Saturday Selects #19: It’s all about control

Saturday Selects is a series of posts in which I discuss a random topic unrelated to the general bookish theme of the blog on the first Saturday of each month. Today we have a topic that I feel strongly about.

I’d be willing to bet that some of y’all can already guess what I’ll be talking about even though I haven’t said a thing about it just yet. Because it’s something we’ve all experienced or seen for ourselves. I’m talking about control. And more specifically, about control when it comes to dating.

Let me preface this by saying that I’ve never been in a real relationship. But I won’t let that stop me from having an opinion on something like this. Because in every instance it is unacceptable, and it doesn’t take much more than common sense to realize that.

Do you know anyone in a relationship who must know EXACTLY where their partner is at all times? Do you know anyone in a relationship who constantly makes all the important decisions ON THEIR OWN? Do you know anyone in a relationship who must have ALL the passwords to their partner’s social media accounts? Do you know anyone in a relationship who openly admits to looking through their partner’s texts and/or phone?

I’m sure you do. One, two, or even all of those. These people would likely argue that it’s about trust. And you shouldn’t have to hide anything in a relationship. And to that I’d say, “You aren’t fooling anyone with that nonsense.” To me, it’s about control. One person controlling the other person in a relationship. And there’s no discrimination here. It can definitely be either person, so don’t go thinking I’m only talking about guys or girls. Nope.

The worst thing is when these people who must be in control accuse their partner of lying or being unfaithful ALL THE TIME. Girl texting a guy friend? Oh, they’re obviously having sex. Girl posting selfies on social media? Oh, she obviously wants the attention of other guys. Guy Snapchatting a girl? Oh, they’re obviously sexting. Guy has a girl friend he’s known his whole life? Oh, they had to have hooked up before.

I’m not saying that these things don’t happen, but there’s a certain level of insecurity in a person who thinks it’s happening with every one of their partners. And quite frankly, no one should have to deal with it. I don’t call that a healthy relationship. It’s one thing to discuss things. It’s something else completely to have those discussions entirely one-sided.

If you’re someone who does any of these things in a relationship, then stop. I don’t typically go around telling people what they should or should not be doing, but I have no issue this time around. You’re wrong. And that great guy or girl you’re with is going to realize that there are plenty of people out there who want to be in a real relationship with them rather than control their life. And the day that happens is the day you’re left alone because of this need of yours to be in control of another human being.


On this day in 2014 I published Characters and Their Pets.

 

Follow me on Instagram!

I know I probably didn’t have to devote an entire post to this, but eh. Very recently I discovered another blogger who has an Instagram account linked to her blog. Which in itself isn’t unique because people do that all the time. But her Instagram account is all about books! I know people do this, but I don’t think I’d ever seen it up close. When I saw it I thought it looked pretty awesome and it made me want to join in on the fun.

I think it’s a thing to call these types of accounts “Bookstagram” accounts. I think. And I figured since I have the blog, I have the BookTube channel, and I’m about to start working in a bookstore that I might as well start taking some pictures of all these bookish things I’m going to encounter and discuss. Even though I am not great with a camera in my hands, but I think there are filters on there or something? I really have no idea.

Anyway, if you would like to see some mediocre bookish pictures in the future, then you can follow my newly created Instagram account here. There isn’t anything on it at the moment. I’ll start taking pictures once I’m off work today. I’m not even sure what I’ll be taking pictures of. Ha!

If you have one of these types of accounts, then I’ll follow you! And probably a bunch of celebrities I may or may not be in love with. Hehe.


On this day in 2014 I published Attending a Writing Conference?.

 

Paying for Reviews

I’m interrupting my string of guest posts because I’m unsatisfied with how they’ve performed. Every post I write is written in a manner that is meant to start a discussion. Sometimes I get 100 comments and other times I get 10. I have no issue with that because it’s just the nature of blogging. But I’d rather it be me causing the fluctuation than someone else. I may or may not post the four remaining guest posts I have pending next week. If you’re one of the four post authors and you’d rather just keep the post for your own blog, then just say the word and I’ll delete it.


