Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Why Liking the ‘Like’ Button Sometimes Scares Me

As most of you are aware, a ‘Like’ button can been found on almost every personal blog, social and business site. Hell, there’s one right above this post. I’ve read countless articles on the power of the ‘Like’ button. It’s a great tool that provides an opportunity for you to stay connected to your target audience. It also grants you exposure in newsfeeds which may in fact generate a more “viral” traffic to your site or page and possibly increase the sales and/or recognition of your specific product or service.

Important? Yes, I think so. But that’s not what I’m leading to here.

When someone ‘Likes’ your page, what exactly are they ‘Liking’? Is it the overall design of the page? Is it the product(s) you’re offering? Is it sweet, wonderful you? Is it an addiction to clicking buttons?

I’ve heard women speaking with each other about men they’re dating.

“I like him,” Woman #1 says to Woman #2. “But I don’t ‘like him’ like him.”

You see, it can become so complicated. And the answers to these questions are still not what I really want to talk about. My actual focus is on ‘Liking’ the books of authors whose work we haven’t read. That’s right, books we have not opened and read. Yet because they ask us to, we click ‘Like’. Like a favor. Like somewhat of a… lie.

It’s one thing to ‘Like’ an author’s page, but to say we ‘Like’ the book they wrote, but haven’t read seems quite misleading. Would you ever say you ‘Like’ the food at a restaurant you’ve never dined in?

Let’s face it, as a writer my main objective is to be read. After that, I want to know the reader enjoyed what he or she read. I want to know if they ‘Liked’ it. I want to know if they hated it. Okay, I really want to hear them say they ‘Loved’ it, but I don’t know if that button exists yet.

In truth, I worry that my desire to get my books ‘out there’ will lead me to only look at the numbers (i.e. # of books sold, income earned, sales ranking, etc.) and not on the satisfaction of my reader. I worry that fishing for “Likes’ will ultimately override the honesty of reader feedback I receive. And I’m starting to see that from other writers. I don’t want it to appear I’m judging or bad-mouthing any writers. We all want success and follow different roads there. I do my upmost to help the writers around me achieve success too. And I want success as much as the next guy, but for me, I don’t want people clicking the ‘Like’ button for my book unless they read it and truly ‘Like’ it.

I mean, are eight million ‘Likes’ worth more than the genuine joy one reader feels about your words?

Well, is it?

Birthright: a new poem up at Every Day Poets

I have a poem up today at Every Day Poets. It's called Birthright. It's about a father holding his newborn son for the first time. Of course, this joyful moment does have a bit of a shock...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Angel Zapata live tonight! on Flashes in the Dark Radio

Horror writers and blog talk radio hosts, Lori Titus and Tonia Brown interview me tonight live on Flashes in the Dark Radio at 6pm EST. We'll be yakking about horror, The Man of Shadows, and 5x5 Fiction.

Join us on Blog Talk Radio here.


If you missed it, you can listen to the interview by clicking play in the Blog Talk Radio link in the right hand column of this page.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

New Online Fiction Recommendations: Jodi MacArthur and Chris Allinotte

There’s a slew of awesome new fiction available from two very talented writers, Jodi MacArthur and Chris Allinotte. Don’t ask me how they pump out this much quality stuff. My guess is these two maniacs never sleep. Anyway, I wanna make sure you haven’t missed any of it. So get to clicking the links.

This Texas-dwelling chick is all teeth and nails. She knows the flavor of your skin. Her words have sharp points and she’s not afraid to stab you in the face with them. I’m still wiping away blood and stitching myself up.

I’ve been reading Jodi’s work for over three years and she never disappoints. She’s able to transport the reader to whatever insane world she’s living in at the time. Mark my words, one day she’s gonna be sipping a hot cup of blood beside Stephen King himself. Besides the links below, you can find more of her work here at the cauldron of evil she calls a blog.

MANTRA at All Due Respect, Issue #16

BLACK, WHITE AND RED ALL OVER at In Between Altered States

FREE MERCURY at Beat to a Pulp

Chipping away at the frozen tundra in Toronto, Chris slowly inserts splinters of ice under the reader’s fingernails. I, for one, am grateful for the pain. In addition to penning stories about hellfire pie and sewer-dwelling, man-eating creatures, he is also editor of the anthology, Eight Days of Madness. It happens to be a free anthology you can download here.

You can read all about the Canadian creator himself and his work at his blog, The Leaky Pencil. I’ve often wondered exactly what was seeping out of that Leaky Pencil of his. Now I know. It’s blood.

PICK YOUR OWN PUMPKIN at Thrillers, Killers ‘n Chillers

MONKEYFISH at MicroHorror

SEX AND BEER at the Flash Fiction Offensive

TEMPTING MORSELS at Lily Childs’ Feardom

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New Poetry and Micro Fiction up at Cavalcade of Stars

I have a series of brand new poems and micro fiction up at Jeanette Cheezum's Cavalcade of Stars. In Jeanette's own words, the Cavalcade is "A place to read fiction and poetry from some of your favorite online writers. Don't be surprised if you see some of mine sprinkled here and there."

Each week, The Cavalcade offers a platform for writers to share their words. Today, it's my turn. You can find my poems, Taffy and Labor, and my micro fiction, Other and I Don't Care if We Ever Do Laundry Again here.

You can find Jeanette Cheezum's work at Hampton Road Writers and at Six Sentences.

Jeanette, you're a gifted writer and a lovely woman. Thank you for printing these works!