Insert Chassis Albuquerque: Discoverability & The Art of Funnelling.

7 December 2016

Discoverability & The Art of Funnelling.

I was at a book expo recently, several things happened – firstly there were a lot of angry authors, most of them Indie, you know, self-published? They were up in arms like the Paris mob who’d stormed the Bastille, beheaded the mayor and then walked around with his head on a stick – a clear warning to the ruling French establishment.
These Indie types hadn’t beheaded anyone - yet, but I could tell they were pretty close, their main grievance was over the issue of “discoverability”, crucial for Indie authors such as ourselves.
They had a traditional publisher backed into his cubicle.
He looked scared.
And he was right to be.
I'd seen this type of literary mob before and - unlike the Paris mob (who couldn't read or write or buy some new shoes) they were easily unhinged.
I said, “Everyone just stay calm, discoverability’s a real big challenge we're all facing, we don’t need to go blaming people, we need to deal with it, come up with a plan and make it work. And it's only by working together for the same common goal that we'll have success!”
Someone said: “What you suggest, asshole? I’ve written a book and readers other than my wife and close, immediate family think it’s fucking awesome! I’m a real writer, problem is I’ve no luck finding an agent, my work’s just too niche and I got shit for money! So this little prick’s responsible!” he said, pointing in the publisher’s face.
Mmm, makes complete sense,” I said and let them get back to it. I empathised, I'd a book out, too - and not a series - just one reformatted multiple times already for various typos, inaccuracies and possible legal liabilities and not one sale, not a single return on my goddamn time. Jesus! Was I suddenly enraged!
So I went back and kicked the shit out of that asshole publisher, too. Hell, it felt almost as good as writing a book and having it published traditionally (I imagined)!
"The problem is traction! You guys got none!" the publisher was yelling, rolling about on the ground. At least he remained consistent, quoting the standard publishing line: "Forget all this `I'm an author stuff ', the traditional route's the best route, this e-publishing model won't last, you'll see! Yesterday we published a book on wall tiles, it's number one on the New York Times - wall tiles, that's power, tradition, so go ahead, beat the shit outta me, you lot won’t be here tomorrow…!"
Someone had to pull me off him to stop me.
“Easy! Easy! Just back it up!” they yelled, “There’s plenty other sore asshole Indie authors here too and you aint left them shit – move over and let me at him…! Traction ay?" he said to the publisher, "I'll give you traction…!"
Of course, thinking it through, the real problem was a lack of reviews, I'd wasted at least a year funneling (a self-publishing term I was still a little weary of) reviews that never materialised; in fact, I'd even paid for reviews but turned out there was no traction available there because even they'd hated what I'd written.


Secondly, I did a guest blog on the Self Publishing Podcast show, you know, not the Sell More Books Show, the better one with Johnny, Sean and Dave. Okay, truthfully, it was more of a podcast photobomb opportunity, they were doing their thing (except for Dave, Dave wasn’t there, they had to beam him in remotely from somewhere via some kind of 1st generation hologram module that didn’t work properly – all you could see and hear was a nose and the voice of someone speaking very occasionally, more like an interjection at odd, inopportune moments. I actually now think Dave was pre-recorded, he wasn’t even participating, they just had a tape of him and let it roll on in the background.)
Anyhow, I'd wandered over and said to - I think it was Shawn - "Tell me about funneling."
"What the fuck…!" Shawn had exclaimed, startled.
"We're doing a show here!" Johnny said.
Dave said: "At first I thought she was looking for a pair of shoes maybe but then I realized there was a baby under the sofa..."
Still, they were quite good about my sudden interruption and we'd all adjusted ourselves accordingly.
"Uh, now we’ve got a surprise guest on for our listeners - what's your name again?"
"Yeah, we got a guest and we don't know his name…"
"Albuquerque, Chassis Albuquerque."
"Holy shit! Cool name!"
"Not good for web searches."
"Yeah, you want something a little more SEO friendly…"
"What's your question again?"
"Tell me about funneling, how'd you spell it - two L's or one?"
"Yeah? Definitely one," Shawn said.
"No way! Definitely two - funnel-ling" Johnny said.
"That's really your question?" Shawn wondered.
Dave said randomly: "Technological breakthroughs and advances, these things seem wonderful. What could you do with them? Well, they could certainly have applications in the military - and that's something that makes me uncomfortable…"


Thirdly, I'm not claiming to have sold any more books but the landscape had certainly changed dramatically for me between yesterday and today. When I was getting something to eat after the podcast show there were these two lesbians sitting opposite me. Okay, well, they were pretty hot and at the time I didn't know for sure they were lesbians (purely anecdotal supposition on my part) and I wouldn't say they had an accent but they weren't from any place round here. One woman dipped her finger in a small side-dish of French Hollandaise sauce and said to the other woman: "Here, taste this...?" and put her finger in the other woman's mouth. The other woman said, "Mmm, needs a bit more salt…?" Then she looked over at me looking at them and said, "What do you think?"
I said, "I think when a man reaches a certain age he begins to question certain things, so I wouldn't pay too much attention to what people think when what people think could easily get in the way of what they want."
So whilst not selling any books, why  just yesterday I'd been romantically linked to two Norwegian girls - one of whom's still here…! Not only had I been "discovered" I'd "funnelled" both of them a number of times - holy shit ,did I need to write this stuff down!