Gaming the System

image from bunchball.com

The life of an aspiring artist today can be a rather tedious one.  Much like during the days of the Renaissance, it seems that almost everyone is doing something that they want the world to fall in love with.  However, as opposed to the days when you were just trying to get your local community to recognize your talents, artists of today are forced to gain the attention of the entire world, at least if they wish to actually make it their career.

As such, it seems that everyone is looking for a shortcut to the front of the line.  With so much competition out there, and so much of it being completely worthless, the urge to do whatever you can to separate yourself from the crowd is quite overwhelming.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing inherently bad about trying to make a name for yourself.  It is, after all, the only way to gain notoriety as an artist.  The problem is that most of the methods available for people to do so (quickly) today are, well, in effect, cheating.

I’ll admit, I battle (and sometimes lose) the urge to game the system constantly.  Sites like Amazon have definitely created failsafes to try to keep authors from creating multiple fake accounts and posting thousands of grandstanding reviews for their own works.  Many other sites, of course, haven’t.  But even with Amazon, there are many ways around the failsafes.

But there are just so many different ways to cheat the system in order to get your name higher on the list from other (possibly more deserving) folks.  Of course, there are just as many ways to do so that are above board (such as creating something that’s worth international attention), but they just take so much damned effort.

As of this morning, I’m happy to announce that THE LEGEND OF BUDDY HERO is ranked #75 in superhero books on the Amazon Kindle market.  That’s pretty darn cool, since it’s up there with books like the novelization for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.  I’m pretty proud of that fact, and even more proud that it got there mostly on it’s own regard, meaning that although there may have been a few things I did that I’m not entirely proud of, they had very little to do with my book’s current placement on the ranks.

But the urge still remains. . . what can I do to get it higher?  What can I do to make more people aware of my book, even if it means lies or cheats or whatever?  I see this in my fellow authors as well.  So many of them, like myself, find it difficult to not want everyone to instantly fall in love with them and their work, that they will utilize less than moral methods to get there, or at least heavily consider them.

I should add, this is nothing new, of course. Heck, the concept of the casting couch, where actors trade sexual favors for their chance on the big screen, is well known.  In fact, many people believe that such acts are all but necessary to actually make it as an artist in today’s world.

It’s sad, but also, there’s a great deal of truth to it.

That being said, this morning, after recognizing how much success I’ve had with very little to go on, even if it’s no where near the amount of success to consider myself a successful author, or, you know, a bestselling one; I made the official decision to kick myself in the nuts if I ever seriously consider using shortcuts again.  If THE LEGEND OF BUDDY HERO, or any of my other creative outlets, become successful, I want to know that it’s because of the work itself, instead of some form of trickery utilized to confuse the masses.

I’m currently working on a few legitimate methods for promoting the book, including one that I’m quite fond of and hope to get together very soon (hint: the most amazing book trailer of all time).  I’d also appreciate any input anyone has on things they think I should be doing better.  I can’t promise that I’ll use all thoughts (especially since the idea of things like book signings frighten me by images of me sitting behind a table for long periods of time without a single person even looking my way), but I’m always interested in hearing new ideas for marketing strategies.

With that being said, I’m going to get back to working on legitimate artist stuff. . . you know, writing and editing.

 

Have a good one!

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