Internet … Great Tool and Time Sink

I’m thinking how much the Internet has changed the world.

Back before the Internet, it was difficult, time-consuming and sometimes expensive just to get information.  Whether it was refinishing a piece of furniture, learning how to play the guitar, or wiring a light fixture, there were often no instructions.  Finding what you needed involved finding a knowledgeable person, going to the library or the bookstore, sending off for a catalog.

Now, the difficulty is filtering the massive amount of good, dubious and bad information on the net.  I have read several short books (generally badly written) on how to publish.  I have three conflicting sources on page layout.  It’s almost as time-consuming as it was before the Internet.Danny_Media

On the other hand, I’ve found a cover designer whose work I have been able to inspect in detail.  She lives in Nigeria.  Her contact page tells one a lot about the reach and capabilities of the Internet. As I write this at 2:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time in the States, Danny is on line at 7:00 pm in Nigeria.  She made a delivery 3 minutes ago and 346 people have liked her enough to rate her.  That’s a long, long way from the local Yellow Pages I grew up with.

New world.  Full of challenges and opportunities.

Click-thru, Substance and Internet Marketing

So, let me ask (rhetorically), would you put the pictured cover on a book? ‘Sell … Like Wildfire,’ emblazoned (pardon me) over a book of matches? After several years of  devastating wildfires set by arsonists? And would you name your website

Apparently, the desire for a cool, attention-grabbing, clever cover trumps … umm … thought process.Wildfire

I am sure that I will be thrust into the black hole of crotchety old guys by Internet savvy folks and, in particular, Internet marketers. After all, the brave new world seems to be driven by click-thru activity rather than substance.

I got an e-mail advertising a ‘free download’ on book marketing.  That interests me, so I punched through to a page that wanted me to sign up for info on a self-publishing house. No free download. Intrigued, I e-mailed the publisher. Several days later, I got the appropriate web address and clicked on the ‘article.’ It turned out to be a book chapter. Presumably, I would read the chapter and buy the book.

So, the net result is a plus for the marketing database (several click-throughs).  They didn’t really lie. The only down side I see for the marketer is bitter experience tells me those hyper-energetic, hair-on-fire promotional efforts are usually a thin coat of paint covering lack of substance. Oh, and there is the fact that the slightly misleading but relatively harmless come-on is the only data I have to go on when and if I self-publish. That doesn’t convert to very many future click-throughs.