Studio Musings

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Click of Doom

One click. That's all it took; just one misplaced click of the mouse and I've just sent spam to over one hundred souls whose sole misfortune was to have sent email to my gmail account. Ouch!

It all started with Amazon this morning. With a few minutes to spare before I had to catch the bus, I logged on to Amazon to check my book's rankings. And couldn't believe my eyes. For that brief moment, my book, FreeForm Peyote Beading, was ranked #34,059 in Amazon's bestseller list, not bad for a self-published book in an extremely niche market. But more amazing and wonderful, it was ranked #34 in my category! Oh my god! I did a little happy dance. I did a major happy dance.

And it answered the question I'd asked myself a couple weeks before - if I were to set up a Facebook page for my book, what would I post? Many authors are doing this these days, but books don't change much, so I was at a bit of a loss. Now I had something definitely newsworthy. And no where to put it. Hmmm.....

Fast forward to mid-day. I had carefully crafted a letter to an editor of a beading magazine I particularly admire, asking her to consider reviewing my book. But before I hit send, I thought it wise to have a writer friend look it over. Calling her to discuss the letter, she suggested that rather than sending it cold, I should use Linked-in to find a connection to a publisher/editor and send it that way as the current 'socially acceptable' way to make a cold call.

Sigh. I'd never considered, when I decided to write a book just how much I'd need to learn about the internet. I consider myself fairly computer savvy. I maintain my own website and this blog, I have a facebook account. But as a solo-artist and landlord, I've never really worried about Linked-in, until now.

So, this evening I sat down and set up a Linked-in account. It connected to my gmail account and suggested a whole slew of email addresses, many of which I didn't even recognize. I spent a good ten minutes paring the list down to people I knew. Great! Then I logged onto my yahoo mail to track down an Linked-in request I'd received some time ago. In the process of accepting the invitation, Linked-in made me sign in again, then threw up the same list I had just processed at the same time my cat (yes, I was working on this at home on my couch) jumped in my lap. Really. And I clicked. The send all button. Oh no!

No 'are you sure', no opportunity to change my mind. Just done. Now I'm almost afraid to check my gmail account.

So, if you happened upon my blog trying to figure out who in the world this Karen Williams you received a Linked-in request from is, mea culpa. I'm not usually in the habit of sending spam. But since you're already here, feel free to check out my blog. And if you happen to know a magazine editor interested in books on beading, I'd love to hear from you!


  1. Karen, now I get it. By chance are you a Grinnellian? i saw via linkedin that we have a number of fabulous folks in common-Sarah Purcell, Matthew Welch and Kartik. On that basis alone, for what it's worth, this Grinnellian who knows nothing whatsoever about beading is happy to link in with you. Good luck!

  2. Yes, indeed. Grinnellians are us! I believe the one time we met was at Grinnell, for a 'life after Grinnell' panel. I was wearing my landlord hat at the time.