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This is a Post About Control

This post might be a little long, but it’s important. I promise.

For those of you who follow social media news and updates, it seems like, in general, the whole social media networking concept as it currently stands seems to be going the way of Myspace.

Facebook seems to be having issues—last I heard, they’re laying off a bunch of people, and it seems like folks are getting put in Facebook jail left and right over the dumbest things. There are also ongoing issues with creators losing control over their Facebook business pages. Facebook’s security seems like it’s total garbage to the point where scammers are somehow accessing and taking over Facebook pages, and rather than help the actual owners of the pages take them back, Facebook is just shutting the page down, which, of course, makes the creator lose access to contact for all of those followers. On top of that, a lot of posts that I and others make over there don’t even get seen by our readers anymore, anyway, because of the way Facebook’s got their algorithm set up—they would rather we pay money to Facebook to “boost” a post for our readers to see—which is not economically feasible to do, doesn’t even seem to work the vast majority of the time, and only benefits Facebook, not the creator of the page who is trying to get their messages out.

That’s the same issue I’m having on Instagram, too, which don’t even get me started too much on Instagram. Right now, every time I make a post on IG, the only comments I get on it are from spammers, which gets seriously old, and I can report them until I’m blue in the face, and IG isn’t going to do a damn thing about it. So I’ve virtually stopped posting on Instagram because of it. That’s just not the kind of engagement I’d like to see on my posts, but with the way IG has their algorithms set up, it’s the only engagement that actually sees my posts anymore.

And as for Twitter, well, I’ve been a very long-time user of Twitter. It opened to the public in July 2006, and I signed up in April 2007, so I’ve been there for a very long time. And I can tell you unequivocally that Twitter is not made for selling things. It’s not made to advertise books or anything like that. It’s more a platform for chat, not for marketing. So trying to sell anything or keep people updated on things to do with my writing or whatever on Twitter is pretty much useless at this point. And that’s not even addressing the apparent turmoil going on over there with whether or not the website is going to survive in the long term. (I personally think it will, but it might not be in the same way the vast majority of people are used to.)

All of this has gotten me thinking about one simple thing: control. On social media, when you post to Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, you have zero control over the use of your words or how it’s presented, because you’re posting on something that you don’t own. As an author, you’re basically handing some of the most precious things you have—your words—to a corporate entity that has only one goal, and that is to make money off of you and your words. And you don’t get any share of that money, so you’re giving them content for free for them to use to make money. They’re making money off of your back, and honestly? I’m tired of it. These corporations don’t care about us, and they’re showing that day in and day out through their actions—just look at the current uproar in the author community about Amazon and Audible and the way they’re treating indie authors right now (another post for another day). But I’ve just gotten tired of handing my words to big, billion-dollar companies for them to make money off of.

So what is the purpose of all this rambling? Well, I’m steering the vast majority of my contact with readers to right here on my blog instead of on social media. I’ve been looking to put more things in my career under my control, such as this website, because these are my words, and I want as much control as possible over them.

That doesn’t mean, for example, that my books aren’t going to be available on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Google or whatever. They’ll still be on those platforms, because I’d be a fool to give up what money I do get from those platforms off my books, and I’ve always vowed to keep my books as available to my readers as possible on as many platforms as I can easily manage.

But I’m doing things a little bit different in 2023. One of the things I’m doing is posting less on social media and posting more here on my website. I feel like that will be more beneficial to me (and to you), because it will give me a centralized place to direct you guys to if you need to know the latest news on something, and I just feel more comfortable having everything under my control like this.

I haven’t really talked about it much here on the blog yet, either, but I have opened up a shop right here on my website where you can purchase my books directly from me so I get one hundred percent of the proceeds (minus fees). And yes, that includes e-books. All of my e-books are currently available right here on my website through my shop now. When you purchase one, you’ll get emailed a link from Book Funnel with instructions on how to send your book to your Kindle or other preferred e-book reader or download it to your computer (all e-books are DRM-free). This is the best way to ensure that I always have my books available so if Amazon pulls some of their stupid crap (considering they’ve been periodically restricting and shutting down authors’ accounts left and right lately for no apparent reason), I’ll still be able to offer my books on this and other platforms. None of the turmoil on social media or at Amazon and Audible makes me feel comfortable, especially since the unfortunate reality right now is that most of my money comes from Amazon, which is something I’d love to change long-term through you guys buying directly from me more often.

So what can you do to support me?

Well, obviously, spread the word about my books. If you like them, tell your friends or family or whoever you think will enjoy them about them!

Follow me here on my blog. If you’re on a computer, there’s a space in the menu bar to the right where you can fill in your email address to receive every post I make right into your inbox so you don’t miss anything! (If you’re on mobile, click HERE to access the form.) Think of it like Substack, only you don’t have to pay anything to receive the emails!

Purchase my books directly from me, if possible. Right now, I have all of my e-books up on the shop, plus the paperbacks for The Becoming. (I’m in the process of waiting on Amazon to send me some paperbacks for other books in both that series and The Unnaturals Series, so once I receive those, they will be going in stock on my shop, too.) As an added bonus, when you buy paperbacks from me, you will have the option to have it autographed!

Follow me on YouTube. I’ll be recording audio versions of my posts and uploading them there for the visually impaired, as I want to be as accessible as possible (and eventually I may start serializing audio versions of some of my upcoming books over there, too, like big, glorified public readings). You can check out my YouTube channel by clicking right here.

I hope all of you follow my blog here, spread the word about my books, and support me as I start to right the ship and make changes to the way I’ve been doing things!

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