It is What it is

I haven’t done anything worth blogging about. Beta read an awesome story collection, but it’s not available yet so no point linking anything. I have read some short stories I need to review from the Night Touched series by Maegan Provan, but the reviews will go up on my book review blog ( ). I have pre-order links for my newest book, but those go up on my author blog tomorrow. Tricia the awesome posted an interview with me, but that’s – again – on my author blog ( so… There’s just not much non-author life happening right now.

I’m kind of disgusted right now. And disappointed. It just feels like everyone is out to make a buck sometimes – there’s nothing wrong with making money, and nothing wrong with wanting fair compensation, but sometimes I get disheartened with price gouging. It’s like really? Why do you think your time is worth THAT much? In the end the people mostly hurt themselves – and the handful of suckers whose wallets they pilfer. I guess that’s why it bothers me; because they’re taking advantage of that handful of suckers. I dunno.

I did learn I have some principles. (Scary, right?) A website whose name I won’t mention offered to download and review author’s books in exchange for a testimonial of their site. I initially thought “heck, I can do that!” So I tried, but truth is I don’t use their site, and I don’t know anything about their product or their services, and in the end I couldn’t attach my name to something that said I did. Plus, they don’t promise to READ said book, just download it and review, and I don’t really need any shill reviews either. Yeah, i’d love to have the 100 or 200 that some books get, but I’m happier with my 27 real ones than 100 fake ones. (Remind me I said that later when I’m wishing for more reviews.)

I read an interesting blog by a reviewer saying that authors worry too much about reviews because reviews don’t matter (??), and whether an author had five or fifty makes no difference, but they’re wrong. Reviews matter because many of the best advertising sites won’t accept your book for advertising (Yes, they won’t LET you PAY them) unless you have a certain number of reviews and a certain star rating (Because we all know that that star rating guarantees something, right?), so an author needs a certain number of reviews and a certain star rating if they want to advertise their book to an audience that might actually buy it. I say this because the idea of using social media to connect and advertise sounds great – be yourself, cultivate friendships. It’s fun, sure, but it doesn’t SELL much, and if you desperately need some sale numbers so you can afford to keep churning out books then you need to make sales, and the best way to make sales it to advertise to people who are actually looking for BOOKS rather than by posting pictures of your breakfast on instagram and hoping someone will find your sausage log cabin interesting enough to click on your profile and then maybe click your link and then maybe buy… it just doesn’t make sense as a sales strategy. Now as a networking strategy, as a making friends strategy, even as a PR and keeping in touch with fans strategy it’s awesome, but to sell books? Not so much.

I read a nasty comment from a reviewer on another blog stating that authors should just (essentially) spend their time hanging out on social media and *if* the reader found the author engaging and interesting enough then the reader *might* ask about the author’s books. Say what? I realize this was initially meant to combat writers who spam Facebook or twitter with constant “buy my book” blurbs, but get real. Steven King isn’t on twitter cultivating a friendship with you in the desperate hope you might deign to pick up one of his books (neither is he posting 400 “buy my book links” either, so keep that in mind). No, I’m not Steven King, but let’s face it, the publishing industry has changed and NONE of us are EVER going to be Steven King, no matter how good we are – period. If I instigate a friendship with someone it’s because I want to be friends with them, not because I hope they’ll find me witty enough to someday read my novels.

Which leads me to another point. I don’t WANT to know the private life of artists/authors for the most part (Unless it’s someone who falls into that “I like you for you and now I have discovered – whoa! – you’re also an amazing writer, too!”) because it ruins things. I loved the Ann Rice’s vampire books. But, after her anti-religion facebook stunt I won’t read another one ever again. And I want to. I think “It wouldn’t hurt… she’s not suffering because of my not buying, after all…” But it’s one of those principle things. “Connecting” with her on Facebook ruined a book series I enjoyed. The band Soul Asylum. I still love their music, and I admit I’d still buy their stuff, but after a friend of mine worked an arena show for them and the lead singer was a complete prima donna a** hole it took something out of the music for me. There are others, but you get the idea.

Of course, there are times where knowing things about the author/singer/etc make the experience better. I love Ville Valo’s interviews, for instance (but then he’s such a smart ass he makes them fun), but he’s also careful. He has a persona, he plays his persona, and we don’t see the *real* him. And we don’t need to. I don’t need him to connect with me on twitter and have meaningful conversations and convince me that it’s worth my precious time to listen to his music. Of course, if he wanted to I wouldn’t say no, he seems like he’d be fun to talk to. (Actually, I’d know it was a fake because he doesn’t use social media, but that’s beside the point.)

So this turned into a sort of rant. The things I say we should all avoid. I don’t have any cool wrap up thought to pull this all together, so I’m not going to. It is what it is.

This is an old random photo that has nothing to do with anything:

Have a good one!

Jo 🙂


About Joleene Naylor

An independent author, freelance artist, and photographer for fun who loves anime, music, and writing. Check out my vampire series Amaranthine at or drop me a line at

2 responses to “It is What it is”

  1. Steve Evans says :

    Ha! For what it’s worth I think the whole “milk the net through social media to get book sales” theory is deeply flawed. Of course this is biased as I don’t do it. I have a blog but that’s all…you are one of the most indefatigable net people I know if not the most, and you have no idea how much I admire this quality. But you are a) FUN b) intelligent c) talented d) in Iowa. One of these is perhaps a drawback…at any rate you deserve success not because of that but because your books are good and getting better.

  2. Tricia Drammeh, Author says :

    There’s so much conflicting information out there about how we’re supposed to behave as authors. I don’t think anyone really knows the answer. And I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all formula. I do think it’s better to use social media to be social rather than posting “buy my book” links 24-7. Not everyone is cut out to be social with a huge group of friends. If you’ve never been a social butterfly in real life, I don’t think it will work on Twitter either. People know if you’re not being yourself. Through blogging, I’ve met some amazing people, but it’s been a gradual process, and like you said, I’m friends with those people because I really like them, not because I hope they’ll someday buy a book from me. Their friendship is all I want from them.

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