Monday 21 October 2013

No problem - have a gr8 day lol!

I was inspired to write this by a post by Elizabeth Ducie on a similar subject - ie, the automatic usage of dumb phrases, such as 'no problem'.  Here is Elizabeth's post - please read it first, it's very good!:

I, too, have had experience of the 'no problem' school of waiter service in restaurants. I remember a few years ago being in a fish restaurant near Peterborough with my father; as in Elizabeth's post, every request was answered with this phrase.  Our main course did not arrive for 45 minutes.  We talked to the waiter about this, giving orders for more drinks ("Another bottle of the Pinot Grigio" "No problem" "And a jug of water, please" "No problem" "Could you find out from the kitchen how long it will be?" "No problem").  In the end, my father said, "Well, there clearly is a problem, because we've been waiting for our main course for an hour. Could you please check in the kitchen again?"  "No problem".  The waiter actually went red when he'd said it, probably realising what a chump he sounded. What ever happened to "Certainly, sir"?

Another one is "Don't worry about it!" - "My payment for £120 to doesn't seem to have gone through.  Could you check it please?"  "Sure, don't worry about it"  "I paid it on Friday" "I'll just check, don't worry about it"  "I wasn't, I was just asking you to check it."  "Ha ha!  Don't worry about it".  

One of my biggest loathes is "You'll be fine" ~ said whenever anyone expresses concern about a job interview, a serious medical condition, a driving test.  It is a bland platitude, said without any knowledge or conviction that the person will be fine at all.  The first time I heard it, I thought the person actually had inside knowledge, and that I would get the job.  I didn't. 

Many people know of my loathing of such teenage Facebook terms as 'lol' , 'yay' , 'awesome' 'nom nom nom', and all the rest of them.  What I dislike is the way that these words/phrases are latched onto and repeated by all.  I'm not talking about incorrect use of the language - I call people dude, say 'wahey' and 'yee-hah', and all sorts of silly things like that, as do many, but I don't use them almost as punctuation marks lol like some do lol.  I hate it when I see sentences on Facebook lol with no punctuation apart from lol at the end lol.  You're not laughing out loud, are you?  And does it really fill you with awe?  I told a friend off the other day for her use of 'yay', and she answered that she was equally as irritated by my use of emoticons - fair enough, I will stop automatically putting :) at the end of practically every tweet!!!  Incidentally, if ever you see a tweet from me saying something like "I iz okay lol innit", it is probably to one of a very few people who also do this sort of thing as a joke.  Lol.  

My friend just told me of one she hates (though this isn't the same sort of thing, but I thought I'd mention it!) - when people say "Clearly" before they explain something - I said that means "It's clear to me, and you're stupid if you can't see it."  A bit like "With all due respect" which actually means "I think you're talking crap".

Okay, okay, I'll shurrup now - because I've written about this sort of thing before....

... and how every other Facebook bio (the ones I don't follow back) claims that the profile is that of a self-confessed geek and mediapreneur with eclectic tastes.  And the day I become 'sassy' I'll shoot myself.  Lol. 

A word of thanks - and bit about free promotions!

I promise you will not see another book tweet of mine for at least 10 years!!! Well, maybe not that long... but ....

Before I begin with free promo stuff and words of thanks, I just wrote this to a friend in an email, and I think it sums the whole Amazon visibility/free promotion thing up!

Imagine the biggest library you know, and your one book at the bottom of one of the back shelves. It's only been taken out by a few people, and unless they recommend it to others you have to wait for someone else to chance upon it, which they may not do for days or weeks at a time. The free promotion is like having it picked out by the library assistants and having it put on the 'recommended reads' shelf, for a couple of days!!!

As many of my Twitter followers will have observed (serious yawn!!), I put my book Full Circle on free promotion this weekend just gone.  It wasn't wildly successful; I partly have myself to blame for that because, for all that I advise other people to do so (!!) I didn't prepare for it properly.  I didn't submit it to any of the sites that advertise free Kindle books because... I couldn't be bothered.  So for that, I paid the price, I guess!!  Also, I chose not to do any promotion with the sites on which you have to pay to be featured.  Gone are the days of 17K downloads and getting to number #1 in free downloads just by tweeting (with the resultant fabulous after-sales) as I did eighteen months ago; now, you need to do more, alas.  

