Before posting Part 3 of my battle online with scam artists and con men revolving around my website and published novel, I want to take a slight, short diversion to current events. Over 3 weeks ago, the date October 7th became a part of the global lexicon. The terrorist organization Hamas with the help of gliders and parachutes launched an attack on Southern Israel that has killed over 1300+ people based on the latest estimates. This has led to a retaliation from Israel that has been brutal. The approximate numbers of dead in Gaza have surpassed 8000 people so far, most are women and children. The blood that is being spilled is extraordinary and has been continuous since Israel declared itself a nation back in 1948. While my anger with both sides regarding this dual tragedy is immense due to my peace-loving nature, I refuse to favor a particular side in this battle. I will not be taking up an Israeli or Palestinian flag and marching in solidarity with protestors. There are multiple reasons for this below. First, the crimes of the Palestinians.
1) Killing over 260 people at a musical rave where young people are just getting together to dance, have a good time and maybe to engage in a little drug use is unacceptable no matter how you justify it.
2) Killing another 1000 plus innocent people during the attack is not going to promote any sympathy on the global stage. Mass murder even for political reasons is still murder especially if the killing is indiscriminate (More on this later).
3) The three primary monotheistic religions, (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism), who want to claim the Holy Land for themselves has led to nothing but violence for over thousands of years. No side has a righteous claim when so much violence has been committed. Islam is very much a contributor to this problem.
Now, the crimes of the Jews
1) Turning Gaza into an open-aired prison and concentration camp. Not many people on this planet want to be locked down in one spot, get intermittent internet service for a few hours a day, have their water shut off whenever Israel wants to punish the Palestinians, and submit themselves to security checks and constant searches while being unable to travel outside the territory. Human beings are social animals that do not like being locked down (See the COVID-19 pandemic backlash for more evidence of this).
2) The Israeli belief in collective punishment whenever the Palestinians fight back against their often-draconian measures. Collective punishment is a war crime. Despite how the Israeli leaders feel, the women and children of Gaza (And most of the men) due to the high population had absolutely nothing to do with the October 7th attacks. Unfortunately, Israel punishes them all the same.
3) Zionism is not the same as Judaism. Zionists are Jewish Nationalists in the same vein as the Ukrainian Nazis and America First Movement are Nationalists. I fear that the only way this Israel/Palestinian War ever ends is when one side is either forcibly removed or exterminated. And the Zionists are much more capable of this due to their technology and weapons of war. There are other questions that also need to be answered.
How did the supposedly omnipotent Mossad “miss” all the training that Hamas did inside that constantly surveilled open-air prison as well as receiving warnings not only from the United States but Egypt as well?
Did Israel blow up the Gaza Hospital? Evidence says no if you base it on a simple missile attack. But what if it was something else?
The problem with every one of these stories is that Israel and Gaza are at war. With a warlike setting, there is propaganda which will be promoted by both sides to gain international sympathy. The world seems to support the Palestinians with protests occurring all over the globe (That were not staged). So, do college kids and an anti-war Jewish group?
The United States media especially on the conservative side of it is very much propagandizing in support of Israel. And this is where my particularly unique opinion on this war is strongest.
Conservatives who have been so right about the Ukrainian War, the evil rights destroying online technocracy being created, and the COVID-19 lockdowns are splitting over Israel and Gaza. Like always, the strong religious background of many Conservative Christians and their undying support for Israel, the country that can do no wrong, is fracturing the good elements of Donald Trump’s movement. Scumbags like John Hagee who disappeared from public consciousness after Bush Jr. left office is back with a vengeance. With this development now occurring inside the conservative movement, where does it leave us?
An overwhelming number of conservatives and a strong minority of liberals support the war in Gaza waged by Israel.
The liberals continue to support the other war in Ukraine.
And the military industrial complex is laughing all the way to the bank. Eisenhower was correct. Too bad our stupidity blinds us to this basic reality.
In addition, the damage being done to Trump’s movement with this ongoing split where Conservative Christians are aligning with the Never-Trumper Neo-Cons over Israel is an interesting development that could lead to his permanent destruction as a viable presidential candidate. Right now, not even Tucker Carlson is talking about this. But I think this conversation is inevitable.
P.S. Fuck Ben Shapiro. There has been suspicion that overrated podcaster has had contacts with Jewish intelligence for years. One of his closest confidantes basically confirmed this. With conservative allies like this, I hate to see what the enemies look like.
Before getting started on the incredible number of problems I had with my publisher, I would like to thank everyone who has purchased a paperback, hardcover, or eBook version of my book. I greatly appreciate your support and the next time we see each other; lunch or dinner is on me.
