Back in college I had the worst job ever. It was so horrible, I’ve never minded a day of work since. That includes telemarketing, selling life insurance, and a two week temporary gig sticking labels on a brochure for the Pork Producers of America. During the blistering summer of 1994 I sold educational books door to door…1000 miles from home in the suburbs of Minneapolis. My first hour on the job I was stopped by the police (something that happened 3 times), I was threatened with attack dogs and guns, and offered everything from cookies, to Amway to a tour of Mrs. Yoder’s bedroom. After 8 weeks of door to door hell I missed my freeway exit and drove my Ford Tempo through 8 states back to Tallahassee where I slept on couches for six weeks and ate Burger King until the dorm opened.
For this reason, I respect people’s effort to get the word out on their product. My Facebook network is loaded with people selling stuff. Face creams, art, books, houses, school fundraisers, mission trips to Honduras, and political candidates. It doesn’t bother me. I see it and breeze on by, and I think nothing less of them. Now that I’m about to have a book out, Facebook is a natural place for a first-time-author to get the word out to people. Hell, I have books from a dozen friends that I’ve never read. I’m hoping a few friends go, “He wrote a book? I gotta check that out.” Maybe they’ll buy it, even read it, or recommend it. I don’t expect to get rich off my friends.
But now I’m faced with the question, by plugging my book on Facebook, am I annoying? Is this the door-to-door sales of the 20-teens? Sure, someone is going to find it annoying. It’ll be offensive to the same people who hate dolphins and feel the need to express their anger at the people who play Candycrush (whatever that is). If you’re that easily annoyed, you should probably get off social media because social media is inherently annoying. So, yes, I’m going to plug my book on Facebook, sell 10 copies and be done. It will probably stoke a dozen conversations around town where I end up going on too long about “the novel I wrote,” like it’s Satanic Verses or something from the Oprah Book Club. I’ve spent a year working on this thing and if you’re going to show me pictures of your new dog, I’m going to talk about my book.
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