Sunday, December 04, 2005

Googley Eyes

Like most authors, I Google my name regularly. I like to see what's on the first page - the first impression someone might get of me. Now, keep in mind that even on a good day most authors are basically insecure. Like alot of actors, we're probably driven into publication by some ghost from our pasts. Some need for a vast voice and public acclaim. Or, dare I say, for love?

So you can imagine my distress when I found that all of the links on Google's first page are for tepid or downright black reviews.

If this were a 3D medium, my words would be twitching on your screen.

After all, my first book, Layover, was generally well received! Most reviewers "got" what I tried to say. And that's the most awesome feeling in the world. But, one thought I was weird (can't really argue with that). One, I think, must've either been drunk or reading too many books at once because the details she described never even happened in my book. And one thought I was a decent writer who had written a shitty book.

Fine. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. But why on the first page of Google? Where are the glowing reviews, of which there were so many?

My mind asks: is this a good thing, or a bad thing? Are these reviews on the first page because the sites get the most hits? Is it on the first page because people are attracted by bad reviews and tend to buy MORE of the books that get them just to see what the buzz is all about?

Or is it a massive conspiracy Google has going because I signed up for their ad program and it's not generating very much income? Or even worse, did one of the Google Geeks read one of my books, look at my picture, learn about me...and...come to hate me?

Is he even now hacking into my computer, finding my really private thoughts (the ones that never make it onto the blog), my financial records, royalty statements, bank accounts, dirty pictures, secret crushes, sex toy rotation spreadsheet, nose picking schedule...

Oh

My

God.

*glances at watch*

Grasshoppah, time for you to write.

Ah. The Cosmic Voice speaks. That's all it was. The weirdness must have it's outlet after all.

I once told someone I'd die if I couldn't write. I was wrong. I'd merely be committed.

But I still wonder about Google.

6 Comments:

Blogger Karen Scott said...

Ann, you really should change your settings, so that you get a comments box pop up in a separate window, so that I can recall what you've wrote *g*

Anyway, being somebody who is contantly found via the good old google search, I can tell you this, it's not good for your disposition. Because no matter how much you try to not let it bother you, invariably it does, when you come across a negative review, and sometimes it leads to bitchfests that you could have well done without.

As for why the bad reviews come up first, I guess this has more to do with Google ranking than page hits.

When I Googled your name, I found a lukewarm review by Cupid's Library (who in my opinion are one of the worst review sites out there actually, erm did I just say that out loud?), the thing is, they gave you four cupids, but the review itself wasn't glowing enough for four cupids, so they basically contradicted themselves.

Frankly speaking, for the grading to have reflected the written review, it should have been three cupids not four, which would have made more sense. But then again, that's crappy Cupid's Library for you.

BTW, can you tell me why the CTOL download costs as much as $8.39 on Diesel Ebooks? It also states that you make a saving of $0.51. How?

December 04, 2005 4:09 PM  
Blogger Ann Wesley Hardin said...

See how much you mean to me, Karen? I changed the setting just for you *gg*.

You're right. I need to stay off Google. I'm training myself. It's just weird to me how it changes from month to month. At first all the good stuff came up on the first page. Now you can't even find it on page seven.

As for the Diesel download price, I have no idea. The e-books also cost more on Amazon. Alot more. So everyone's best financial bet is to stay with EC. It's interesting because there doesn't seem to be a mark-up on print books.

Anyone out there know the reasons behind this?

December 04, 2005 4:55 PM  
Blogger Daisy Dexter Dobbs said...

Yup, it used to drive me crazy and zap hours out of my day--especially when I’d spot negative blips of this or that. I do my damnedest to avoid over-Googling myself now because it’s so easy to get caught up in all the weird stuff that pops up. And, good grief, what an unproductive time-waster to follow all those links to see who’s saying what! Our time is much better spent meeting deadlines, doing edits, updating our blogs, or doing other things of a writerly nature. ;-)

December 04, 2005 6:21 PM  
Blogger Karen Scott said...

Hey, this pop-up window is much better, lol!!

December 05, 2005 3:52 PM  
Blogger Kris Starr said...

There is something to the order in which you pop up on Google -- Mr. Hottie Instructor explained it briefly in one of my web design classes.

However, my brain was otherwise occupied with mentally undressing him at the time, so I didn't really pay attention.

I am such a big help, aren't I??

I've noticed that I *do* come up first in a name search on Google, though -- and that's a good thing. :)

December 06, 2005 5:30 PM  
Blogger Ann Wesley Hardin said...

Thanks for your help Kris. If you can lift your mind from the gutter and remember what he said, would you come back in here, please? *gg*

Now I'm curious.

December 07, 2005 5:58 AM  

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