Hello Everyone. It's that time of year... I wonder why
people say that. I guess it works for just about any time of the
year when you think about it. Well, at this time of the year, at
least for me and my family, it means the Christmas holiday season.
Paula, my wife, has been chomping at the bit to start the Christmas
traditions soon after Halloween night. Did you know that you can
watch the movie, Christmas Vacation, just about any - if not every
- day of the year? She had it playing on the TV four times in a
single day last week.
We have our Christmas tree, and the whole house it decorated,
including the outside. We're going out tonight with some friends to
look at all the neighbors' outside holiday lighting. We've been to
our Rotary Christmas party, and are scheduled to stand outside
Sam's Club this Saturday ringing a bell for the Salvation Army.
I've sent out my Christmas cards already, and I spent nearly $300
at the wine shop yesterday.
Ah yes. 'Tis the season. And to think that it all started with a
little Jewish baby being born in a barn about 2,022 years ago. Do
you remember when (not that many years ago actually) when you were
supposed to say "Holiday" rather than "Christmas"? At least that
was the politically correct thing to do if you were a manager of a
business. It wasn't just a suggestion: you were directed to use a
more generic term by the Human Resources department.
I was the co-founder of a company in San Diego, and after a
while we grew so large that we had to hire an HR executive to help
us follow all the HR rules of a larger company. I don't recall that
any of the people working for us really cared about what we called
the holiday, as long as we threw a good party. But then the HR
people told us that we couldn't serve fattening food or alcohol at
the party due to the risk of someone being offended or the
increased risks of liability. Kind of took the fun out of Christmas
at the office.
So, now I'm an author and I can say just about anything I want.
So, Merry Christmas everyone - including anybody who doesn't
celebrate the religious significance of Christmas, or anybody who
is a humbug, or who thinks Christmas is spelled with an "X".
One more thing - buy a book!
So, here I am, at age 74, trying to figure out how to use social
media to promote my books. My 14-year-old granddaughter has a
TikTok account and tells me that this is where things are happening
these days. I have an Instagram account, although I've never used
it. I think I have one follower. I use Facebook, but I'm sure the
people, about 250 or so, who see my postings on that platform are
getting burnt out at seeing my book plugs. I also use LinkedIn, but
I'm not sure that's an ideal place for boosting book sales.
Have you ever looked at TikTok? Wow! It's a strange world. There
are some really weird things going on out there. There are
postings that I really don't get and others that are bizarre. Well,
I finally figured out that there are ways to zero in on specific
things you are interested in or actually relevant - like books. I
did some online research on how to get started with TikTok, and I'm
slowly zeroing in on the so-called realm of BookTok.
First, let me say that I'm easily the oldest person in TikTok
land, so I'm not sure if this whole effort will work or not. I was
pretty sure that 99 percent of the young people using this app
would quickly scroll past anything I put up. I finally got the
nerve to put a video on it though. It was the goofy skit I did for
my promotion of Trouble in Choctaw County - the one I call "Slim's
Recommendation" where I'm dressed up like a cowboy with an
eyepatch. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that I got 483
views so far.
I'm starting to get the hang of it and have 4 or 5 more skits
outlined for the near future. I'm also looking at the posts of some
of the young people who recommend books. Not quite sure how to get
their attention but I'll keep plugging away at it. I was shocked
the other day when I was in Walmart and discovered that, in their
book department, they have a whole separate section called TikTok
selections. Get outta town! My book is sold by Walmart, but I
didn't actually see any copies of it on their store shelves.
Call me an old dog trying to learn new tricks, but I'm going to
keep working on this TikTok business. One of the good things about
it is that I can always watch the never ending stream of
funny dog videos that just keep appearing every time I log into
If you are reading this and even remotely interested in being a
beta reader for my next novel, The Five Watches, please send me an
email and I'll reply with information on what that is all about. In
a nutshell, you get to read the novel before it is published and
you get to give me your input which will help me make it a better
story. Sending an email is easy. Just move over to the Contact page
and fill in the email box.