Monday, June 7th, my birthday, was garbage. Not the celebration before, not because of anyone or any specific thing, it was just a crap day. It happens. Tuesday was better.
My book is cursed
My birthday was full of oddities. Several months ago, Amazon discarded 20 reviews of Entriss Online for reasons. (They removed 22 four-star-reviews, which oddly enough slightly increased my rating. The next day, they removed a five-star-review, which lowered my rating to where it was. ffs.) I visited Goodreads on my birthday (an Amazon company) and discovered 21 of my five-star-reviews weren’t showing up in the ranking calculations. (I swear this book is cursed.)
Facebook shut me down
I decided to pay for a little Facebook advertising so more people would be aware of my contest. Facebook sent a notice that I needed to tweak my target audience to maximize my advertising dollar. Shortly after making the recommended change, they disabled my advertising account for circumventing Facebook advertising policies. It was triggered by an ad I ran years ago that aligned with their policies at the time but doesn’t now.
Then came Tuesday
I was walking Marvel, my corgi, and a car pulled up. The window rolled down and a middle-aged couple waved at me.
I said, “Hi.”
The couple in the car replied, in unison, “Yay, corgis.”
I blinked, and smiled. This is the second time someone pulled over because of my dog. I was less excited about Marvel at that moment because I just finished pulling something out of her mouth I don’t want to think about.
“We are visiting our friends, the Landserberrysons.” Yeah, I don’t remember what they said, I was still in awe of them chanting ‘Yay corgis’ in unison. “Uh, what’s your dog’s name?”
“This is Marvel.” I’m bracing myself because Marvel is fighting the leash at Mach 5. She’s surprisingly strong for her 19 pounds.
They beamed and nodded. “We’ll tell Ed and Stacy we saw Marvel.”
I don’t know Ed and Stacy, but more surprisingly, they knew Marvel. Even though we’ve lived here for over 25 years, I’m pretty sure no one in the neighborhood actually knows my name. Somehow, they all seem to know my dog’s name. I’m okay with that.
“Thanks for stopping to say hi.” I nodded, trying to shoo them off.
After too many smiles and head bobbing, they drove a few feet, turned around, and went back to the main road. They actually followed us down a side road to see my dog. I’m glad Marvel makes people smile, but what-in-the-actual… I should start selling her hair.
One of the contest entries was from a name that stood out as different – and then I learned he was from Sweden. After signing up for my contest, he shared his disappointment in a Facebook group that the contest was only for people in the U.S.
I actually looked into International Sweepstakes Laws. They gave me a headache. I know others make their contests worldwide. Maybe I’m missing something, but my advertising budget is $5 a month and Twitter. It’s not worth the risk.
He was gracious, polite, and had made a genuine effort to follow all of my social media nonsense. I messaged, and after chatting, I wanted to send him a book. He asked why and I told him I don’t write books for the money. I write because I enjoy it and want to give my readers an escape. His reply:
“And thank you for being an author that does it for the art and not the money… seeing people do it for the art and storytelling to bring others joy and happiness definitely warms my heart and puts a smile on my face. So thank you for staying true to the art of storytelling.”
Yeah, I’d love to write for a living. I’ve made some money writing this year and it’s been nice. I’ve also been a little lost recently. The initial success of Entriss took me by surprise and I’ve been pressuring myself to write faster and write better, and it’s not working. This was exactly what I needed to hear. He summed up the real reason I write.
Tuesday was better
Tuesday was better. I wrote some words and enjoyed writing. The Goodreads support team replied to my query and kept in touch as their developers resolved the issue. Facebook apologized and my advertising account has been reactivated. The thoughtful gentleman from Sweden reminded me of something very important. It was a good day.
The yay-corgi people still confound me, but if anyone is interested, I’m now selling Marvel’s hair on eBay.