I'm on an ongoing mission to increase the number of likes on my Facebook page. That may seem like a shallow goal to some of you, born of vanity and an insatiable thirst for evidence of my self-worth. But that only scratches the surface of my motivations.
There are a number of reasons for an author (particularly a self-published author) to try to collect as big a following on their Facebook page as they can.
1. You can show off your talent for free. If people like what they see on your page, they might be tempted to pay for what you're selling.
2. When you have a big enough following, you can use it t have Facebook make a lookalike profile for you to target your ads at, using their algorithms to target potential customers who have similar interests to those of your fans. (This is part of the reason I like to post inflammatory content every now and again, getting illiterate trumptards who occasionally like the page to unlike it. The other part is that I just genuinely enjoy pissing those people off.)
3. Success begets success. There's a common misconception going around that Facebook will only show your post to a tiny fraction of your followers. That's only true if your post sucks. I demonstrate daily that, if you post shit that people actually enjoy (which they let Facebook know by engaging with it), then your post will be shown to a much larger percentage of your audience, as well as to people outside of it. The bigger audience you have, the wider your potential reach.
So now that I've finally released the long-awaited Critical Failures V, I thought I'd take some time to focus on how I might further broaden my audience.
There are some Facebook pages out there catering to a similar niche as the one I write for which have hundreds of thousands of followers. I took a look at what they're doing to attract so much attention, and it seems to be memes.
That makes a lot of sense. Memes are visual, they're quick and easily digestible, and people seem to like to share them. The pages I mentioned up in the last paragraph get thousands of likes and hundreds of shares for every meme they post.
The only problem is... How do I say this without sounding like an arrogant douchebag?
The problem is that most of these memes suck giant piles of orc ass.
I'm sorry, but it has to be said. There are only so many times you can recycle the old necromancer "making some friends" joke. It was a quarter-chuckle pun the first time. Perhaps it's time for the necromemers to let that one stay dead.
But other pages' problems are my opportunities. And so I've committed myself to making and posting an original fantasy or gaming themed meme every day, holding myself to the high standards of comedy you've come to expect from reading my books.
In lesser memers' defense, finding the perfect joke is no easy task. You might start off with the perfect picture for inspiration, then need to come up with text that delivers enough for the joke to work without spoon-feeding it to the viewer. Or, less often, you might have the text perfectly formed in your head and need to seek out the right picture.
More often than not, inspiration will come from an outside source, and you'll need to come up with the perfect text and find (or create) the perfect image(s) to go along with it, such as was the case when I giggled to myself while looking through feats and finding one named "Snatch Arrows". I knew in my heart there was a joke to be made there, but I wasn't sure exactly how to frame it. After writing and rewriting the text a bunch of times, and sorting through dozens of potential images, I came up with this...
It's not perfect. The set-up is a little too long and clumsy for my liking, but I felt the payoff was worth it.
Then again, I don't always hit the mark. I was browsing monster pictures this morning and found one that was just begging to be misinterpreted. Sadly, the joke only seems to work if your depraved mind is wired exactly the same as mine is. I posted the following picture on my Facebook page this morning as research for this blog post...
In my mind, the joke here is clear and obvious, as if the artist had painted the image specifically for me to make it.
I was looking for pictures of devourers because I knew there was a masturbation joke to be made there. It's a giant dude with a tiny dude living in his open chest cavity, after all. You know they've got an arrangement worked out.
Then I saw the above image. The devourer's hungry eyes as he checks out that sweet, sweet witch doctor ass and leans his pelvis in. His left hand reaching under the robes. And the sad little guy living inside his chest cavity, searching for whatever silver lining he can get.
However miserable that little guy's existence may be on the whole, at least today he won't have to jerk off his master's giant undead dick.
And I conveyed all that in only four words. High five to myself!
Except I didn't. My research shows that I failed miserably. No one got the joke. Not even Steve Wetherell. In my efforts not to over-explain, I under-explained. So I tried to fix it.
Now I feel like it's over-explained, and also more gross than funny.
Sometimes the joke just isn't going to work no matter what angle you come at it from. When that happens, there's nothing left to do but start from scratch with a different idea.
In the case of today, I came up with this...
Is it my best work? Far from it. But it's performing much better than the day's first attempt. And when I compare it to a random sampling of memes I see on other pages, I feel pretty fucking good about it.