Self-imposed Social Media Exile: Day 37

  • I have begun to hallucinate conversations with people online. I have them in my head rather than logging on. This saves heaps of time and reduces chances of arguments.
  • The baby hippo pics are not up to par. Have been forced to watch National Geographic doco’s to get my hit.
  • my Klout is in freefall. Down to 45! Despite formerly being a well-respected social media guru (over 50 on Klout) I’ve now lost my social media guru-status.
  • The Birthday Dragon (my debut novel) is sliding up and down the various charts on Smashwords – last seen at number 6 on Highest Rated but it’s fallen off the Best Sellers – i did suspect it showing there was a glitch, or that books on Smashwords only had to sell a copy a month to rate.
  • Yet again, some hot young pop starlet is supposed to be looking at one of my songs with view to recording it. Goddamn it, stop getting my hopes up, bitchez! Record something, then don’t wipe out on drugs or unsuitable men, and make my freaking fortune. Mind you, you killing yourself could be good for sales. *looks thoughtful*


In other news: I have pretty much given up on my first book (The Birthday Dragon – yep the one on the right of this post with the pretty cover). Not completely, just on spending much more time pushing it for now, as for the first 10 weeks of its publication – while it topped all the charts – it was completely invisible.

So all the work i did (and the work done by all my lovely friends who actually bought it, or won it as a prize, and were kind enough to do reviews for me) was pretty much pointless.


This last has induced a state of Siamese Zen™ which means instead of being really that chilled, i’m a bit tight-wired, and might kill something. Oh, yeah, the book was invisible because i made the mistake of marking it Adult.

I figured seeing people were having sex i probably should. It’s a novel for adults, with adult themes, including frank discussions of various sexualities, pretty constant drug use, and a hero whose main motivation is usually getting laid, so i figured Adult it should be.

Turns out that was huge mistake, one that took months to discover. As most of the Erotica isn’t Adult rated, there’s no need for The Birthday Dragon to be as it’s a novel, not a pornographic work (it’s also known as #TheThing when on Twitter).

Especially because Smashwords was completely blocking any passers-by from seeing the book.  The only people who could see it were those went direct via a link  (which meant usually people who happened to follow me on Twitter), or those who knew the site and had switched off the Adult filter, which is in about 4pt type in the top right of the page.

*sounds of screaming*


But hey, i did a good deed, told another author about it – her book seemed excellent (from my glance at the sample), she’d been published 6 months longer than i had, and was invisible. How could i not say anything? She’d marked hers Adult because she used the F word.

We were both left shaking our heads (and no doubt both using the F word and worse rather a lot) at how Smashwords never bothered to say, in BIG letters, that

Adult means Nobody Can See You.


Yeah, so i was feeling really fucked off a trifle dispirited at that, especially since i’d wasted rather a lot of time both promoting my book and trying to find out why, after the first few weeks, there was no buzz. No interest. Nobody was even looking.

Finally, the fact that it was invisible was revealed, just as i completely ran out of energy and time. Oh and sanity. That’s where i’m at. Like a sensible person, i’m writing Book 2, and will relaunch Book 1 when i do.

I’m very glad there are people out there who liked Book 1 and are prepared to say so in public. I’m hoping at least some of you meant it about wanting to buy Book 2. Which reminds me, if you read it and haven’t done a review, please do (at link just above), they make a huge difference to site visibility and thus to people’s interest.

This time, while you’re all enthused and telling people about the book, they WILL be able to find it easily on Smashwords.

*bangs head on desk rather a lot, for a very long time*


  • When i write about 2011, it will be the “Year of The Headdesk”.


Book 2 is currently titled “Dragonskin” – as yes, you guessed it, this it the book where Polo learns to control shapechanging. Of course, being Polo, he’s going to take the scenic route to that discovery.

