"It's impossible to discourage the real writers; they don't give a damn what you say." Sinclair Lewis

Friday, February 10, 2012

Left at the Hitching Post

By Bill Corbett

One of my favorite forms of entertainment as a kid during the 1940s was the Saturday matinee at the local movie theater. These matinees usually consisted of B Western movies. In order to add a bit of comedic drama, those films usually had a scene where either the bank robbers scurried out of the bank with their loot, or the posse mounted up to give chase, and in every case someone for various reasons was left behind at the hitching post scratching his head while the others raced away. In this age of modern technology, I’m the guy left at the hitching post scratching my head.

As they read more of this blog post, many will wonder why I make such a big deal out of all this. The fact is, I was born fifty years too early to grasp all this computer stuff. My three and a half year old grandson has to show me how to use his i-pod. I can be doing something that isn’t going right, and he takes it out of my hand and says, “Not that way, Pa Pa. You have to do it this way.”

"Oh,” I say, which brings me to the point of this blog. I’m a computer illiterate. If it’s possible to make an i-pod crash, I can do it. My computer IQ is somewhere between 25 and 50. Hell, I received a Kindle reader for Christmas, and it took me until last week to figure out how to charge the battery!

I have been tuning into a number of teleseminars this winter focusing on Internet marketing, and I have to say the whole concept boggles my mind. “You need to be on Twitter,” they say, “Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest,” they say. “Know about RSS feeds, blogging, get Google alerts, have a social media, campaign,” they say, in order to draw people to your website. I don’t even know what a tenth of those things they talk about are, let alone find the time to use them. Geesh!

Then they go on to say you need to have some sort of gimmick to pique your customers’ interest and draw them to your website. “Throw in a gift or something if they purchase your book,” they say. As I read or listen to all this my mind immediately goes on tilt. And the worst of it is, it doesn’t matter whether you self-publish or go with a trade publisher; you are still expected to do all this. E-publishing is taking over the publishing world, and this is the new way of marketing our books, or any other wares for that matter. “The ‘old fashioned’ bookstore signings are a thing of the past,” they say. “The Internet is where it’s at.”

So as I stand here at the hitching post scratching my head, I come to the conclusion there is only one solution for a computer imbecile such as me; either I enlist the services of grandson Aidan to show me around the Internet, or I hire a professional marketer. Alas…woe is me.


  1. At least if you "hired" Aidan, it wouldn't cost as much and would probably be just as successful!

    --Linda S.