July 29, 2021 — I’m happy to report at 39 plus many, many years, I can still learn.
The reason I still learn is that I still make mistakes.
Allow me to elucidate. That’s a good example. The word elucidate should be avoided at all costs. The phrase avoided at all costs should be avoided at all costs. That’s a cliche.
Allow me to share my idiotic choices that turned into terrible ideas.
- I ordered a giveaway for 100 Kindle books and posted it on social media before the giveaway actually started. This made people mad because it took them down a broken elevator shaft when they clicked the beautiful button. Mad people don’t want to buy your book. Lesson learned: read the fine print before you start promoting.
- I learned mail merge and purchased a list of bookstore owners. The whole experience involved several mistakes. Lessons learned: First, vet the list you are buying. People who own bookstores that are only for children, LGBTQ, or mystery lovers do not want to sell your Midwestern history book. Second, make sure you know how many outgoing emails your e-mail can send at one time. Hint: It’s not 2900. Mine is THREE HUNDRED. Yes, 3-0-0-. When you start receiving multiple “undeliverable” emails back to your Inbox, congratulations. You’ve made several Big Boo-Boos and should be thwacked on the head.
- For my next mail merge, I decided to test on a certain list of public librarians from out of state. Lesson learned: make sure the email is attached to the mail merge or send out something blank. So that’s what I did. However, the good news is that I accomplished this no-mail merge on the same day as the first mail merge. (See above.) So all the librarian emails came back as “undeliverable.” I doubt if there will be too many Virginia librarians purchasing my book for their collection.
- I posted a note on social media noting that the Kindle book is available. Lessons learned: do not post anything on social media when you are tired. When I checked it, I found I had posted a picture of the Moen shower head I want to buy for the basement. I feel very fortunate, however, as we are also getting a new commode for the downstairs bathroom. Readers probably don’t wish to see either—showerhead above not an actual one, but freebie one from Wikicommons.
In my late twenties, I worked for a man who graduated from Annapolis. He would greet us each morning with a Navy saying, “Another day in which to excel.” So, we will try again tomorrow, one small indie writer against the machine.