I have been off work today, and will return tomorrow, working 2nd shift. I'm off today because I agreed to work on Saturday morning, meaning I'm going to pull one of those 2nd shift/1st shift deals where you basically work two shifts in a 24-hour period, with just 8 hours in between to get home, sleep, get up, shower, and get back to work. It's pretty crappy, but that's how it goes sometimes.
We took Syd to a follow-up appointment with a pediatric hand surgeon today and the news was all good. He doesn't think her smashed finger is actually broken, and he does not see any evidence of infection, meaning there appears to be no reason for surgical intervention. Everything seems to be healing up just fine, although the finger is still black with scabs and stitches and dried blood (despite our best efforts to clean it up). In case you didn't read my last installment, Syd got the tip of her pinkie crushed on the inside (hinge side) of a self-closing door at school and had to go to the ER for stitches and X-rays.
I have recently started a new Twitter account. I haven't advertised this on my blog or Facebook simply because the account is solely for the promotion of my books. @BScottChristmas is still my main Twitter handle, where I do my normal tweeting and chatting and goofing around. I don't plan on doing much book promoting on that account anymore (although I will probably send out the occasional shout-out for one of my books). @Scotts_Books is my writing account, where I basically promote my own books and the books of my fellow writers. Friends and family need not follow that account, as it will simply result in an enormous amount of Twitter spam.
I'm definitely feeling torn about whether the second Twitter account is really worth it. I resisted doing it for a long time (I even commented on my blog about how annoying some of the Indie writers were who were constantly spamming about their own books), but I finally decided if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. It must work, or they wouldn't do it. However, in the first few weeks (and I've already got as many followers on my new account as I do on my older one - about 600 apiece), I'm not sure that it's really doing anything to increase my book sales. The books that were already selling pretty well are still selling at roughly the same pace, and the ones that weren't selling well don't seem to be getting any boost by the constant tweeting. In fact, I can only identify a handful of actual sales that have come from all the self-promotion - either because it's a book that hasn't sold much lately and all of the sudden there is a sale or two, or because someone tells me on Twitter that they bought a book. Of course, even a few extra sales is probably worth it, since it doesn't cost me a dime to do - just time, and it doesn't even cost me that much time.
I dunno, I'll keep doing it for a while and see what I think. I may end up abandoning the account if I decide it's not worth it. The problem with this whole scenario is that it is all a big community, and everyone follows everyone else - so when I have a follower who re-tweets one of my books to all their followers, it's still pretty much just going to all the same people. Furthermore, all of us are competing for an audience, and everyone tweets non-stop about their books and blogs and everything else, so your News Feed is a constant stream of self-promoting tweets and re-tweets, so you don't read or pay any attention to 99% of them anyway, and you probably only buy 1/10th of 1% of the books that people are tweeting about. For instance, after several months of being involved in this Indie Twitter crowd, I've bought a total of maybe 6 books, two of which were just short stories. But I've had tens of thousands of tweets sent to me in that time advertising books and blogs and whatnot.
The point in all this rambling is that it's a very difficult market to break into, and because there is so much spam, you can't really get noticed unless you, yourself, become a spammer. It's like a race to see who can out-spam everyone else, in order to get noticed often enough to actually produce some sales.
And on that note....I finally published my poetry collection :) It's available now for Kindle readers and Kindle apps from Amazon. Dear Author: A Collection of Poems. It's only 99 cents. There are, I believe, 52 poems in the collection, which I've culled from more than 500 that I wrote from 2004 to 2008. I don't expect a collection of poetry to exactly tear up the bestseller lists, but for anyone who enjoys good poetry, I think you'll find that my poems are not half bad, for an Indie writer anyway. Be forewarned that there is some explicit language in a few of the poems.
For the remainder of the year, I have three more projects planned. One is to finish re-writing and re-working my very first completed novel - The Pyrate Chronicles - which I wrote when I was in college. I'm re-writing it in order to publish it on Amazon. The second project is to complete my series on Presidential Facts, and publish them in a single volume. The final project is a novella (a short novel) about a 1st century Christian text that gets discovered in the modern day, and the race to find out who stole it and why. It's going to be a thriller in the vein of Dan Brown (NOT that it will be that good, of course, but a boy has to try). :) I don't know that these projects will necessarily be completed in this order, but my goal is to complete them all by year's end. Let's see if I can stick with it. Maybe putting it out there publically like this will spur me to action.