That’s No Moon

Luke looks at the small moon.

“I have a bad feeling about that,” he says.

“Cut!” George yells. “It’s this. I have a bad feeling about this, not that!”

“Not what?”


“What are we talking about?”

But, I digress.

You’re a writer. You know how it goes. You wrote the darn thing, and now, if you wrote a book like mine, nobody will publish it. Except you. Or, in my case, me.

I got my last rejection letter today from an agency in Colorado – not even New York. They shot DROPPINGTON PLACE down in the twinkle of an eye – good, bad, or indifferent, it missed whatever target they had in mind.

So, I looked online at ways to get readers for my book. Gosh, there are a gazillion different people all saying the same thing: build a mailing list of readers, here’s how to use Facebook, here’s how to use Pinterest, Twitter your book to success… For just $25, I’ll send you my special program that shows you how to get readers…

A bell went off – it was either the bell of a real thought, or the timer telling me my chicken potpie was done. Let’s go with the thought.

Duh. Hello. Earth to moron.

If you wrote a best-selling novel, would you be online telling people how to sell their novel?

If you wrote a best-selling novel, would you be skimming 15% off of other authors to hawk their work to publishers?

If you were all that, wouldn’t you be doing all that, rather than sitting at home on your PC, trying to make a buck off of other writers.

Hello, McFly! There are easily a million books out there for FREE, each authored by someone just like you and me, or, well, maybe me, thinking that here’s the golden ticket. I’ll be a novelist, and smoke a pipe, and be unavailable for interviews because, frankly, I just don’t have it in me today. Perhaps next Thursday, after drinkies by the pool. Skip the day job – let’s make art our day job! Sorry, Arthur, not you. It’s not Art, just art.

But they don’t sell their books – they can’t sell their books, because they’re following the same advice: here’s how you sell you books online. Here’s what sells. Here’s a way to build readers.  THEY’RE ALL DOING THE SAME THING!

And, if everyone is doing the same thing, isn’t that tantamount to doing nothing?

Here’s one thing you’ll never, ever see: top dog marketers – really successful crack shots of the pitch – telling you their secrets. Not going to happen for two reasons: a) too busy making the wheels go around, and 2) sorry, that’s my secret.

The lesson for you, my authorial friend (again, not you, Arthur) is this: don’t believe the pitch. Don’t buy it. If it’s a free product, YOU are the product. If they offer some good advice with a wink and a nod, you can believe it’s a hoodwink, hoping you’ll nod off and buy their shtick.

The lesson for you, my marketing friend (yes, Mark, that’s you), and perhaps for me is this: we have to find what hasn’t been found. We, you and I, have to sail the marketing sea that hasn’t been crossed. We must pave the road for ourselves – because out there, in the brutal dog-eat-dog world of marketing – if you fall for somebody’s hook, that makes you a fish.

If you whisper “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” you’re right. That’s no moon. That’s some guy telling you it’s a moon so that you’ll linger on his web page and give him good stats that he can show to his advertisers to justify their payments to him.

Damn it, Jim, I’m a doctor, not a marketer.

Sorry – wrong franchise…



Author: John Reinhart

Technical writer John Reinhart says his mission is to get his readers excited about the possibilities of and wonders of planetary science. A happily married father of three from Ventura, CA, he holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Cal State Chico, has taught college courses, and is working on his second novel.

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