Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Help me help you help me

Did you know it's just six (6) weeks until Christmas? Yeah, sneaks up on you fast, doesn't it? It's easy to keep track of the holidays where I work, because it neatly coincides with layoff season. For the past 10 years, November has been the month to keep your head down. I've seen them come, I've seen them go, and somehow I always survived.

Until today.

Yep. My number came up today. Seventeen and a half frickin' years, and I got called into the 9:00 meeting with HR. It wasn't a surprise, necessarily. Well, the part where they're closing our entire office (400+ people) was kind of a stunner. But there have been enough warning signs that I saw this coming. I've seen it coming for several years now. And after all the gallows humor and hallway chatter ... it still kind of hurts.

Even though it may be for the best in the end.

Funny how life imitates art. Or maybe art imitates life imitating art. I started a blog to make the marketing of The First World Problems of Jason Van Otterloo a little more fun. It's Jason's blog, but shhhhhhhhhh, I write it. Last week Jason got laid off. I had to use my imagination a little to picture how it would all go down for him. I don't have to imagine it any more. I lived it this morning.

One of the reasons I suck at book marketing is I'm bad about asking people for stuff. It's awkward to ask for help. To ask people to buy your books. To ask people to Like your Facebook posts or retweet your Tweets ... it feels dirty. When I released The First World Problems of Jason Van Otterloo last month, I sent my family members a free download link because I didn't want their pity sales. (Does Stephen King have to tell his mom not to pay for his books?)

I still don't want your pity, even after getting laid off. (And to be fair to my employer, I will get a very reasonable severance package, so I won't be out on the street for months yet.) But, if you're a fan of win-win situations, I can say that my books are fair value for money. My ebooks are only $3.99 each, which is on the low end of the pricing spectrum. If you're looking for something to read, I've got four titles out now, and there is probably something that would entertain you $3.99 worth or better. For sake of ease, here's the link to my Amazon page (though as of now all of my books are available on every online retailer, so check your favorite).

I also have paperback copies available for the first three books, The Greatest Show on Dirt, Nine Bucks a Pound, and Sorry I Wasn't What You Needed. You can order them from Amazon or any online retailer. Or directly from me. I'll give you a deal, too. $10 for any book, postage included (media rate, not overnite, let's be reasonable). And if you want, I'll even sign it. Books make great Christmas gifts. So even if you've already read them all, maybe you can think of someone on your list who hasn't. You get some shopping out of the way, I get a few bucks to help me through a tough period (cue up the sad violin music ... and, cut). Win-win, right? Just use the Buy a book! link over there in the right margin.

One other thing you can do that doesn't cost a dime that is a legitimate help. Next time you're on Facebook or Twitter or whatever social media app the cool kids are using these days, shoot out a link to one of my books. Maybe your friends would be interested. You never know, people could be stuck for gift ideas. That's a win-win-win (Triple Win!) if you help them help me while they get someone crossed off their list.

As always, I appreciate your thoughtfulness and support.

Happy Thanksgiving,

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