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Monday, October 19, 2015

Girl scouts vs our smart phones

Some reactions, and an update for you.

I just this week completed my three book signings in the Rogers, Arkansas area. It became yet another learning experience for me. And what did I learn?

The first thing I learned was that advertising my doings on Facebook turned out to be a big waste. You see, of all the effort of self promoting on Facebook, with all of my posts and descriptions of upcoming events and such, the number of persons who actually came as a result (counting all three events) was a very small number (3), who showed up at the first event. I find what is far more effective, is actually talking to people about the events that are coming up. There is still the person-to-person thing that can truly make a difference. This is not really such a surprise to me after all. I've always been under the suspicion that people respond in some visceral way to other people, as opposed to their representation on media - such as electronic gadgetry. To this day, if I've got something truly important that I wish to tell someone, I would much rather see them in person, than to transmit the information via the media (and I include telephone conversations in this). It seems to me that if you want to make an impression that people remember, you become much more memorable if you show up at their doorstep than if you call them up. I truly think that humans respond to meeting other humans face-to-face.

I'll give you an example of what I mean. For years, I read Ray Bradbury's stories, and I developed a true love of his quirky stylistic pranks which his stories represented. But then, I had the opportunity to meet the man (at a book signing event), and I can recall very fondly how that bookstore (Border's in Ann Arbor, Michigan) smelled, how it felt, and what it looked like, and to this day, I recall what he said to me. And it was all because of his personality actually being present. And so, Ray Bradbury came to mean so much more after I had actually met the man.

The second thing I learned was that you cannot believe what people "tell" you. What they often say is what they think or expect you to believe, and not what really comes from the heart. And this is a reflection of how they have been trained to say/do/react, and is ingrained in their own psyche. This is, I believe, a real result of growing up with media in place of real human interaction. It's so much easier to lie to a piece of machinery than to a real human being. And it is so much easier to just put it down if it has no feelings. For example, it becomes so much harder to say no to the girl scout at your door than to the phone solicitor. For the girl scout has also seen you!

But the third thing I learned was that people are full of surprises. They are not what you would expect - not in this lifetime, anyway. I'll give you an example. One of the persons at my third book signing was someone named Alessa, who came to buy my fourth book. She was already a fan of mine, as was her daughter, and they had read my first three books, and wanted the fourth book, but then, Alessa ended up getting the complete set of books (so she could have her own signed copies). I can't really tell you how thrilling it was for me. This made me all the more ready to get the next book finished, and off to the publisher! And so, Alessa, I've been working on it...

And what about some updates - well, for one  thing, I got invited to go to the library's event dedicated to geeks. And this I'll try to do, for how could I resist being there in front of 900 actual geeks - what fun!

And lastly, one more update - my wife and I will be going to NYC for a couple of book signing events November 6 - 8. This is an event that my publisher is arranging, and we'll also get to do some tourist things while there. Also fun!

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