Everyone knows that getting people to review your book can be tough. Maybe it’s self-published. Maybe it’s traditionally published by a tiny press that no one knows about. Maybe it’s published by a major publisher but has been marketed minimally. It can be difficult for anyone. I’ve seen bestsellers with less than 100 reviews on Amazon.

So, couple that with the onset of self-publishing and you have yourself a market for paid reviews. Some people have no problem with this and others do, like me. Every blogger or organization always claims that the payment isn’t necessarily for a positive review, it’s for the service of reviewing the book. OKAY. If you keep popping out bad reviews, then you’ve eliminated your paying customers. AND they straight up lie about things. One blogger from WordPress says she accepts $5 for her reviews because she has a social media reach in the millions and heavily markets her reviews. HA! This was a comment on a blog I read on here! The worst part is that she convinced ALLLLLL the other commenters that it was well worth it for an author to pay her for her review because of her massive reach. They’d all been talking about how bad paid reviews are and then one lady starts talking about her millions of followers and they’ve all bought in.

I didn’t try to verify what she was saying, but I did click her name to find your typical blog. Erratic posts. Single digit Likes and comments. (But her reach is in the millions. Mhm.) I’d put her in a worse category than Kirkus. At least we know exactly what they’re after when it comes to reviewing books. They charge, take a deep breath, $425-$575 to review your book! I’ve known about this forever, but that’s simply a damn joke. Their express option takes 4-6 weeks.

Paying for reviews is never about the service or the social media reach or ANYTHING other than money. And what’s the easiest way to keep people coming back for them? Positive reviews. The end.

I’d like to know what you think of paying someone to review your work. Would you do it? And I’d also like to know if you think it’s any better or worse than positive review swaps.


On this day in 2014 I published Why are Protagonists Always Damaged in Some Way?.

 

Some Randomness About Moi

Today is Saturday and sometimes I just don’t feel like wasting what I think are great ideas for posts on weekends. Even though other times I try writing posts that I anticipate many people will at least read because of the topic. So in reality, this is me being a little lazy. Hehe.

Anyway, last year sometime I wrote some awards posts and at least once published a post of random facts. Well today I wanted to do that again because we’re all friends here, right? *crickets* I guess I’ll start listing them before you run away from me.

1. I have crazy dreams. I’m not kidding. I’ve been the writer for a dinosaur movie. I’ve met Jennifer Lawrence. I’ve played baseball in front of thousands of people in an open field in the middle of nowhere. (did I experience Field of Dreams?) Oh, and I’ve also been chased by an old lady with an ax who was definitely out for blood. And I’ve also dreamed about meeting other bloggers, but I can’t say who because I may or may not have already told them and what if they think I’m crazy and get scared? Nah. Not dealing with that.

2. I suffered two injuries last year as a result of my training. I’ll now likely forever have two bad wrists and a bad shoulder. But I wouldn’t change anything after that 365 pound bench! I also have a bad back that randomly acts up after months of being okay.

3. I’ve never seen a single episode of Game of Thrones. I know people are obsessed with the whole series, but I’ve never felt the need to join them. I highly doubt I’d be interested in the TV series, slightly more likely I’d be interested in the books. Slightly.

4. I might have a need to be famous. I think if people got a taste of the real me that I’d have more friends and people to interact with on a regular basis. My goal in life is to become Vine famous. Or on YouTube. Or WordPress? Seriously, no blogger has any idea what I’m like in person and that’s no good. Honestly, I imagine that many of you would want nothing less than to never meet me. BUT I know several of you would be great acquaintances. I’m imagining a meet up in which we meet in a sports bar (no need to be formal) and we end up having a small crowd of people around us cause we’re so damn interesting. And I’d be the only guy in there who knows anything about the sporting event taking place at the time.

