the state of things


In The Pantheon Of Online Celebrities

by Douglas Lindsay - 09:27 on 21 July 2017

I was at a meeting with my publisher one day, prior to the release of DI Westphall Book 1, Song Of The Dead. You know, the early days, before too much marketing has been done, when anything is possible. There’s not a damn book out there that doesn’t have the potential to be a blockbuster, and there have been enough really, really shit blockbusters to prove the rule.

Adrian, my publisher, was talking up the chances of us breaking into the American market; he was running through everything we had going for us and all the marketing ploys we’d be using, when he said, ‘And we’ll say Douglas will social media the shit out of the thing…’

So, this is where I stand in social media circles:

Facebook: No account

Snapchat: No account

YouTube: No account

Pinterest: No account

Instagram: No account

Tumblr: No account

Flickr: No account

Snapface: No account

Facetube: No account

Twitter: 280 followers (or fewer)

From this we can see that in the pantheon of online celebrities, there’s Lady Gaga, there’s Eminem, and then, 4.7 billion places in the rear, there’s me. In short, I couldn’t social media the shit out of a photograph of Donald Trump being anally rammed by Vladimir Putin. Even if social mediaing the shit out of things was what I wanted to do with my life, it’s just never going to happen.

I could have said to Adrian, ‘Awesome sauce! I’m all over that like a cheap suit!’ Or, perhaps, a cautionary, ‘You do realise that literally no one knows I exist, right?’ Or, I could have gone for honesty. ‘Listen mate, I ain’t social mediaing the shit out of anything. I’m old-fashioned enough to think the writer writes the books, the publisher does the publicity.’

I said none of the above. I nodded. The conversation moved on as though me social mediaing the shit out of things was a natural course of events. Like it was my job description.

‘Who the fuck is that asshole?’

‘Him? He’s the social media king. He single handedly created Instatube.’

Song Of The Dead came out. I wrote a blog about it, which was read by upwards of thirty people. Yep, things were on fire that day. Freight printed 2,000 copies, two years ago, and haven’t sold out yet. It’s been pretty exciting around here.

Occasionally I used to think that I should jump aboard the social media express train. And within a day of making the jump, I'd fall off, get crushed beneath the wheels, and crawl away, bloodily eviscerated. And that was without even interacting with anyone.

So, there we have it. There’s nothing to be done, and over time I have conceded defeat. Every now and again I write a blog and mention it once on Twitter, more than likely at a perfectly useless time of the day. Otherwise, I exist here, lurking in a distant, quiet corner of the Internet, minding my own business. Like Gollum.

Meanwhile, The Boy In The Well, the second DI Westphall book, remains in limbo, and no amount of social mediaing the shit out of it would make any difference anyway.


Where Are They Now:

Adrian Searle left Freight Books and is now living in a convent in Paraguay

Douglas Lindsay is appearing as a white walker in Game of Thrones, Series 7

Gollum has been made Secretary for Fish Protection in the Trump Administration

Song Of The Dead never did break into the American market

Comment from Billie at 11:54 on 21 July 2017.
Although you don't have a personal fa e-book account, I take great pride in supporting you by running the fan page on there. I wish my voice was bigger and my demographic larger, but I will continue to read your books and share them with everyone I know :-)

Thanks, Billie! I do really appreciate someone else doing the work for me! D
Comment from Janice Sollenberger at 19:29 on 25 July 2017.
Well, now you've broken into the American market. Found your book, Song of the Dead, at my local library (St. Charles, IL), brought it home and read it in almost one sitting. (Okay, so sleep was necessary in between...but I picked it up first thing today.) It's great and I'm going to be talking it up to all my mystery-loving friends, adding to my Recommend pile at that Goodreads website, or whatever it is. Haven't been so excited about a new detective novel since Tana French. Get busy on the sequel!!!

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