Social Media is a different world from offline. As such, I think interaction on and offline must apply to book promotion and be fitting for each. I’m learning, and trying to better implement, a well-balanced combination of both off and online tools because each is so different, yet similar too. Now the following are just my personal thoughts and opinions and are by no means that of an expert. These thoughts are not supported by any advanced data or statistic aside from my own experience; they are just my thoughts because, well, I was thinking about some stuff.
Me and Offline supporters from Canada and Philadelphia at The Pearls Before Swine release, The Double Tree Hilton Hotel, Chicago IL 2014
In my opinion, offline offers opportunities not always present online and online offer its benefits as well that are not always present offline. There are things I would do online as to appeal to this community that may not be required offline. Or that may not attract as much attention to offline supporters. For instance, I think offline activities are great to share with your online friends in the form of pictures. It’s always exciting to see photos of book signings, public speaking engagements, and varying social engagements with offline supporters. I think these, pictures, are far more engaging to your online supporters than ads and constant promos concerning updates of what is done offline because it gets boring after a while.
Online communities want to engage online whereas offline communities who are not as into “internet-ting” want to engage offline. Offline supporters and readers want to hear your voice and see your face. They can care less about how many Facebook Likes you have. As such, I believe balance of both on and offline activity is good but that there also need to be a limit to merging the two. Its OK for them to be separate. I believe, for instance, that a social media presence should rightly fit the online community.
I know this looks good, but Social Media is very deceiving. While numbers such as is in this photo is exciting it can mean absolutely nothing or it can mean everything. You will probably never know for sure. This is where offline activities come into play. Offline book promotion handles much of the foot work. It is the physical act of pushing the book.
Social Media on the other hand, in my opinion, is not necessarily about selling books as much as it is about building; though through building come sales, social media is best utilized to help generate buzz about a book without blatantly asking people to buy it. Its purpose is to serve as a networking platform that helps connect writers to other writers, readers to writers, digital marketers and professional experts, editors, book groups and workshops, reviewers, beta readers, and gives authors room to connect with readers who enjoy the genre in which the writer writes by way of a platform. What I hope to accomplish as an author in general but especially online, is to show my support for the books content itself. I aim to raise awareness concerning the social or political message behind the writing. Why is this topic relevant today? How does it help people to grow? What value does my subject hold and can it start conversations that lead to greater understanding? By striving to answer these questions, it will help garner offline attention and lead to radio interviews and social engagements. In short, I try to forget for a moment literally selling the book, and to instead focus on why my book is different from the next and thus why it is even worth your time in the first place.
Social media is about connections and should be used to reach the people you can’t reach offline (because they will become offline supporters). It should be, not merely an advertisement of the book, but a presentation of the books message and an introduction of the author on a personal level. By focusing on the content of the book and getting to know the author, I believe readers become interested in the book itself because of their passion for the topic and their trust of the author. In this way, I think we Indies have the potential to reach lots of readers and to be more productive in our service to the online literary community.
“SICK” is a psychological suspense novella surrounding a woman with a very sick husband who lives in a constant vacuum of life-threatening illnesses. The offspring of wealthy parents, John and Susan Branch married and settled into an affluent life that eventually dwindled after John took over his family business upon the death of his father. Soon, the family business plummeted and so did John’s health. Diagnosed with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, a complicated blood disorder, Susan is forced to take care of her ailing husband while trying to maintain a livelihood of basic necessity as a full-time medical clerk of a podiatrist. Immediately it is apparent that John’s illness is taking its toll on Susan who from the onset appears to neglect part of herself to be his full-time nurse.
“A marriage made in medicine, John’s and mine. He was the victim, and I, the slave to his diseases”. (SICK, Christa W.)
As the story moves along, I started to notice something very unusual about John. His wife reads him books as he drifts off to sleep, feeds him baby food, sings him lullabies, and says that he’s a “Good boy”. If that’s not weird enough, John pouts, throws temper tantrums and whines like a three-year-old. I became annoyed at Susan’s inability to see the signs and felt sympathy for her sense of low self-worth. Eventually, I began to associate John’s behavior and his speech with that of mental retardation; surely this man couldn’t be serious. And as Suzie slaved to be his mother, wife, and nurse, I could not be prepared for the story’s ending. John, the progeny of old money, an Ivy League education, and a keen intelligence behind his eyes was far from a learning disorder. John Branch, the world’s most sick man, would turn out to be far sicker than I could have anticipated.