5. I love Twitter. It’s the only social media site I really use besides this. I have Snapchat and occasionally use it, but the people I’ve added on there are just not interesting. I originally started using my Twitter account once I finished writing my book, but now I do not ever tweet about books. Okay, very rarely. My book stuff can stay on WordPress. I’d tell you to follow me over there, but I”m telling you now that I won’t follow you back if all you tweet is #amwriting or #amreading or something similar. I have no interest in that stuff. I mostly tweet about sports because they’re way more important to me than books. Find me here.

That’s it! One day I’ll do an Ask me Anything post and see what kinds of questions people might want to ask, but that isn’t today. So what do you think of my randomness? Maybe you’ve had some crazy dreams too? Or maybe you’re interested in my Twitter rants? Or better yet, you want to come down to Texas and buy me food?

If you comment, then I want you to tell me a random fact about yourself. I won’t reply if you don’t. Ha!


On this day in 2014 I published Are Bookmarks Dead?. The most popular post in the history of this blog. By far. And chances are you’ve already read it. It still usually gets a Like or a comment each day and I remember writing it just to get the idea out of the way because I thought it was stupid. I guess the only stupid one around here is me. So take a look if you haven’t already!

 

Writers on Twitter

Rant incoming.

Okay. I’m pretty active on Twitter. I’d say I tweet maybe 10-15 times a day. On the weekends that number probably cuts in half because I’m sleepy. My tweets are literally about anything that pops into my head. A movie quote. Something my dog does. An interaction with a co-worker. A text conversation I’ve had. Anything. I’ll tweet about it. What I very, very rarely do is tweet about books, writing, reading or any of the things I discuss on here. Why? Because that’s what this blog is for. I only wish others felt the same way.

I follow a few bloggers on Twitter. Probably less than 15. And I’ve followed many more than that during my time on the site, but I’ve unfollowed almost every one of them. Why? Because for some reason writers feel the need to tell everyone exactly how much they’ve written several times a day. And then those same people also feel the need to let everyone know the precise moment they sit down to read. It’s like they’re trying to live up to this persona that their entire lives are full of books even though they’re working a full-time job in an industry that has nothing to do with books or publishing or anything writing-related.

I have no issue with people tweeting about their writing every now and then, but is there really a reason to use #amwriting in ten straight tweets? WE GET IT. YOU’RE ON TWITTER PRETENDING TO BE WRITING. No one gives a shit.

I know what you’re thinking by this point. You’re thinking that I should just unfollow these people and be done with it. Yep, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I’m unfollowing other bloggers on Twitter as soon as this post publishes. Cause I’d prefer to read pointless tweets from people I know personally and from celebrities I follow, but not from bloggers I don’t hardly know at all. If I want to read about your writing or reading, then I’ll gladly do so on WordPress.

I guess the point of this post is to say that you shouldn’t follow me on Twitter because I don’t follow back unless you’re in a group of maybe three bloggers. I wonder how often James Patterson tweets using #amwriting. Oh wait, that’s just ridiculous.


On this day in 2014 I published Not Your Typical Easter Post.

 

Blogging Doesn’t Sell Books

I know this isn’t news to most of you. Cause you’re a blogger. And a writer/author, whatever you want to call yourself. And your book isn’t selling as well as you’d hoped. And the thing about this is that it is not only self-published authors who face this problem. You always see posts about author platforms on social media to help sell books or even get a publishing deal, but let’s take a step back.

Author platforms are great. But are authors selling more books because they follow 50k people on Twitter and have 45k followers? I think not. Are authors selling more books because they have 25k followers on their blog? Perhaps. But how many authors have that kind of following on WordPress or Blogger? I know A LOT of bloggers. If I’m just looking at book/writer blogs that I know of, I’m only thinking of a handful who even have a larger following than I do. And I’m just barely over 2,000.

Of course, a blog and Twitter aren’t the only social media sites out there for authors to use. Facebook is still used by a number of my favorite authors. And then of course YouTube. But just about every social media site is difficult to find an audience, especially for authors. I’m certain that my blog could grow exponentially faster if I wanted to write about news or pop culture or music or movies, but I don’t. I write about books. I write about writing.

