read a lot of books throughout the decades and have read many review sites. I figured I wasn’t busy enough so why not start another blog and start my own review posts. I signed up with an online magazine that sent me books to read. They had a simplified way of reviewing books and I followed their guideline. My reviews were published in about a dozen or so issues. I enjoyed the process and the books. Those they sent me to read were from popular authors or those who were up and coming popular.

bloodmanOne of my favorite stories about these reviews is I received a book written by a guy named Robert Pobi. The book is called Bloodman. I was hooked from the start. I loved the book. It was gritty and raw and intense and the author did a marvelous job of writing characters. I gave it a wonderful review and I tried to hold back from gushing too much. A month or so later I attended the Killer Nashville writers conference. After one of the seminars, I was sitting there and I noticed a guy I thought I recognized. After a moment I realized it was Robert Pobi. I waited for him to finish his conversation then introduced myself, and told him I was the one who reviewed his book for the magazine. He immediately hugged me. I was startled. He then told me the story that he didn’t read reviews but his agent told him he had to read mine because it was so good. He was so happy with it. He sent me a copy of his next book, which was also wonderful. I did have a few questions regarding the story, which he has yet to answer, but I still loved the book. Look him up and read his books.

boxAfter my stint with the magazine reviews, I found a website that accepted reviews. I could choose my books but there was a deadline to reviewing them. I liked this process but the deadline was a stickler. I didn’t want to be pressured. I did a number of reviews but soon dropped off. Then I signed onto a couple of blog sites where they, like the magazine, would send me boxes of books. I would read, review, and post. For a bit I thought it was great. I loved to read and I was having fun reviewing, and these blogs didn’t have deadlines. So, what could go wrong? Well, here’s the thing. If they send you a box of books, you’re obligated to read them. And that takes time. Plus, reading those books took me away from reading and enjoying my own books I had bought and they were starting to make quite a collection. Anyway, I kept at it. I did have the option of not reviewing if I didn’t like it or couldn’t get through a particular book.

After I made a temporary move to extreme southeast Iowa, I kept up with the reviews, but once I accepted a job in the Des Moines area, I ceased with both sites. However, by 2012 I was putting out my own blog of book reviews. Having my own site allowed me the freedom to expand on those positive reviews I’d given the books on other sites and be…not so positive. I could mention some things I thought didn’t work with the books I was reading. After I ceased reviewing for the sites, and after I was settled in, I signed up on a site where authors could request reviews. This allowed me the choice of accepting or rejecting a review. Since my name was at the top of the list, I was inundated with requests. After a time, the requests dropped off and today while I still receive requests, they’re not as numerous. Which is fine by me.

The problem I had was that since this site was a venue for authors to request reviews, I received most of the requests from self-published authors. I am not dissing all self-published books, but a LOT of them are pure crap. And I read a LOT of crap. These days, I’m a bit more discerning on what I accept and I don’t get as much crap. Which is fine by me.

Since I’m not reviewing a lot of books from authors who request one from me, I am reviewing a lot of books I own.

So, what is my process for reviewing books? I have a couple types of reviews. One I will always do for those books I accept for a requested review and I will use that and a shorter version for my own books, depending on how lazy I am. Lol.

Next week, I’ll continue on my review site.

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Interview Questions??? – IX

Inteview 5bOther marketing ploys I’ve utilized:

Library events: Several around the area. Oskaloosa, Pella, Knoxville, Keosauqua, Centerville, Grinnell, Winterset. Many didn’t respond and most didn’t garner any sales or much attendance. After I moved to Carlisle, I approached the small library in town, but they were looking more for authors who had material geared for children. I walked out not understanding how an author who lived in town was rejected by the town library. I have done the Ankeny library but for a writers group and that was a good one. Not in the sales, but in attendance and discussion.

Book and other craft fairs: Countless. Ankeny, Des Moines, Boone, Carlisle, Cedar Rapids, Burlington. It’s a hit or miss on those with mostly misses. There are good and bad things about each of them, but I think the major issue is the event promotion. If nobody knows about it, nobody is going to show.

Bookstores: Been to a few. Burlington By The Book was a nice store because the owner is a cool guy. Not sure how many sales I had, but I enjoyed being there. The Oskaloosa bookstore was a bust the two times I was there. Nobody showed up for the book discussion (the reasoning was that many came to the one held at the library) and the second time I was shoved at the head of an aisle with a display table a foot high. No sign, no promotion. I’ll add the coffee shop next door who scheduled me for a discussion but didn’t promote it and on the date scheduled, somebody forgot that Iowa Public Television was there filming a show and I was going to be an interruption. The next week, again, wasn’t promoted and I sat there for a while feeling crappy that I had patrons move off the stage and ended up going home without saying a word.

Asking for Reviews: Not too successful. I mentioned in the last blog that someone suggested asking friends for reviews from friends. So, I asked him and he refused. I asked other friends who also refused. When Alpha was republished, I asked other authors and they turned me down. Really? I reviewed some of their books and talk with them during events, and buy their books, but they can’t help me? What’s the deal? That disappointed me a lot. In the same vein, when Alpha was published with Oak Tree, I had a list of book reviewers. I’m not sure of the actual number, but there were only a couple acceptances but no follow up or else if they did review it I don’t know where the review was posted. Waste of time.

I want to help authors as much as I can. I conduct interviews and promote them. I accept books for review. I’ll support other authors by attending their events when I can, buying their books when I find one I think I might enjoy. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for a reciprocal action.

Anyway, those are some of the marketing things I’ve tried. I know it’s a bit disheartening to see that most of them weren’t very successful, but I keep trying.

Maybe someday…

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