After completing my book back in May of 2022, the next step was getting it ready for publication. There are various ways you can go about this process.
1) You can send your manuscript off to some of the biggest publishers and hope the book is good enough to grab some attention. As an individual who has no connections in the industry, this proved to be a mistake. As a writer with no previous titles to my name, the work has to stand out and attract a massive audience. A travel book that analyzes the landmarks along a historical road is not going to give off any “Harry Potter” vibes.
2) Self-publishing was the next choice. There are lots of online classes and YouTube videos that explain the entire process. My biggest issue was not having the resources on my computer mixed in with the surprisingly long amount of time it was going to take to learn the process. In addition, accounting for my 40 hour a week job, my parenting and husband responsibilities, and my diverse number of interests, I just could not find the time to sit down and learn this skill. Intellectual exhaustion also had an impact.
3) So, the final choice was passing the responsibility off to a third-party independent publisher. After doing research and getting recommended a publisher from a podcaster who contacted me, I went with the publisher Xlibris. I bought their classic package for colored books. The total amount for publication was just under 2500 dollars. Certain aspects of marketing were given to me for free as the editor who reviewed my manuscript was impressed by it and gave me a thousand dollars of credit which I used on an editor and press releases.
If only the experience could have ended here, we could have had a fairy tale Cinderella story. But this is when the nightmare began.
After signing the contract, the phone calls began. Xlibris hassled me daily for a little over a month with constant phone calls and emails. Here is what impressed me about this harassment.
The salesperson never gave up. Giving him a NO answer led to contacting me back with a cheaper offer. When this didn’t work, they resorted to psychology.
“Don’t you want to be a bestselling author?”
“We think your book has the potential for greatness.”
“Spending money is the only way to make money.”
While that last statement does have truth to it, I am also only an occasional idiot. But not a complete one. There were three main problems with their marketing offers that I saw right through.
1) The marketing to their “clients” had nothing to do with the clientele I was interested in acquiring. My manuscript is a historical travel book about a very specific region of the country. The people interested in this type of book probably number in the tens of thousands. So having my book appear at book shows in Europe and Asia seemed like a colossal waste of money and effort. As I mentioned to them in multiple phone calls, if you want to sell my book, put it in National Park bookstores, museums in the West, travel and road magazines, travel websites, etc. The money involved in marketing is not worth the price of trying to appeal to liberal intellectuals. So, for this process, I created my own business. After my first round of royalties, I am going to use whatever profits accumulated and reinvest it into the proper advertising demographic online and via print.
2) The advertising that was appealing to me like a personalized review in the NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW were brutally expensive. To do this sponsored review, I needed to drop close to 5000 dollars of my own money. For me to break even on this book, I would then need to sell close to 1000 copies of my book. The other problem was if you purchased all the marketing services in a package (At a reduced price per the salesmen on the phone), the cost runs up to 15,000 dollars. At this point, the whole thing becomes a giant scam. Here is the reality of the book publishing industry. Most books don’t even sell 100 copies. Per this article,
“In 2004, 950,000 titles out of the 1.2 million tracked by Nielsen Bookscan sold fewer than 99 copies. Another 200,000 sold fewer than 1,000 copies. Only 25,000 sold more than 5,000 copies. The average book in America sells about 500 copies. Those blockbusters are a minute anomaly: only 10 books sold more than a million copies last year, and fewer than 500 sold more than 100,000.”
And these numbers are even worse now as the publishing industry has declined by around 20% since the early 2000s. If I happen to sell more than 100 copies (Which according to my sales figures, could very well happen before the end of the year), I have already surpassed most authors. Since my book is evergreen and will still be historically accurate in ten years, this was my long-term goal with the novel. Anyone can buy this book and read it during my lifetime. I did not write this book to become rich. I wrote it because this experience of driving this road was something I was interested in sharing with the public.
3) Finally, the worst part of this whole process is the psychology that is used to try to convince you to part with your money. As a person who studies and is fascinated by propaganda, it enraged me that the tactics that governments and media outlets throughout the world use on their populace were being used to convince me to purchase a services product. Despite how I may be perceived, I am a pretty humble person and am realistic about my talent. I understand that this book is being written by a no-name author that only about 1000 people on this planet know personally. I am not going to become arrogant and believe that my novel is the greatest thing ever written, Because if you think this way, that is how they financially trap you. If you want to know what the experience was like, read these reviews online. There are people that are out over 20,000 dollars or have had their project completely ignored while also being bombarded with endless marketing calls. The only reason this was not an issue personally is that my editing was solid, and I understand the process. So, I would not let them get away with slacking on my novel. Despite all this, it still took 16 months for them to publish it.