Blogs seem like the obvious choice for authors to start their platforms, but selling books is difficult for everyone who doesn’t have a household name. Which is like 99 percent of us.

PS: If you’re going to point out one or two or ten bloggers you know who are selling a lot of books, then that’s nice. Except for the fact that there are literally thousands of others out there who aren’t. Cause blogs just don’t sell books like one might expect.

I have the perfect question for this post. If I were to release a book today, how many of you would seriously consider buying it? I’ll even do my first ever poll to make it easier.

Things we do Rather Than Write

I wrote a post a little while back detailing the very specific reasons I struggled to find time to sit down and write. This post will be more general.

So you’re a writer, right? But you often find yourself scrambling to find something else to do other than write. Why? Because we’re a weird bunch and writing is so much more difficult than non-writers realize. But I’ll save what I think about the lack of respect writers get for another day. But back to the here and now. Let’s talk about some of the things we throw ourselves into to get out of writing.

Reading

This is probably the easiest and most obvious on the list. I mean, we’re all readers too. And we were all reading long before we’d ever put down a single word of our own writing on paper. Maybe you just picked up your favorite author’s newest release and it’s just too good to step away from. That’s not so bad, unless you’re forcing yourself to read because you’re trying your absolute best not to get any writing done. Still, I think this is one of the few valid reasons we can come up with not to write.

Social Life

Hmm. I mean, I guess. It’s Friday night and your favorite person just texted you to go out and do this or that. You think about ignoring the text because you’re not really in the mood until you realize that if you don’t do something that your manuscript will be staring you in the face the whole time you’re home. Either get the death stare from your writing or go out and perhaps have an okay time. We’ll likely go for the social festivities more times than not. Except for me, I don’t ever go out. And I still don’t write as often as I’d like. Go figure.

School Work

I’ve come to realize that there are A LOT of college students who are also writers. I could probably name five or ten off the top of my head right now. But let’s be real, when do you EVER put school work over something else? You don’t. Remember I was a college kid too not very long ago. And guess what I did for every paper I wrote my last two years of school? I wrote them the night before. So don’t sit there and act like you’re all about getting your school work done early so you don’t have to worry about it come the due date, you’re not fooling anyone.

Employment

This is another of those valid reasons that many writers face. I honestly don’t know how people go to work for eight hours and then go home and get any kind of writing done. I work six hour days every Saturday and Sunday and I am dead in bed as soon as I walk in the door, You’ve seen the internet Vines or memes of the kids getting home from school and literally dropping their bodies onto their bed. Yeah, well that’s me after work. So all of you full-time workers who also manage to write, well I salute you. And I want your secrets.

TV/Social Media

I’m raising my hand for this one. Because I’m the worst when it comes to both of these things. You all may remember that I watch way too much TV. AND 24 just came back yesterday! OH MY GOODNESS THE FIRST EPISODE WAS SO GOOD. But anyway, if you’re a TV junkie like myself, then you’ve likely convinced yourself a time or ten that you’ll write after you watch the latest episode of your favorite show sitting there on your DVR awaiting playback. But then the episode is so good that you can’t possibly think of anything else for the next 24 hours after watching. It’s bad.

And then we have social media. Maybe some of my older readers aren’t as fond of this particular excuse as some of my younger readers. I have to admit that I am on WordPress or Twitter all day long. It’s horrible. I used to hate Twitter. But then I started talking to other writers and bloggers on there and now I like it okay. And WordPress, well it’s hard to have other bloggers coming back if they’re commenting and interacting on my posts and get no response from me. I mean, come on. I said I’m on Twitter all the time, and I am, but my blog is a thousand times more important to me. I don’t think y’all realize how much I love this thing. I’m naming my first born Pressly. See what I did there? Just kidding, that’d be a little looney.

Okay, so there you have a few of the things we do as writers in order to get out of writing. What do you think of my little list? Is there something you find yourself doing that is not listed? Tell me.