Nowadays I think people only download a free book if they think they might really want to read it, not like when I first did a free promotion and seeing a book for free was such a novelty that everyone downloaded it anyway!  Thus, I also have to accept that this particular book perhaps does not have the wide appeal of some others, including some of my own (even though its reviews are outstanding, and I think it's my best one - oh well!).  I hope I will always be able to be realistic about these things, and not blame 'the industry' or make daft excuses!  The rock band-coupled-with-romcom-coupled-with-wife-of-an-alcoholic thing was always a risk; it's maybe not girly enough for the chick lit readers, and not blokey enough for the lad-lit lovers!  However, I did have far more downloads than I expected at first, from which there is always the possibility of new readers and reviews.  And I had far more actual sales of my other five books than I've had at the weekends recently, particularly Dream On, which is the prequel to Full Circle - so I'd recommend doing a free promotion to anyone - but do it right, not like I did!

(Incidentally, Dream On is still half price (96p/£1.53), simply because I haven't got round to changing it back yet....feel free!)

I would not have done half as well as I did if it wasn't for the help of others, and so I would like to give HUGE thanks to the following - and to everyone who downloaded Full Circle (or bought my others!) over the weekend:

Deena Rae of eBookBuilders and all her friends who tweeted my post thereon; Maria Savva (who did a blog post for me, too!), Dave Goodridge, Bert Murray, Susan Buchanan, Francis 'Vajazzle-Tastic' Potts, Carol Hedges, Darcia Helle, Rachel Thompson, Jenny Twist, Geoff West, Jenny Burnley, JD Hughes, Suzy Turner, Alice Huskisson, IndieAuthorLand, Zoe Saadia, Catterick Claire, Angela Thomas, Mandy Baggot, Alex Johnson, Mackenzie Brown, Soberistas, Rayne Hall, E L Lindley, Jackie 495, Zoe Saadia, Morton Balthus, Guy Johnson, Mary Coen, Evelyn Tidman, Jack Croxall, Jan Romes, Proofreader Julia, Jacy Brean, Carol Phipps, Dana Vickery, JE Ryder, Lisa Richardson, Diane Mannion, Electa Graham, Kimberly Biller, Karena Marie, Kitty Bittersplit, Peter Davey, Pam Howes, John Hudspith, Jan Ruth, Dave Perlmutter, Wendy Aizen-Smith, Janie Storer, Caitlyn Dawney, Terry Ridley, Marlena Hand, James Bryron, Michael Eging, Vonda Norwood, Wendy Potocki, Machel Shull, Suzy Ayres, Danny Kemp, Robert Bevan, Lisa Gillis, Jasmine Bath, Michelle Wilkinson, Sammy Sutton, Phillip Mayes, Ellis Vidler, Jenny Lloyd, Suzanne Jenkins, HE Joyce, Marc Mordey, Brian Menard, Phebe Bodelle, Mark Swain, Vanessa Wester, Josie Noonan, Glen Batchelor, June Kearns, Lindsay Townsend, Danielle Schnieder, Stephen Jennison-Smith, Jerry Beller, WC Hewitt, Polly Iyer, Chuck Bluestein, Lynette Creswell, Teresa Hamilton, Lisa Buist, Kate Hanney, Claudia Burgoa, Caroline Easton, Derrick Bickley, Toya Richardson, Wendy Storer, Blondie Waters, Neel Kay, Elizabeth Ziko, Jenny Kreeve, and everyone else who retweeted for me and posted on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere for me over the weekend - I tried to remember everyone, and I apologise I've left you out of that list.  I did try to return as many RTs as possible but I needed to do things like eat and sleep, too!

And if any of you are doing a free promotion - just let me know and I'll gladly help spread the word!

Sunday 13 October 2013

"I'm just an ordinary hard-working mum!" - NOT!

I was reading an article in some weekend magazine last week about Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Abbey Clancy, currently on Strictly Come Dancing, and (whether or not this is what they really said, or just how it was portrayed by the magazine, I don't know) they were both giving it all this "oh, people think it's so glamorous, but it's not!  We have to do the school run before we go to work, then we get to lunch time and think, oh God, I forgot to pack little Tristan's recorder, and after a gruelling day we get home and have to cook dinner, just like any other working mother!"


Er, no you're NOT just like any working mother - and I'm guessing you know this.  You're beautiful, rich, married to handsome successful men (probably), you're talented (maybe), well-known, and no doubt have a whole HOST of minions running round who will get little Tristan's recorder to him, should you have forgotten to have put it in his backpack.  You go to 'work' where you are fawned over, and get to learn to dance with hot guys all day whilst earning an absolute packet.  You don't have to do this to pay the mortgage, you do it to enhance your profile and secure other gigs that will pay out as much as this one does.  

Wouldn't it be great if, just once, one of them said this:  

"Yeah, I can't believe my luck!  I was born stunning, can do exactly what I want, and I've got all this money.  Go me!"

Myleene Klass (talented pianist, millionairess, etc) - High Priestess of the 'Oh, I'm just a normal working mother' club :)