“The wealth, the disease: they were part of him.” (SICK)
As I read this book I knew I wanted to give the author a four-star rating, but then I got to the end and it blew my mind so I had to upgrade her! I love the psychology of the story. How the persona and personal background of Susan and John helped me as a reader and as a person understand the outcome of this sad situation. There are people in this world who grow up with silver spoons in their mouths and yet they have no love. Whether that is self-love or love that wasn’t given to them as children, a lack of love can transform a mentally stable individual into a monster.
At the conclusion of the read, the author provides some very informative and educational information about one of the world’s least talked about conditions which I won’t mention here as I think that will give away the story. In any event, SICK is a must read.
Be sure to follow Christa on all of her social networks and to grab your copy of SICK today. Yes, like right now.
I promise you
You see I know what kind of girls you’re used to
I know that
little black girls can’t appreciate you like I can
I know that
those little girls you’re used to
doesn’t know what you’ve been through cause
kindergarten fingers on small hands don’t know how to hold you
like I do
she pushes buttons on your heart like that
cause she’s not hip to the fact that a man
can lose focus too
but see she’s just a little girl so
she plays catch with your emotions
cause she feels that if she hits you hard enough
you’ll start coughing up tokens for her to play games with
I know that your body to these little girls is merely a myth
and every trip to your mouth is a quiz enveloped in living water
that she ain’t learned how to swim in yet
so she apologizes for getting lost in your kiss
and every vibration of your body simply doesn’t make sense to her
and every word of truth coming from your lips
is like a puzzle that she ain’t figured out yet
you see she’s insecure because what she’s selling has failed
and its cause the way you love to her is reminiscent of fairy tales
they mistake my trust for you as some kind of façade
don’t know what a real man is so they think you’re a God
mistaking the heavenly embrace of your arms for wings
cause I told ‘em I’m willing to fly away with you
mistakenly discerning that you grant me wishes like milky ways & stars cause
they see me praying for you
but that’s because I’m not a little girl
so wishing upon stars we don’t have to
but your mind they can’t dissect
and your ways are hidden from them like the life of insects so
she dismisses you as too perfect & she ain’t ready for all that yet
you see I know
what kind of girls you’re used to
but what I promise you
is a woman
I promise you support sweeter than any tea you could fathom
you see I promise you words of love
not temper tantrums
I know what kind of girls you’re used to
so I promise to appreciate every inch of you
Because what I promise you
is a woman
I promise to be strong so when it comes to bearing my burdens
sweetie you don’t have to
because I promise to help and not hinder you
I promise to cry tears on your shoulders
so I can properly communicate with you
And I promise to bear soldiers and little soliderettes for you
And I promise that temptation won’t attempt to temp you
cause aint no way little girls gonna love you the way that I do
you see I promise
not to walk in your shoes
cause I’m woman enough to know that you’re the head of me
but like the neck I support you
I promise not to distrust you like they do but we gonna talk about it
and when were done
I’m gonna feed you
cause I know that I can be satisfied by the same living bread
that satisfies you
So I’m gonna love you
Beause what I promise you
I promise you
not a little girl,
but I promise you
Since this is the final interview I will skip through the semantics and get straight to the point.
The Interracial Blog Feature was inspired by my new book, “Beyond The Colored Line”, and was created as a means to foster a better understanding of diverse relationships. Not just between whites and blacks but between all diverse relationships.
Today, we welcome a special guest in as our final interviewee. I didn’t know initially that both he and his wife wanted to be interviewed and being I did have an extra spot left you can imagine my excitement. Help me to welcome Andre Wells, husband to Allison Wells from last weeks segment, to the blogosphere.
EC: Well hello there Mr. Wells. As our first and only male guest I appreciate your boldness in letting me interview you! I was starting to think this was a woman thing LOL. So, you know the routine, can you give the racial background of you and your wife for the record and how long you’ve been together?
