Tag Archives: motivation

The Monday That Got it All Right But Got it All Wrong

You know me, I love a good story and this one involves a business that just wanted to biz and put their best foot forward in that endeavor, so they dressed that foot in designer shoes and socks and still wound up tripping somehow.

Say hello to Monday.com

They’re in the project management software business, specifically software that helps teams organize, manage, track etc.  They wanna sell this software tool to other businesses so they can theoretically be savvier businesses… nothing wrong with that.  Now here’s where I show the commercial, the one that cut through a totally unrelated video on YouTube (otherwise I wouldn’t have known they even existed). It’s less than a minute, so I encourage you to check it out.

Hold on to what you noticed most about the video.  Allow me to tell you that if you’re like most of the commenters on the monday.com youtube page where this video lives, it wasn’t what the software actually does.  Some of the commenters wanted to know who the attractive spokesgirl was, some dug the sofa or the building architecture, but the overwhelming majority wanted to know where they could get that insanely awesome, crazy infectious earworm beat.  And since it’s an ad that cuts through other YouTube videos which are probably extremely unrelated to office/team management to sell people who may not have offices or teams or spokesgirls or jobs this designer software, it had a share of complaints and jokes.  This has led to a comment section which I haven’t had so much fun browsing since Amazon’s Three Wolf Moon shirt.  Here are a few choice ones:

The BG Music brought me here.. and ONLY that.

So you won’t tell us what the title of the song is? Even if we ask on a Monday????

Yeah, but i hate mondays

I LOVe the music! What’s the name of the music? :O

Its like MS Project but for millennials.

Whats the name of the music used in this ad? PLEEEAASSSEEEEEEE!!!
Anyone know the girls name or IG name at least?
I suggested monday dot com to my employer, and they fire me instantly. True story!
Stop encouraging women to be managers; they’re terrible at it
I’ve only included a smattering of the comments that asked about the beat, just so you guys could get a sense of how often it was happening.  Internet investigators starting digging into it and sharing what were the closest similar beats or getting in touch with monday.com to directly inquire and one person reproduced the beat and hosted it on their own YouTube channel.  This investigation and collaboration was all going down in monday.com’s comment section.  The requests for the song just wouldn’t stop coming in.
Finally, a month ago monday.com pinned a response at the top of the comment section.
For everyone asking for the music, here is a link to the song 🙂 https://youtu.be/dQw4w9WgXcQ
Now,  I was one of those beat seekers, which is why I started pursuing the ad in the first place and found myself surrounded by this story.  Which means I’ve clicked the link (so you don’t have to) so this will hopefully spare you from getting rickrolled like I did.  Yes,in a classic bit of trolling themselves, monday.com rickrolled everyone.
Some of the commenters got offended, started calling themselves “potential customers” and talking about how they’re going to take their business elsewhere.  Stop it.  To riff off Rick Astley, you were never gonna give, never gonna give, never gonna give a dollar to their software.  And if you actually are an executive or manager who procures software for their office and actually need team-building organizational management tools, if something as simple as a redirect to some classic 80’s music is enough to put you off from investing in better business management then your company’s likely doomed to failure with that shitty attitude.  They’re not Shazam, fool.
The ad’s currently sitting at 32 million views on YouTube.  That’s a killer ton of views. Out of almost 170 comments, do you know the number of comments that actually testify that this is winning software?  2.  Yep, two.
monday.com is the best tool and platform in the business. Just perfect!!
To which other commenters called this person a sock-puppet with 2 subscribers and no content.  The other was a backhanded compliment.
You have a great product. But please stop throwing that annoying commercial at me every time I watch something on Youtube.
This is a fun story to me because you’ve got a company that just wanted to get word out of its product and did the absolute best they could to dress their product up for a spring social.  But they ironically dressed it up so well that that no one cared about what they had dressed because everyone was too busy wondering where those fancy threads came from.  It’s like the equal opposite of the movie The Producers, where a couple of theater play producers with the intention to fail combine a bunch of bad factors together and somehow succeed… only here a company with the intention to succeed combine a bunch of great things together and somehow fail.
Please allow me a bit of poetic license with the language with that last part.  I don’t know per se if they’ve failed… if there’s no such thing as bad advertising, at 32M views then it was a successful ad campaign.  It’s just the comment section is its own sort of mini-drama, one I fervently wanted to share with you all.  And that beat, tho. The moral of the story: advertise to the right audience.  Speaking of, buy my book.
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Confession of an Indie Novelist

Cry Time is over!

