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Honestly, I do Exist

I’m not good at selling myself, which apparently is important if I want to sell a few copies of my books. Nothing I’ve ever done has gone viral, though I live in hope. The publisher I’m working with got me on to a social media consultant. She was great. First she helped me set up a Facebook Page, which was pretty basic, but then gave me the low down on how to make it work. Get some “Liked by this Page” on there to attract like-minded people. Use pictures – perhaps obvious but apparently lots of people miss the obvious. Link to my blog on my website as often as possible. Promote the Page. If someone stumbles across your Page and it has six Likes it’s less impressive than if it has 60,000 Likes. So far I have 1,016, which I consider to be good start, though for reasons I can’t explain most of them are from India. The whole idea is to get a “what’s that buzz, tell me what’s happening” going. You want people leaving comments, telling their friends. You want people talking to you. So far, no one is talking to me.

She then turned to my Twitter account and taught me all about #tags and how to write a good tweet. She’s of the opinion that loading your tweet down with #tags is just pretentious and people know it. And she insisted you don’t have to use all 140 characters. Keep it short – I thought 140 characters was short. You want people retweeting you, following you, and interacting with you. So far there hasn’t been a whole lot of interaction. My retweeting rate is embarrassing. I only have 77 followers, the last one being Said Shogaiee Saadi. My problem with Twitter is I can’t think of anything to say. I read that I should be tweeting about my book five or six times a day. Hell, I might as well just copy the book 140 characters at a time.

So, the fundamental problem is this: Virtually no buzz. I’ve had a website for three years and don’t need more than ten fingers to count the number of comments left on the sight, and half of them are from my family. It’s me. I know it’s me. There is something about me.

It started years ago when the Internet was in its infancy and we all had dial-up connections. I was still fascinated that things appeared on my monitor that I didn’t put there. I was living in northern England and found this site called The Gate – think Golden Gate Bridge. It was a connection with home. I found a discussion group on films. I signed in. I read the various threads for a few days and then, with considerable anticipating and excitement, I joined in with something like, “I’m new to the group and was thinking…” No one welcomed me. No one responded to my comment. No one included me. No problem, I was the new guy on the digital block. Be patient, I told myself. I made more comments, and I must say some of them were terribly insightful. No one responded. No one acknowledged my existence. This went on for weeks and finally I wrote, “I’ve been participating for weeks and no one has responded so I guess I’m signing out”. No one said goodbye. I was crushed. It’s always been the same since my dial-up let down.

Recently I sighed up to PenBuzz, a new site for writers. My media consultant said it was important for me to join these things, so I do. There’s a place on the site to write a “blog” and a place to ask questions. I’ve posted three “blogs” and so far have received zero comments. I asked a question. That’s right. Zero answers. I befriended a person, thanked her for her “blog”, and asked about her website. She never responded. I’m about to leave PenBuzz, but now that I’m older and have experienced years of Internet inanimateness, I’m less crushed.

But why? Why? I’m a nice guy, polite, patient, interesting, and sometimes controversial. I fill in the profile bit and put a nice picture of myself up. I compliment people. But never have people on the Internet, with the exception of Facebook, interacted with me. Hell, interacted? They don’t acknowledge my existence. Why? Why? I exist! (I have a friend in New York who would say it’s a trickster ghost among the electrons, but I’m not so sure.)

It has now become somewhat of a joke. But funny as it is, it doesn’t sell books. And the thing is, The Woman in White Marble isn’t a half bad book. If I had the money, I’d hire someone to pretend to be me, like famous people do. He or she could tweet away and write clever things on my Facebook Page. They could take PenBuzz by storm and turn my website into a cacophony of conversations. It would be so exciting. I could live vicariously through my digital other. I could tell people at parties, “That’s right, I’m the Dale Rominger. I have 2,000,000 followers on Twitter and 1,000,000 likes on my Facebook Page.” The big boys would be hounding me to buy The Back Road Café, but I’d hold out in order to keep advertising off the site. No links to women with big breasts on The Back Road Café. I wouldn’t sell out! I wouldn’t have to. I’d be rich because White Marble would have gone viral. And I could simply write the next Drake Ramsey mystery in peace – working title is The Krewe of Boo Murders. Ah, yes. That’s the way it should be.

P.S. If anyone is interested, I’ll give you 10% of all book sales for the first two years you pretend to be me. If you are interested, tweet me, or leave a comment on my Facebook Page, or on my website. Look forward to hearing from you.

Copyright © 2015 Dale Rominger

Reader Comments (2)

Sounds to me like you need another Friday afternoon of drinking ... I'll buy the pizza and beer this time!

June 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

I would love to read your book Dale and then I would strongly encourage everyone I know (I know many avid readers ) to read your book as well! I have often heard "word of mouth" to be the best way to advertise! So where can I get a copy of your book?!

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