Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A is for Ameliorate


I don’t know anyone who isn’t writing a book, who isn’t thinking about writing a book, who hasn’t already written a book, or having written a book isn’t now planning to write My Book, Part Two—Cash, Check, or Charge. All of which is wildly exciting—also bewildering. It’s a brave new book-writing world. Guttenberg would be proud—also bewildered, I bet.

I’ve written a book—of course. It’s a middle grade, soft cover, work of historical fiction called MOONCALF. It’s literature. It contains no sex, drugs, wizards, or rock and roll. I made $1.68 cents in royalties last month, and I’m competing with 700,000 other titles in my category on Amazon. I have eighteen EXCELLENT reviews on Amazon and only one of them is my mother. 

The problem with everyone, including my poet house painter, writing a book is not the competition it’s the sheer mathematical mass of the competition. It’s like being one oat in a silo of oats or a jet liner at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. Tricky. Very tricky to get noticed.

A writer friend of mine suggested paying for and participating in a Book Blast to ameliorate the trickiness of being one book in the flood of one million plus titles published each year.

I did this and wrote the check. Please don’t ask me what a Book Blast is, because I still don’t know. I think it’s when your book title gets tweeted by a trillion people hoping to win a free _________________ (fill in the blank.) 

It was fun. I got lots of strangers wanting to be my tweety friends and email pals. 

I also got promptly hacked, causing my new email, tweety friends to send me messages alerting me to the hackage. They were very nice about the hundreds of posts advertising weight loss products that appeared to be coming from my fat bottom. They said, “Hey, you’ve been hacked. Fix that would you.” It wasn’t a request.

My book, MOONCALF, was not mentioned.

And so I ameliorated—a word meaning to make better or improve--the problem of someone pretending to be me by changing all my passwords, ninety percent of which I’ve promptly forgotten.

No worries. I press on. My next book Beyond the Strandline is a young adult romantic action adventure that will fit nicely into the already over crowded young adult romantic action adventure genre.

To ameliorate the potential of being crushed under the endless weight of vampires and death game players, I plan to keep my characters naked for the entire book as they fly from spot to spot while hanging from their own personal drones.

No I don’t. Someone’s probably already written that book.

Linda (Better Now?) Zern 

1 comment:

Sher A. Hart said...

Hey, Linda, thanks for stopping by my post. I replied on my blog, but few people see those, so I wanted to tell you someone found my lost cat in the nick of time. He was beat up, bleeding, smelled like an abcess, had one eye shut with an infection, was half weight, and he couldn't eat because his mouth was too sore. But a trip to the vet removed hair matted between his teeth and I nursed him back to health. He's still got a cloudy spot in the bad eye, but I'm so glad I got my friend back.

Sorry you got hacked.

Because of all those books out there, you may not ever reach even a quarter of the available readers, but the few you do reach will remember the message. If even one treats everyone else, no matter their color, with more kindness because of your book, it's worth it. If you don't have a lesson plan yet, there are some websites to help your middle grade book get seen by teachers and become part of the common core. Just wanted to make sure you knew.

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