I’m going to close out this year with a confession. There was a part of me that wanted to be done with writing. It’s so much work, you know? And not just the writing, the selling, that’s the herculean experience. And it was something I wasn’t doing, selling, not in record numbers or even moderate numbers. My novel was kinda just adrift.

I was running into a wall, problems of white noise and market saturation. Indie writers are legion. There are no barriers to entry. Plus, we’ve all heard the success stories, how nowadays the indies are forging ahead of the Big Name Publishers, getting huge fanbases and reaping fortune and glory. We all want that… if you don’t want that, you’re dreaming wrong.  Envision, a million indie writers trying to move five million books, attemping to wedge into a spot reserved for a handful.

I knew this going in. I was hoping to cut through a lot of the white noise by telling potential readers, “I’ve been published in F&SF, and Apex, and Daily Science Fiction, and Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show (making it a point to name drop Orson to catch some clout), and Lightspeed and Escape Pod and I made the Nebula Recommended Reading List and and and.” This was my way of saying, “I know a book from an indie writer is a crapshoot, it could be garbage so hot it melts your ereader or a brave bold crazy wonderful adventure… you should try me out because I’m vetted. I bring a resume of quality storytelling. Won’t you be my reader?”

Few cared. Even reviewers, which was my other ticket to express laning through the white noise. It’s one thing for me to tell you that my book is fun, savvy, quirky, edge of your seat action, and quite another for someone else to say “Holy smokes this rocked… buy it!” Turns out there’s only a very small dollop of reviewers who accept indie books for review. Nowadays most reviewers strictly go through NetGalley, which is quite expensive for a writer to use, I’m talking $400 for the basic option, $600 for NetGalley to place you in the newsletter… you know, showing folks you’re actually there on the site instead of you hoping that your fingers crossed is its own special brand of attractive magic.

Some of the indie reviewers were cool, most were supremely overbooked to the point of being temporarily closed to subs… I believe one guy had a backlog of 180+ books, I still put mine in the queue and don’t really expect to hear back until this time next year. And there were a few others that just didn’t wanna rock with me, take that book elsewhere, my resume be damned… they had permanently stopped reviewing indies because the aforementioned crapshoot wasn’t worth their time.

So I was running into a vicious loop of new readers not wanting to check me out because I had few reviews and reviewers not wanting to read the book because I was indie. It didn’t help that Beamon is a name that sounds like I should be catching footballs or running track, not writing fantasy and science fiction. I love my name, it’s mine, but it’s not writerly until I make it writerly. I look at this as a temporary strike, it only counts against me in the now but well, now is the time it counts. It felt as if very little, if any, of all the accomplishments I had made from the short story trade had converted into usable currency in this space. Don’t get me wrong, I did have some stalwart, Day One fans (thanks to you all!) precisely because of the short stories, but there are soooo many more days after day one and I started feeling them as sales clicked down to 0. My novel languished and for a brief time I just checked out… played some Bloodborne, watched some YouTube, didn’t check the bestsellers ranks or think about it.

And like any real writer, the ones forged of broken glass and duct tape, I came back. I wrote a couple of short stories that are making their way in the slush right as we speak, wrote a few chapters of the third book, got back down to the business. A writer has to write and no amount of commercial success or lack thereof is gonna keep a writer from doing it. Not until all their stories have been told. And mine are still there jockeying for position to be the next one out of my head, onto the page and into the world.

I had forgotten. I was calling myself a writer in the trenches but in the short story markets it felt like I had climbed out, that I was standing over the maze and catching all day sunshine. Sure, I’d still get rejections, but I was on a first name basis with many of the editors of the top magazines. Many of them I had been featured in, or been published multiple times. I felt accomplished, which is a great feeling but an impossible feeling to someone who’s claiming to be your brother in arms slugging it out in these slushpiles to achieve a slight modicum of recognition in print. It was no longer a slugfest for me, where I wrestled with self-doubt and self-rejection wondering what was wrong with my stories or if it was something else entirely.

Going into the novel world felt like starting over, going back into the trenches, back before that first ever SFWA recognized pro sale. Season’s Greetings that was a hard era! Yes, I used Season’s Greetings as an expletive. And here I am, ready to take this hill like I took the ones before this one, bigger hill or not. Overnight success probably doesn’t suit me anyway, it doesn’t have the visceral imagery of bloody knuckles clutching my final manuscript. Overnight success doesn’t make a rocking bio and I definitely want the rocking bio. And I guess to all the writers out there who are fledgling or still feel fledging, this blog is still a relevant voice when hearing the motivational words of authorities , the big names who have been big names forever, feels like getting advice from mom and dad about a world that’s constantly changing. Bloody and battered, I’m still here for you.

