I am a writer of real books that took me years to write, that carry messages of caring about the human race, that program readers into self-empowerment, that I hope will help to change a suffering world. Recently I attended a seminar on book promotion that made me sick almost literally. One author recently put a book together--not wrote a book--with snips from other people, then had those people and others prepay to buy a copy in return for ad space on a page attached to the book, then released the book which went to bestseller in one hour because all those people bought it. Not one of them bought it to read it. And it is not really a book, and not written by a writer. The whole thing was a manipulation of Amazon. And it worked like a charm. And it made me sick. I got out of there and today I cleared my email inbox and got out of marketing beyond anything I have already done or connected to. Like you, I must put my books into the system but to become a part of that system is to no longer be a writer. You know...it's not the marketing. There is need for marketing and advertising. It's the attitude and the way it's being done. It shows our culture to be something rather ugly. And I think it is good to say so, and not just think it. Not just let it go on and on with no comment...we are writers. We must say what the multitudes are thinking. The pen in mighty. We must use it. Sarah Paul
Well said, and it's becoming apparent that anyone can publish anything which makes it even more difficult to sort through and find decent books to read... I admit it's a bit overwhelming to me as a writer and journalist. I did what many of the marketing pros suggested when my memoir One Small Sacrifice was published: a blog, tweets and a book page on Facebook. That's enough and it's working for me.
Hello Trace, Thanks for your comment. One Small Sacrifice is an interesting title for a memoir. May I ask the sacrifice? Because I know what sacrifice is...am very interested. Sarah Paul
One Small Sacrifice: A Memoir, Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects is about opening my adoption and uncovering the history of the Indian Adoption Projects - so it's a hybrid of memoir and history. I was that sacrifice and what a long long journey to find home.
I published my second edition with Create Space this year - very pleased many are reading it and finding my blog... I was fortunate to have some wonderful reviews early with my first edition and that is helping people to find my book.
What a poignant story! I lost my family as a child also and after 40 years got 2 brothers back. Was your family intact when you found them? Were you abused? 83% of foster children are abused in the foster home. I was.
Abused by my adoptive father - yes. Never met my natural mother but did have contact with one of the daughters she raised. Met my father and his 5 kids - this is all in my memoir - the entire journey.
Sorry to hear this news of your childhood but it makes us into very strong people today.
If it was your experience that pain made you strong, I will not say it didn't, but it only made me disabled, wasted a gifted intellect,and gave me long years devoted to recovery where I should have had normal relationships and worldly success. Strong, successful people grow up with support, love, money, opportunities and no abuse. The only valuable thing those who suffered have is knowledge of what is wrong and a desire to fix it. But the good scenario will be when there is no more suffering to fix, and I do believe that is possible. But I am not one to say that suffering made me strong. It is not true. It wasted a life. That is why we must end it --because no good comes from it. Suffering is unacceptable--and unnecessary. If your society had been compassionate, you would have stayed with your family and as you say at your blog, the main culture community would have helped your family to keep the children. The same was true for my family. I came from good parents and went to bad ones. I am not bitter but I have no illusions. The human race is only beginning to comprehend its responsibility for ending suffering because deep down the human being believes that suffering is necessary and that he is helpless to change that. So...our basic concept of reality must change. Anyway, that is my opinion. I am glad you have told your story and certainly support your work. Suffering is a big topic and a very important one. Sarah
No more suffering - I agree.
Can you post a review on Amazon stating this? This is what I'd do. Although it won't change Amazon's methods, it might get people to at least take notice of the fraudulent tactics of this particular "book." It seems that where ever something good is taking place, there are always those who will misuse it.
Ummm...Grace, I will have to examine myself to see if I want to directly attack this writer! Will it do good to attack her directly? I do think that making suggestions in a general way will often cause people to reconsider their mistaken behavior and change it. But I WILL think about this. Thank you for the suggestion. Sarah
I really appreciate the feelings that you express here. I think all of us are being called to examine our own level of integrity as we move into this very different publishing reality with a new set of norms (and fewer thoughtful gatekeepers). I think a space like She Writes is a testimony to a community that seeks to present a very different model of how to approach the writing life.
I don't know if I would write a review or complain to Amazon. I don't agree with what that writer did, wouldn't do it myself, but they are obviously in it to make money and found a method that works.
You're so right, Sarah. This seems to be a new twist on the scams that have been plaguing Amazon. But we must hang in there, provide books of quality so that it's evident the independent and small publisher world is every bit as valid as the big traade publishers. We're struggling against a culture that's made marketing the leading factor in everything: films with promotional budgets equal to the entire production budget, big trade publishers who, since the 1980's, have made the marketing department's wants more weighty than the aesthetic decisions of editors.