DISCUSSION FORUMS STELLAR - SCREEN FATIGUE IS THE PROBLEM
Before I let you know why I haven't been participating in the discussion forums, I want to express my gratitude to
African American Literature Book Club.
I found my editor and publicist here. Troy did the research to include the WBAI David Rothenberg interview on my author’s page, even though I had forgotten to send it to him.
The review that was published on AALBC, though not completely positive, was professionally written. A professional review gives the reviewer’s opinion of the book with supportive evidence from the book while giving enough information for the reader to decide if s/he is interested in the book. The reviewer did that, which resulted in sales of An Extraordinary Life: Josephine E. Jones. One of those sales resulted in a reunion with a beloved writer mentee. Another sale resulted in a fine correspondence—which continues until this day—with an admirer of the book who has also been very supportive of my career. Thank you.
I was briefly on Facebook and LinkedIn for business, but ran away screaming. Facebook seemed intrusive to me. After I left, they followed me for six months online. LinkedIn sent emails to everyone in my inbox, which resulted in contact from someone I never wanted to hear from in this life or the next. Although I am still on Goodreads, I am not very active. When I visited their forums I was appalled at the childishness of the exchanges. It reminded me of third grade playground fights.
Then I came to this community. Discussions were at a high level, included sources, and--whether I agreed with the writers or not--the conversations were always civil. There was so much variety, and you could start a new topic. Engaging people with differing perspectives was exhilarating. I will never forget the series of discussions Troy, another community member, and I had with a young man about his views on gay people. We didn’t change his mind, but I hope he at least reexamined his beliefs.
Who could forget the life changing discussions about “A” and its devastating effect on booksellers, readers, and writers? Your discussion forums increased my brain cells. I spent days creating responses in my head. Then I typed them up in Word and revised them. After that, I cut and pasted them into the forums.
Recently, I created a STAY AT HOME RESOURCE KIT on my website for my email list. I will discuss the details of that in another post. I think a custom tailored version of it would work for other writers.
One element of the kit included recommended links. Here is what I put on my website:
Discover the joys of the 21st Century’s version of the 18th Century salon. Then I copied the block of text from AALBC’s website giving details about the site and put the link on my website.
For the past two years, I have been giving readings of An Extraordinary Life: Josephine E. Jones for Black History Month Programs at libraries and added a college this year. In addition, I also scheduled my first Women’s History Month Program this year, which was postponed because of COVID-19. Wherever I go, I have been telling writers and readers about your website, with particular mention of the forums.
In other words, although I wasn’t on the forums, I was sending as many people to them as I could. I don’t think the discussion forums can be improved. They are already excellent.
The problem lies not with your discussion forums, but with my screen fatigue.
Like most people, I spend a great deal of time on screens: the computer and the phone.
I don’t have a TV, but watch movies, documentaries, TV programs, and videos on the computer. I am looking forward to watching an Oscar Micheaux film on Youtube later tonight.
Except for occasional trips to bookstores, most of my research is done on a computer screen at home or at the library. I don’t have other devices, but still spend more time than I’d like on screens. When I was working on An Extraordinary Life: Josephine E. Jones, I had to get special computer glasses to ease the fatigue of reading the digital proof files my copy editor sent me. I felt as if I my eyeballs were walking on sand. I am wearing those glasses now.
After awhile, I don’t want to see another screen. I just want to put on my regular glasses, sit in my wing chair, prop my feet on the footstool, and read Looking for Lorraine.
(If this ends up with a "tag"[I don't think that's the correct term-my research described the "at" sign with the name as a tag] it will be another accident.)