AW: Hello EC. My name is Andre Wells and I am African American and my wife is Hispanic and Caucasian. We’ve been together for about 12 years, Married almost 10.
EC: Excellent. Now, the character in my book, Stella May, is what the people of her era deem a mulatto, that is, she is of mixed ancestry. You have children who are biracial. What advice would you give to fathers of mixed children on how to deal with the stigmas that are often placed to them?
AW: Be honest with your children about who they are and the struggles they may have to face. Teach them how to respond to stigmas and challenges.
EC: I like that, “teach them how to respond to stigmas and challenges”. Speaking of challenges, what are some challenges that interracial couples deal with that couples of the same race may not have to deal with?
AW: Some people think I am over dominant over my wife or feel the woman must be the head of house because the black man must not be that responsible.
EC: Interesting. There is a big controversy within the black community concerning role reversal or the topic of submission and authority in general.
Mr. Wells, when African-Americans and Whites marry, there is more likely to be an African-American husband and a white wife. In fact, 73 percent of all African-American and White marriages have this setup. In your personal opinion, since you would know more than any of our guests! As a black man, and your experience with Interracial Relationships, what do you think attracts other ethnicities to black men?
AW: Black men are unique. Unique in our looks; unique in the way we carry ourselves; even the way we raise our families. In most cases white women want black men but don’t want the stigmas that come along with it.
EC: Wow. Speaking of black men, I hear a lot of black people, women in particular, accusing other blacks of being “sell outs” when they date outside their race. Have you or your wife ever had the misfortune of the title and why do you think this is?
AW: I’ve heard that term in reference to relationships such as mine. I think it stems from feeling betrayed, jealousy, misunderstanding and some just down right racism.
EC: Speaking of opinions, a lot of people discern that blacks who speak with a professional tongue are trying to sound white. I speak from experience. My husband is not white but he’s very educated and he grew up in a diverse city as well where the majority of people in the town were white. Of the blacks present, he was teased by them a lot for his speech. They said that he sounded, “White”. As a man married to a “bi-racial” woman, what are your thoughts on this?
AW: Black men / women who have to live in a world where success is often based on one’s professionalism and ability to communicate properly, some may face scrutiny when trying to present themselves as respectable individuals in society.
EC: Mr. Wells I am enjoying this interview I must say. Now, speaking of speech, I’ve always wondered about the conversations between interracial couples concerning the ongoing racial tensions surrounding blacks and whites. Are there any moments when you and your wife disagree with a subject that is race related? If so, how do you deal with that?
AW: For the most part we understand and agree concerning each others racial differences. We look to the bible to help us have knowledge of who we are and that generally relieves any confusion we may have.
EC: Speak brother speak! Hope I’m not offending anyone out there, yall know I’m silly hee hee. So loving this interview right now yaass LOL. Were almost done though. Any time before 1967 your relationship would technically be illegal. How does that make you feel today with the knowledge that you’ve chosen to be with someone outside of your race?
AW: I didn’t have knowledge of who I was when I met Allison. But even so, I didn’t even begin to discriminate or allow race to determine who or how I love someone. To me, those days demonstrated racism and racism restricts people from fulfilled lives.
EC: Indeed. Andre, I want to thank you again for being part of this series, it has truly been a pleasure. If there is one form of advice you would give to people still struggling to accept Interracial Relationships, what would it be?
AW: Know that not every “interracial relationship” is joined together because they deny their own or even prefer another race. Some are actually together; love enjoins them and friendship maintains them.
EC: Can I ask you that same question again? I need you to repeat your answer for the record lol. No, seriously, in closing, as someone who has been married for some time, name one thing that has kept your relationship going.
AW: A relationship together in spirit and in truth.
EC: Thank you Mr. Wells, it has truly been a pleasure.
