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Virtual Insanity


My head is spinning. Sometimes. Other times, it feels like a chunk of concrete, completely stalled and immobile.

The lessons I purchased to sell more books have been interesting. The first few lessons focused on internal things, changing my mindset about my writing. I had to start thinking about my writing as a business. In fact, I had to actually start a business.

So I did.

A couple of years ago, I came up with a logo and name for a publishing company, which I then put on the covers of my books for a more professional look. I lifted the name out of a quote from Henry V by Shakespeare:

O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
the brightest heaven of invention.

Thus, Fiery Muse Publishing was born, though its life, at the time, was purely fictional. Now, though, I made it official. I am now the owner of Fiery Muse Publishing, LLC, the business end of my writing endeavors.

I feel like I’m actually accomplishing something. I now have articles of organization, a Certificate of Good Standing from the Colorado Secretary of State, an Employer Identification Number with the IRS, and a business bank account. I’m officially self-employed, though said employment is hardly supporting me yet.

Then, the fourth lesson in the package took a hard turn toward the technological side. This one involves tons of internet tweaking, integrating one online commercial site with another, in order to make an easy and seamless experience for buyers.

I’ve been watching this lesson several times. It requires that I combine multiple novels into a “Box Set” to sell at a special sale price. I’ve decided to combine my SpiritSense Trilogy into a digital box set. These novels involve Suzy Quinn, a young woman who discovers she has the ability to communicate with ghosts, channeling them in a way, to see their lives from their point of view. In this way, I’m able to write in my favorite format, telling stories in both the past and present, combining historical fiction with a modern story.

That part was easy enough. I’ve formatted eBooks before, for Kindle and Nook, though it’s been a little while. And designing new cover art for the box set was nice, flexing my atrophying graphic design muscles. While I was at it, I went ahead and formatted my Facebook Trilogy into a box set for future sales.

And I went ahead and formatted all of my other novels, too, since their most recent incarnations were created by Draft2Digital.com, a company that specializes in creating eBook files and submitting them to the appropriate sites, including Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Nobel. Since this current project involves cutting out the middle man, I need those files myself, so I can sell them directly to the buyers.

That’s not the part that has me watching the lesson numerous times. Rather, it’s the part about selling said box set. This involves setting up my Bookfunnel site and my Shopify site, to create that seamless experience for my buyers. Steve Pieper, aka Lars Emmerich, the creator of this program, recognizes that too many people get confused online, so a lot of the lesson focuses on customizing these sites, eliminating links that could confuse them.

It doesn’t help that, it seems, the sites have done redesigns since the lesson videos were made, so the pages don’t look quite the same. Finding the correct links to tweak is not so easy when they look different, or are located in a different area, or even on a different page.

I complained to Linda that I’m having a hard time following along. Besides the aforementioned site updates, the fact that I’ve been getting up at 1:30 in the morning to go and do my job before anybody else gets there is probably contributing to my foggy brain. Her response was, as usual, focalizing and wise. Get rich quick schemes never work. Often, they’re marketed as a quick and easy tweak, some simple little hack that "The Man" doesn’t want you to know about. So the fact that this course required several complicated steps to get it running, well, it made sense.

That brought to mind an old axiom: If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

So, back to the lesson. Again.