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I actually sent this email as a kind of tongue-in-cheek thank you to a site that invited me to submit a post. When I retired, the first time, I told my wife, "They've finally driven me crazy." She replied, "It's not a drive, hon, it's just a put."

Is this effective in any way, or just another senior moment? I meant it to be funny, but there is more than one grain of truth in it.

This is what I sent.

As a sixty-eight year first time novelist I can only imagine what an interview with me would have been like about my self-published book before I started looking around the internet and learned how things worked.

So, Mr.Hollar, you decided to self-publish and write an Indie book.

Well, there are some Indians in the book, but they don't cause any trouble.

Not what I meant, but let's go on to another question. Your sales are very, very low - almost nonexistent. Did you pitch the book to your best friends first and encourage them to buy your book?

Yeah.

That didn't seem to increase your sales. Why do you think that is?

They don't have computers.

Couldn't you loan them a computer?

Yeah, but they don't know how to use them.

Couldn't you give them a paper copy?

Maybe, but it'd be hard because it's an eBook. I guess I could print one out. But the oldest one would just chew little pieces off, and the rest might slobber on it.

That's too bad. Sorry your friends are in such bad shape. How are they doing? Are they in nursing homes?

No, they don't let cats in nursing homes.

[long pause] Your best friends are cats?

Yeah.

[after a period of silence] Well, what about your family? Did you tell them?

Yeah. After I told them there was a four hundred mutant hyena in the book they fell on the floor laughing. I got hungry before they stopped and finally just let it go.

That's too bad.

Yeah. I guess they're not science fiction fans.

[another long pause] Can you tell me anything about your novel?
Yeah.

Please go ahead.

It's got a mutant hyena in it.

And?

It's a serious book.

And?

I think it's good. What me to read it to you? Then we could talk about it after.

[shorter pause] I don't think we have time for that now. We have to move this interview along. Why did you choose KDP SELECT to self publish?

It didn't cost anything. I'm pretty cheap.

Don't be too hard on yourself. Lots of people are frugal.

No, I'm definitely cheap. It's engraved on my medical emergency wristband along with the warning not to let my family trip over any electrical cords in the hospital room.

You're serious?

I told you my book was a serious book.

Let me put it another way. Is your family clumsy?

No. I was just joshing you about that.

[Sigh] Before you tried this author interview did you try promotion on Facebook?

Yeah. A moderator got mad because I "pinned" a post. I didn't even know what "pinning" a post meant. But I figured it out, apologized even though I didn't do it on purpose, and fixed it.

So, some people just assumed you knew how to use social media for self-promotion when you really didn't?

Yeah. They told me to use Twitter. I tried to sign up but someone else had used my AOL email address to sign up for twitter. I emailed AOL and Twitter about it, but they didn't bother responding. On the bright side I learned what a hash tag is.

That's tough.

Not as tough as getting exposure on online sites without paying money, giving a donation, or having "X" number of reviews you haven't got because no one has heard of you.

Some sites let you promote your new book for free.

Yeah. I just heard from one that said my new book wasn't new because it was several months old. A book couldn't be "new" after the first thirty days. Thirty- one days it's "old." Twenty-nine days it's "new." Go figure.

Well, rules are rules. If you snooze you lose.

Yeah, I must have been snoozing. Too bad I didn't find that site earlier. It wasn't their fault.

Does that discourage you?

Not really. It's nice they promote books for new authors. I think they're doing great work. I think I'll send them an email right after this interview is over and thank them for what they're doing for first time authors. Why don't we stop so that I can do that now?

Thank you for the interview and good luck with your writing.
 
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