It is unusual for me not to put much thought into scheduling Mr. Well’s interview last, simply because I tend to plan everything (well, mostly everything). From the dates I choose to release my books to a subject as complex as this one, nothing I ever do hardly come without reason or significance. That said however, I didn’t put much thought into scheduling Mr. Wells interview last. But as I reflect on his answers, I am thankful for how this series has ended. His answers, in my opinion, summed everything up very nicely. I love how he brought in the bible and spoke concerning identity. What people must understand is that when I bring up these kinds of topics it is not about white or black. I am not trying to unite a color of people. It is not, then, about blacks or whites; it is about identity and nationhood.
It’s been a long ride for our people here in the America’s; from slavery, to Jim Crow, to racism, imprisonment, police brutality, the list goes on. Black people are the only group of people whose nationality changes with the census. They are the only people who cannot trace their lineage back to their natural heritage. If there is any people on the face of the earth more discriminated against than they, more despised and more afflicted then they please, inform me. They are such; the African American is, because their problem is not physical. Being deeper than racism itself, their problem is spiritual. If African Americans can begin to search deeper into the question of “Who am I and what is my purpose?” Then race and the concept of black and white in general will eventually fade. As I have stated on this blog plenty of times and as I will continue to state, I use black and white as terms for understanding, but I do not consider it my nationality. Black is, after all, a color but it does not define nationhood.
I want to thank everyone so much who has taken the time to support this series, either as interviewees or as interactions. I know it touched someone somewhere and for that I am thankful.
As a token of my appreciation for those who have opted to share a piece of themselves with us, I have a special gift.
Over the course of my writing career I have published a number of books and I have carefully chosen a few of them (the ones I think are the best lol) and placed them here. I want you (Interviewees) to each choose which book you would like to have and I will mail it to you at no cost. I am a hard-copy type person so your book will be a hard-copy. It is my way of saying thank you. Choose any one of these you like and email me your mailing address (Please visit the website to see what each book is about. I don’t want to list it here to preserve space on an already lengthy post. Just click on each book as if you were buying it and it shows what each is about):
Stella Book #2
Stella Book #1
Pearls Before Swine Vol #1 (a play)
From Girlhood to Womanhood (poetry)
In Case You Missed It:
The Interracial Blog Feature – Interviews Beyond The Colored Line:
Just want to remind you to join me tomorrow for another interview on the topic of Interracial Relationships. As you know, for the rest of this month I will be posting interviews I have conducted with some individuals on their thoughts on the topic of Interracial Marriages and the role race plays in relationships in general. This feature was inspired by the release of book two in my Stella Trilogy, “Beyond The Colored Line” this summer and will post every Thursday of this month. Join me tomorrow at 8:00a CST to meet another good friend of mine. You don’t want to miss his answers!
We have made it to the end of the month and so this is the final interview. As a token of my appreciation, I will be giving away a free gift to each of the Interviewees. Hope to see you in the morning!
Firstly, it looks like I am not going to get to Writer’s Quote Wednesday today. But, the good news is that I am going through my list of email contacts and while I am at it, have decided to share this message with you, my blogging buddies. Since undergoing a change in my first author website (I really didn’t like all the clutter I had going on). I have had to do away with my previous newsletter along with the website but I have finally settled enough to spend some time getting it back up. I am asking if I may invite you to subscribe.
Below is a link to the recent newsletter that went out as of today 10-28. If you like what you see, and you hate spam (I really just get straight to the point) just find the Subscribe button and sign up! I promise these Newsletters are few and far between so they won’t invade your email’s privacy! (Don’t you hate when that happens?) If you decide to sign up please just remember to check your Spam and Junk folders periodically, just in case these newsletters try to hide around in there. For those of you who are subscribed please check your folders if you did not get today’s letter.
I am still working on getting a widget up on the new site, in the meantime visit this link and hit the subscribe button. If you have any problems with the subscription button just comment to this post and I will add you manually.
I am extending this to my blog only because of the changes I’ve recently had with switching sites, but I will not always do this. Being a follower of this blog is not the same as subscribing to the newsletter, as there is information I will not always share here. That said, I will not always post the link to the newest issue. This is my first and only time doing it in the attempt to update you all on the change.
FYI: My husband said my cartoon’s eyes looks a little too big in this picture. I promised him all I had was vitamins.