Who could have guessed that writing a novel would dramatically improve my technology skills?
When I started writing my first novel, Three Weeks Less a Day, I supposed that my two-finger keyboarding skills might improve and my vocabulary might expand with research and careful thought. But, it never occurred to me that I might become much more comfortable with technology during the process!
Fairly quickly, I learned more about formatting and word processing shortcuts than I had previously imagined. I discovered a software package that helped to check grammar, spelling and punctuation better than Word’s basic system. But these incremental improvements paled in comparison to my technology education after actually writing my story.
First, I learned that today editors and publishers do almost everything digitally. All versions of my book were up-and-downloaded numerous times using passwords to access revisions and marked up copies. Our 'conversations' seemed most often to take place with comments shared in the margins of pages, and the entire process worked quite well. However, the real technology education started as the book readied for publication.
I had realized before I started writing the novel that publishing today is in dire straits, even survival mode. First-time novelists without celebrity really get very little support from a publisher. Most help comes in the form of an extensive author to-do list and some coaching on strategies that might work to promote a book. As a result, over the past few weeks I’ve learned to do some interesting things to expand my technology universe!
To start, I followed coaching from Facebook to expand my social media presence from a purely social communication medium to create a page devoted entirely to Three Weeks Less a Day. Here, I work to stimulate and maintain interest in the novel. (If you haven’t already done so, please ‘like’ the author page so you’ll get messages like this one automatically in the future.) After a few weeks, I realized that I could also create a “button” on this new page.
Of course, a button needs to do something when a reader clicks it. So I had to learn how to design a website with patient coaching from the publisher and our seventeen-year-old grandson.
Now, what to do with this new web presence? Well, it seems every site needs a good blog. So, we now have Rendezvous Blog where I can have conversations readers and potential readers like you. And, you can communicate with me here by asking questions, sharing comments, or posting reviews about the book.
Then, a new dilemma. How can interested family, friends, and business associates around the world order copies personally signed by the author? Well, the answer is a “storefront”. So, I’ve learned how to incorporate a PayPal relationship into the website, so buyers can purchase signed books directly from me using their credit cards or PayPal account.
Like me, you probably think that with a great story and all this new technology I must now be fully equipped to become a New York Times best-selling author, right? Well, it seems the correct answer is no. Apparently, I now need to learn how to become an Amazon Author and a Good Reads Author so I can encourage reviews and ratings that encourage more people to buy my book. And, squeezed in among my writing for a second novel, that’s my mission for this week! Watch here for updates, or on Amazon or Good Reads soon!
Dictionaries might define the word ‘rendezvous’ as a meeting with someone that is arranged for a particular time and place (and that is often secret); or a place where people agree to meet at a particular time; or perhaps a place where many people go to spend time. Here, Rendezvous is a place where we can share information and get to know each other better.