Here is one of the ads I recently ran on Twitter that contains a book excerpt. The context of the excerpt is that Paul25 is a boy whose age is frozen at nine-years-old, and he is immortal. He is a Sophistan-human from the planet Sophista and has traveled the Earth for many millennia. Here, he is in the Renaissance Era of Earth's history.
The goal of this ad was to give people a taste of the book and mainly to let people know that the book project exists. This kind of advertising is important because part of the challenge in getting support for a book, whether it be getting crowdsourced money to support the initial printing or even getting people to try the book once it is out, is making people aware of the book. There are literally millions of books released every year, especially when you consider all the books thrown up on Amazon, many of which are people's thoughts transcribed to text with little editing.
To formally produce a book is very expensive. I say formally meaning that you perform the requisite 3 edits by a professional editor and layout/design the book with something more than the default word-bucket design Amazon does with their word processor to book page default. On Amazon, if the words in your bucket match the fantasy the reader wants to have, you score. That is, if they find your book among the millions there.
There is another side to literature that increasingly gets lost in this cacophony, and that is that literature is also meant to expand your mental perception of the universe. Sometimes that expansion can make the reader a bit uncomfortable. It is not their fantasy. And understanding a new point of view for gazing at the universe, a point of view that might require contemplative thought, is becoming less appealing than it used to be simply because the world is becoming so stressful that people just want to let their mind hide on some hamster wheel in the pleasure of a mindlessly repetitive tasks, which caters to soothing their minds. The US culture, at least, seems to read less and less. In my advertising, I have seen more uptake from the UK and possibly Japan, which makes me feel a bit strange since I am writing in California. It has a feeling of being on a small island in the middle of nowhere, writing via a satellite terminal to some internet forum.
I chose to advertise on Twitter because there are a number of authors on Twitter, and so there is a sort of "safety in numbers" vibe. But one thing I should have foreseen is that Twitter is a sort of narcistic place, where people customize things to what their mind wants to fantasize about and to be a hamster wheel of short-form bites for their tired, stressed-out minds. It many ways, people that go there are looking for low effort, high impact experiences, not ones that require thoughtfulness.
One exception I found to this was those youth that followed Disney on Twitter. They seem to be signing up to be taken to some place quite different than ordinary experience. The interesting thing was that when they scooped up my ad, they took the information to other social media forums. Basically, they scan Twitter for links to information... the news function of Twitter, rather than wanting to have any extensive embrace reading or discussing the contents there.
For me, the whole Twitter experience is problematic, for how do you build a following of people that are interested in your project when your project will long outlast the platform itself? How do you build that persistent following that will share your experience in creation and then reap the rewards of your effort in the end? How do you spend the years required to make people aware of your existence in such a transitory world?
Right now, especially considering what Elon Musk is doing to Twitter, I am trying to find ways build a more persistent interaction and find a slow way, spanning a few years, of letting people know of my existence. The only proposed solution I have is to make this site into a more interactive site... perhaps advertise the site more. I'm not sure really what to do.