In my first blog of the month I almost always write about the books I read the previous month. If I did that today, this would be my shortest blog post ever.
Near the end of this post, I’ll do just that; however, first I need to let off some steam.
If, after reading my blog post last week, How can I attract readers when I write about my author’s platform?, you thought it might be easy to build an author’s platform, just read today’s rant.
January 2023 from where I sit
January was a month filled with distractions and frustrations. The redesigning of my website has gone more slowly than I had hoped, mainly because I’m not very computer savvy. There were answers to technical questions I couldn’t readily figure out.
Plus, I had to learn a lot of technology in January so I can enable readers to subscribe to my email list and receive a free ebook, That’s still a work in progress because the good people at the very well-known email marketing service I’m using required me to fill out a long survey before they can answer two of my three basic questions. At least, they seemed basic to me.
I’m still not sure I’ve figured out how to give away the ebook. Maybe I’ll have to just reward my subscribers with a link to it so they can purchase it on Amazon for 99 cents. At least that remains an option.
Bless their hearts, the folks at the very well-known email marketing service I’m using are more interested in such things as my top three goals, how many subscribers I’ll be downloading (right now, it looks like zero), and what software I anticipate “integrating” with them. I’ve already asked them about Zapier, but they can’t answer me until I fill out the survey and tell them the best time to call me. I thought my question about Zapier was a yes or no question. Apparently, I was wrong.
Due to my moderate hearing loss and the fact that I just prefer having answers in writing, I much prefer answers in writing. I wish I’d gone with ConvertKit. Perhaps there’s still that option – which I told the good people at the very well-known email marketing service in my last email to them on Friday.
On an equally frustrating note, the very well-known print-on-demand company that prints my books has also forced me to learn more technology than I ever wanted to know. However, even with my best efforts in responding to each of their emails and supplying them with 20+ digital photographs, all the order numbers, etc. more times than I can remember since January 5, I have now given up on ever being reimbursed for the 14 damaged books I received on December 21, 2022 because there was no packing material in the boxes.
I worked my way up to a supervisor, but she has chosen not to respond to my latest plea for a refund. I paid the cost of printing, tax, and shipping for those books but I can’t sell them. And who wants to give away a damaged book that has your name on it as the author?
Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Book 1 is selling very well at Second Look Books in Harrisburg, but I dread all future shipments of it and of Book 2, which I hope to have published by April. It sort of takes the fun out of being an author.
(By the way, don’t bother to send the very well-known print-on-demand company that prints my books photos of the condition the box is in when you receive damaged author copies or a photo of the inside of the box showing the four inches of empty space in which your $25 books were allowed to bounce around in while they were in transit for 600 miles from Indianapolis because the company doesn’t want to know such things. You have the benefit of learning from my silly assumptions that someone in the company would want to know why so many of the books they print arrive at the author’s home in unsellable condition. But if they don’t have to issue a refund to the author, I guess they really don’t need to know what the books arrived damaged.)
I spent the entire month of January formatting Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Book 2, trying my best to learn how to giveaway an ebook via a very well-known email marketing service, and attempting to get a refund from the company that prints my books for 14 unsellable copies of Book 1. That left very little time for reading for pleasure, but numerous opportunities for screaming.
What I read in January 2023
However, when I wasn’t screaming, I read part of The Shadow Box, by Louanne Rice. It was the January book for the Rocky River Readers book club. Time ran out and I didn’t get to finish it.
I tried to read one chapter in Black Raven, by Ann Cleeves every night. Unfortunately, I only got to do that for three nights before the ebook went back to the public library.
I read Chasing the Ripper: A Kindle Single, by Patricia Cornwell. She wrote it in 2014 about her research about Jack the Ripper after her book, Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper – Case Closed was published. This 57-page Kindle Single was interesting even though I haven’t read her Portrait… book. Her Kindle Single is sort of a prelude to her 2017 book, Ripper: The Secret Life of Walter Sickert. The Kindle Single made me curious about the details Ms. Cornwell has pieced together lending credence to the theory that British artist Walter Sickert was indeed Jack the Ripper.
The other book I actually read in its very short entirety was The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, by Charlie Mackesy. I can’t describe it better than the blurb on Amazon, so I’ll just quote it, in case you aren’t familiar with the wee book: “From the revered British illustrator, a modern fable for all ages that explores life’s universal lessons, featuring 100 color and black-and-white drawings.”
What I’d thought about blogging about today
An alternative subject for today was the 89th anniversary of the ratification of the 20th Amendment to the US Constitution. I hesitated to write about that, since just two weeks ago I blogged about the ratification of the 24th Amendment in #OnThisDay: The US Constitutional Amendment that Put an End to Poll Taxes. Plus, I couldn’t seem to set aside enough quiet time to refresh my memory about the 20th Amendment enough to blog about it. Please take time to Google it and refresh your memory. That’s all I had time to do.
Until my next blog post
I hope you have a good book to read. I’m listening to The Diamond Eye, by Kate Quinn. I’m thoroughly enjoying it, and I hope to have time to finish listening to it.
Take time to relax. If you figure out how to do that while dealing with this technologically-mishandled world, please let me know your secret.
And in all seriousness, I remind you and myself not to forget the freezing, suffering, weary, much-abused-by-Putin-and-his-henchmen, and terrorized people of Ukraine.
My problems don’t hold a candle to what the Ukrainians are dealing with 24/7. Remembering that helps put my concerns in perspective. Come to think of it, I have nothing to scream about.