The half-brother second-in-line to the throne is still out to get our hero, thinking up inventive ways to kill him slowly, but he has to let the enemy in the north take their turn. The heir to the throne, having driven Polo away, is still plotting to take over the world. He may just manage it.

Polo’s just trying to survive. Little matter of having joined the army while on a drunken bender. He has three years.


I’ve shifted my estimated publication date for Book 2 – which was “before Christmas 2011” – because no way will i make that.

Currently aiming at “first couple of months of 2012” and earlier the better, but i’ll keep you posted.

Now shoo, i’m busy writing.

copyright 2011

6 thoughts on “Self-imposed Social Media Exile: Day 37

  1. A small correction on the Adult filter. Nobody can see you if they have the filter turned on. The problem is that every first-time visitor is automatically opted in to the filter, and if they’re fairly typical, they won’t notice and won’t change it. The further problem is that adult issues and erotica aren’t the same thing. I usually have the filter on so I don’t have to scroll through all the erotica, but I’m finding that some of it slips through because the authors don’t label it adult. The current system simply doesn’t work, either for readers or writers. My fiction concerns adult issues, but there’s no erotica or graphic sex. What to do? What to do?

    1. Hey, thanks for commenting and clarifying – glad i’m not the only one bothered by this. i do something similar, switching the filter off and on to try to get past the stupid amounts of erotica that show up in the main book listings. It’s one of the things that really annoy me that i didn’t notice when i joined. You’re absolutely right, Adult issues and Erotica are NOT the same thing. Erotica? Let’s call the Smashwords selection what it is, “mostly badly written porn and a pile of mostly awful wannabe erotic writing from people who’ve only had sex with themselves”. It should not be visible to casual visitors unless they want to see it.

      Wtf to do? Report anything that’s obviously Erotica that isn’t labelled Adult seems to be it as far as our options go. (Every book has a “report this book” option at the bottom of the page.)

      We could also try writing to Smashwords (who otherwise are really very businesslike, reliable, and make publishing easy – and they pay royalties on the dot of each quarter, no complaints) to ask them to change their rating system. Also – perhaps a word of explanation next to ADULT so people don’t mark their books that unless the first page would incinerate the brain of a child.

      I did a very nice (much longer) rant, then realised yours over on your blog covered it much more coherently – so reckon you get to have the last word 🙂

  2. Hey, if you feel like writing a long rant on this, go right ahead. The more people complain, the more will know about it. I do report erotica that gets through the adult filter, but unless someone’s keeping track of how often it happens, it probably won’t do much good. I do plan to write to Smashwords about the effect on writers who can’t figure out why they aren’t getting any downloads, but for the moment I’m burned out with the frustrations of trying to swim uphill.

    1. done 🙂 i ranted (politely, coherently) to Smashwords about the Adult Filter. Completely know the burnt out feeling – i feel hollow myself after this.

      Took the time to report a bunch of Erotica that wasn’t marked Adult too. Reporting fake reviews is something else that unfortunately takes up time – but it is another way writers can support each other and the site – and make it a place one can recommend, instead of an embarrassment, as it is now.

  3. It’s a bit disappointing to read that you’ve given up on promoting The Birthday Dragon, for the moment at least, but I can only imagine how draining the whole sorry saga must’ve been after so much work. Maybe when everyone goes crazy with their new Kindle Fires there’ll be a good opportunity to flog some copies. Anyway, you are missed on the twitters but every time I see you pop your head up I think, “Oi! Get back to work!” 🙂

    I’m more into baby turtles than I am baby hippos so I’m going to make an offering accordingly:

    1. It makes sense to do some promo’ing in the meantime, especially at Xmas, come to think of it – and ebooks are definitely starting to take off – i must admit, i’m a convert and want my own Kindle Fire. Doesn’t stop me loving paper books, but does provide me access to reading without breaking the bank balance.

      heh – thx for the baby turtle. Polo sends his love. Nearly every time i pop my head up on Twitter, someone actually says, ‘get back to work!” lol

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