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Hot, sexy covers and Facebook glitches

My good friend Kathy Bennett and I met nearly seventeen years ago at a writers’ conference in Dallas and we’ve kept up with each other as we worked to publish.  A retired police officer, Kathy writes great novels which draw on those experiences.   

On her blog, Kathy has an interesting interview technique.  She questions us in her interrogation room, then writes a police report about her guests.  It’s really creative and lots of fun.   She invited me to be questioned and I had a great time.   Sadly Kathy doesn’t archive these so it’s gone forever. 

I write the sweet books, the books where hero and heroine feel an attraction and kiss, but that’s it.  In my books, the characters never take off any article of clothing except hats, coats and shoes.   As far as the reader knows, my hero may shower in his pajamas.

The day the blog was up, I publicized it on Facebook and Twitter.   Later that evening, I went on Facebook to check my announcement and discovered it  was accompanied by the sexiest cover I’ve ever seen:  a well-shaped, curvy female body in almost no clothing and what wisps she wore were were red and lacy.  I flipped out.  Remember, I write the SWEET books in which everyone is fully clothed.  I could only imagine what my readers would think!  And my editor!  And my church friends.  Oh, my!

First I attempted to delete the picture but couldn’t because the little delete arrow didn’t show.   With that failure, I sent a hysterical message to Kathy and begged her to take that picture down.    Kathy leaped into action and tried to delete it but she didn’t have the button either and one of her pretty covers–with no nearly-naked people–showed on the page she could see.  

As always, Kathy was lovely and did everything she could from California while I worked hard in Texas but we never figured it out.   She felt terrible about it.   After I calmed down, I assured her we’d laugh about this–some day.  And I do not blame her.  I blame a Facebook glitch.

Little by little, that cover dropped down the page, shoved lower by new messages.  In fact, as small as the thumbnail was, I’m not sure anyone saw it.  No one wrote me accusatory letters or even mentioned the cover judgementally. 

Oh, wait, not true.  I just got a couple of emails.  One was from Roy, a friend from seminary and a minister.  He said he’d seen the cover a couple of times.  Fortunately, he was not incredibly shocked and still seems to be speaking to me.  My friend Marylin wrote she was sorry to have missed it.

What happened?  I don’t know.  My guess is that somehow a glitch on Facebook changed the image but we’ll never know.  Fortunately, it’s so far down the list, no one will see it now.  I hope.

Unless you go all the way down to that date (which I’m not mentioning) on the Facebook page.  Please don’t.

Where was I?

I haven’t been around much recently.  Because my first book in the Tales of Butternut Creek came out April 3, I’ve spent a lot of time on promo.  Friends were lovely enough to invite me to their blogs to promote the book.  The publicist at FaithWords set up a blog tours for me and I’ve been tweeting and facebooking.

One of my firsts blogs was about my fear of using social media.  During the last few weeks, I’ve learned a lot and am much braver about using it. 

TWITTER;  Can be fun.  Can also be a waste of time.   While I’m working on a particularly difficult scene or I have a bunch of line edits to do, my brain says, “Hey, let’s run over to Twitter and see if anyone retweeted you,”  Takes great discipline not to take a break.  PROS:  Twitter is a great way to do promo;   I’ve meet interesting people; people post articles I enjoy; it’s a good break when the brain is overloaded.  CONS:  Because lots of other people use Twitter for promo, many tweets are boring and the sheer numbers is overwhelming.  No one can read them all because they just keep coming.   The worst part is that there are a great number of retweets.  At one time, a man I’m following retweeted SEVENTY messages in a row–I counted.     Fortunately, there is a button that blocks retweets from individuals and I used it!  LESSON:  Write content people will  enjoy instead of constant self promotion.

FACEBOOK: Can also be fun.  I’ve found this to be less overwhelming than Twitter.  I love keeping up with friends and seeing photos,  but it can take up a great deal of time.  LESSON:  Don’t save every cute animal picture that’s posted.

BLOGGING:   There are many wonderful blogs out there.  The publicist had me blog at  http://dimplesandtangles.blogspot.com/ and http://www.delightingintoday.com/   Both were gorgeous and had links to other sites I didn’t know existed.

I survived.  I’m back home, a grizzled veteran of social media.    I’d love to know how you feel about Twitter, Facebook, and blogs.  Do you have any blogs you’d recommend?

A social media idiot

With my first seven books, I did little promotion. I  had a website and visited a few blogs. Because this three-book series from FaithWords is so exciting, I’ve decided to leap into social media–not struggling and fighting but a little apprehensive.

My first experience with facebook was intimidating.  I  wanted to look at a map only available on facebook so had to sign up.  Within a day, I had a lot of people who wanted to be my friend–all of whom I liked, all of whom were my friends in the real world–but I was overwhelmed and left facebook because I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feeling by rejecting them.  My husband had a similar experience.  When he started to hear more about a friend’s pregnancy than he wanted to know, he, too, left. When my beloved (and I really do mean this) sister-in-law visited, she told me she spent only a few seconds every day on facebook–and yet she sat at the dining room table with her laptop for hours reading and writing messages.

So–here’s my question–actually,questions. What do you think about facebook? How much time do you spend there? Are you likely to read a book if an author leaves a message? I’d really appreciate your answers. Thanks!