So, what is the lesson here? I don’t know. But it feels like every creative industry I have been involved with in my lifetime is a gigantic con. This includes the film and music industries also. The publishing industry is just another one of the immense frauds that bombard our lives daily (Insurance, Registration Fees, Property Taxes, Ticketmaster Fees, etc.) We live in a capitalist society where none of the capitalists have any sense of morality or ethics in their quest to make a precious dollar. Maybe this is one of the main reasons why this country is hanging on by a thread.
Next week, the final part!
Back during the early days of the misguided and idiotic COVID-19 lockdowns in May of 2020, I built and published my own personal website through the company Weebly. There were a couple of reasons for this. I have built basic and bare minimum websites through my years learning the command line in Linux. But after watching hours of instructional videos, I decided to use one of these website building services. Building a website was too complicated for my primitive, simple brain. For a small fee (Slightly over 100 dollars a year), I found it easier to use the tools that this website provided to complete and build the website. After launching Expert of Some, I got to experience something I was not expecting, endless marketing calls regarding my website. This short blog will be about this experience, and it will tie into Parts 2 and 3 which involve the incredible amount of frustration that was created during my attempts to get my book published. If you have the suspicion that inside of this surveillance capitalist system where so much of our economic output is now directly tied to the world wide web and the lack of privacy that this entails will lead to marketers swamping you with calls and emails, then your instincts are absolutely correct.
Before beginning, I want to define a term that is key to understanding this article. SEO stands for search engine optimization and every year, approximately 73.38 billion is spent on SEO by corporations’ advertising and marketing departments. Search Engine Optimization’s definition is this.
” The process used to optimize a website's technical configuration, content relevance and link popularity so its pages can become easily findable, more relevant, and popular towards user search queries, and consequently, search engines rank them better.”
The key to SEO is to help your company stand out online by using key words which allow the search engine algorithms to pick up your website and prioritize it near the top of the search results. During the building of my website, I could create my own SEO words that I wanted to prioritize. After publishing and creating fifteen SEO words to market my website, this is when my trouble began. For over a year, I would get a daily phone call or email from some random marketing firm or SEO “specialization” company about hiring them to optimize my new website. Almost every single one of these calls was from three locations: India, the Philippines, or China. And the calls were persistent. To gain my privacy back, I had to be firm and often belligerent with the marketers to get them to leave me alone. The only way to truly stop the harassment was to threaten every single marketer that contacted you. After 15 months of this psychological torture, the phone calls did finally stop. So how did they get this information?
I only have two possible explanations for this. One of them makes more sense than the other.
One, Weebly owned by Square sold my data off to third party marketing firms who used the information provided to swamp me with emails and phone calls.
Or Two, these companies are using analytical tools to track the additional websites that are being added to the world wide web every day and using this information to make their marketing push.
I have no idea which one of these possibilities is the actual cause. And this is another problem with the internet. Who gets your data? No one really knows as the tech company will give you a large, twenty-page user agreement that does not specify who they sell your information to.
Finally, did I end up purchasing SEO services? The answer is NO. As many of you know from my writing, I have dived into the controversial topics of censorship and vaccine mandates on my blog. Did the Google algorithm flag me for disinformation and pull some of the links to my website down? It appears this is the case. Since this happened, purchasing any SEO services is pointless as the algorithm determines the visibility of your website.
Let’s compare. Here is what I get when I put “ExpertofSome” into the search engine.
Bing was the worst. It forced me to clarify the search to +expertofsome.com. If an expert of some was entered, the top search result comes up as expertofhome.com. With the modified search, it pulls up my website with sub links underneath to the other three pages. My new book selling on Amazon is also in the top 5. And that is it.
DuckDuckGo is the best. Every possible webpage and my Substack where I cross post articles from my personal website all are top searches. This search also brings up my LinkedIn page. My book does not appear as it is listed properly under my real name.
Google censors my blog in the searches. My home and about page are the top searches. My blog is nowhere to be found. Of course, this is where the “controversial” content would be located. The publisher of my book comes up and my top comment on Substack written for Edward Snowden (Who did reply and reached out to me) are the other two choices. Everything else including my LinkedIn and Substack are missing.
So here is my recommendation. Unless you really have no understanding of how to set up a website or engage with the SEO process and the investment is worth it to you, avoid it at all costs. No matter what words are used, the fate of your website is totally dependent on the whims of the algorithm and whether your content is controversial enough to be flagged and disappeared. Because this is how censorship works now. They will not remove your website. They will just make sure no one alive ever gets to see it.
Next week, Part 2.
EXPERT OF SOME