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War Journal: Story bites

 

So I spent the last few weeks with most of my online presence dedicated to getting awareness out on Pendulum Heroes.  Finding people and places to review it, town crying on Facebook and doing crazy amounts of research.  And I’m still working… I just built a new page on the gristle dedicated to it.  It’s to the point where it didn’t quite feel natural to leave that first line featuring the novel’s name without a link to Amazon where you can buy.  I keep looking up at it like it’s naked, like I’m missing a primo place to sell.  It’s a war in these trenches, folks.

That said, I have kinda fell off on my short story writerly duties.  Chief among them is to tell you guys I have another story published on Apex Magazine.  This one’s called Three Meetings of the Pregnant Man Support Group and it’s my second time appearing in Apex, which is pretty awesome.  When they sent me the acceptance I felt like opening my door and shouting “it wasn’t a fluke!” but I thought better of it when I thought how I’d take that same message if a neighbor did that and I’d come to the conclusion that their significant other wasn’t getting the right kind of attention.  Instead of that, I pushed some books.  Didn’t quite feel the same, though.

Also in this issue of Apex, I had the pleasure of being interviewed again by Andrea Johnson.  I hold fast to my belief that she’s bar none the best interviewer in the business… she does a great amount of research about the writer and asks very intelligent and poignant questions.  You can tell she’s passionate about what she does and she brings that passion to the table when she talks to you.  The link’s at the start of the paragraph, check it out and see what I’m talking about.

Finally, we’re almost in July and with that comes my latest story “A Song of Home, the Organ Grinds” in Lightspeed Magazine.  This is my first time ever getting into Lightspeed and it’s one of those big ones that I’ve always aspired to get an acceptance from.  It’s a story about killer steampunk cyborg monkeys and a homeless street urchin.  If that didn’t prompt an eyebrow raise from you then you must’ve lost your eyebrows in a freak running-with-scissors incident.

You won’t see too many more of these announcements in the near future, I think.  I’m doing less short story writing and focusing on trying to finish the third book.  That said, it’s hard to stop completely, so I’m pretty sure I’ll have a flash piece or two to entertain you between novels.  We’ll see.  In the book world, it feels like I’m starting over again.  At this point, I’m fine with that.  A few of y’all remember my first pro sale, how stoked I was, how I went at this like a war in the trenches.  I feel like I’ve reached the top of the hill when it comes to short story telling and short story selling.  Time for me to get back in the trench.

That’s about it.  Check out my new Pendulum Heroes page if you’re interested in getting more information about the series.  I would put the link but it’s right up there at the top of the page and I’m trying to fight that whole add links addiction.  Oh, what the hell.

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War Journal 77: Brevity, the Soul of Twit

So I’m on this road to self publishing this book, and there’s a couple of things I needed to do in conjunction.  Book Publishing Side Quest One: increase web presence.  I’m pretty sure studies show that on average 0% of Americans buy books they never knew existed.  The numbers from the UK are even worse.  Yeah, you may have heard of me, but what about your neighbor or that dude that bagged your groceries the other day? Have you even told your family about this sporadic thing you enjoy called my published fiction?!  Point is, I need to delve into more social media outlets.

With much fear and trepidation, this week I joined Twitter.  If anyone out there’s like me, meaning hasn’t joined Twitter and hates Facebook, I’ll tell you firsthand you may like it better.  I do.  Twitter’s not overly concerned with pages and status levels of everyone you ever knew… it’s more of conversation based thing… like you’re at a large party with some friends, maybe their friends, and some work associates that you’re various levels of cool with… and one of them says something you’re interested in.  Join the convo.  When something else piques your interest, head over there and see what they’re talking about.

Honestly, when I first logged in I figured I’d be in the quiet, lonely void for a good hot minute.  I mean, its a microworld of hashtags and @ symbols!  But it didn’t take long for me to find some folks I knew and get talking.  Now I’m fairly comfortable.  At this rate I’ll be throwing up hashtags like middle fingers to the law by the end of the week.

So that’s about all the soft selling I’m gonna do.  Find me out there @WriterBeamon.  Let’s chat for a bit about Book Publishing Side Quest One or whatever’s on your mind.

You’d be surprised how much you can cram in that space

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