Sudden Silence Dooms Free Webinar

Sometimes no matter hard you squeeze, the lemons will not yield lemonade. The screen goes black, the car won’t start, the camera flash won’t fire.

So it was during a recent webinar when I, fully engaged and plowing through one self-publishing tip after another, found I’d been talking to no one but myself for a good three minutes. This was a waste; I already knew the tips. More important, listeners around the country heard nothing but crickets.

A text message from the moderator clued me in. I stopped talking, and, in the quiet, thought of Aldous Huxley. “Technological progress,” Huxley said, “has merely provided us with more efficient means to for going backwards.”

The lemons having appeared, I began squeezing. The technology responded like an old engine on a snowy night. It sputtered, turned over, and then died. We were on, we were off. On, off, over and over.

For those on the other end, I apologize. We’ve done several of these and never had a problem. There were no hardware or software changes at either my or the moderator’s end.

Ultimately, I believe the Internet gods were tired, angry or in the mood for a little fun. We’ve all seen movies where the guy pulls away as his buddy tries to get in the car. Each time the friend gets close, the driver hits the gas. This is either exasperating or hysterical, depending on whether you’re the runner or the driver.

The plan is to re-do the Messaging Strategies for Authors webinar, but in the meantime, here are a few key points:

–       The good news about self-publishing is also the bad news. These days, anyone can publish. Busy readers are overwhelmed, so writing a novel is not the end. You must follow up with creative social media sites and marketing materials.

–       Leverage the power of good storytelling. If you’ve written a great novel, apply the same discipline and creative energy to your Facebook page, Twitter tweets and author pages. Don’t make the story of your life (your bio) a boring resume.

–       Mainstream newspapers don’t like Indies. Just as there has been an explosion of self-published authors, however, there’s also been a dramatic rise in the number of blogger reviewers. Find the good ones, make friends, and get some reviews.

–       While online marketing is critical, eye contact trumps a cyber shake. That means the connections you make face to face take more time, but are more powerful than the ones you make on the web. You need a combination of both – Twitter & Tee shirts.

When the date of the make-up webinar is set, I will announce it through the usual channels, assuming the Internet is working. In the meantime, I’d love to hear your failed technology story, and how you handled the sudden silence.


4 Comments so far »

  1. Don Walters said,

    Wrote on March 29, 2012 @ 4:38 pm

    Key points were helpful. Sending email alerts on the next webinar?




    Steve Piacente Reply:

    Absolutely, Don. Thanks for tuning in and dropping a line here. Will make sure to post dates for the next one soon as possible.


  2. Jenny Milchman said,

    Wrote on March 29, 2012 @ 9:18 pm

    I teach via Skype, and we’ve had our share of glitches, though for the most part it works amazingly–students from all four corners of the country, and other countries even–all together in one place. It’s a miracle and I hope your students tolerated this glitch because the you give is worth waiting for!


    Steve Piacente Reply:

    Too kind, Jenny! Meanwhile, the folks at Author Learning Center have decided to reboot after the terrible audio snafu. We’ll be doing the webinar — again, free and live, at 7:30 p.m. on April 17. Folks can sign up here:


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