Books... BOOKS

Tidings of Joy

Tidings of Joy Cover Image

John York

December 13, 2022

Tidings of Joy

Hello Everyone. It's that time of year...  I wonder why people say that. I guess it works for just about any time of the year when you think about it. Well, at this time of the year, at least for me and my family, it means the Christmas holiday season. Paula, my wife, has been chomping at the bit to start the Christmas traditions soon after Halloween night. Did you know that you can watch the movie, Christmas Vacation, just about any - if not every - day of the year? She had it playing on the TV four times in a single day last week.

We have our Christmas tree, and the whole house it decorated, including the outside. We're going out tonight with some friends to look at all the neighbors' outside holiday lighting. We've been to our Rotary Christmas party, and are scheduled to stand outside Sam's Club this Saturday ringing a bell for the Salvation Army. I've sent out my Christmas cards already, and I spent nearly $300 at the wine shop yesterday.

Ah yes. 'Tis the season. And to think that it all started with a little Jewish baby being born in a barn about 2,022 years ago. Do you remember when (not that many years ago actually) when you were supposed to say "Holiday" rather than "Christmas"? At least that was the politically correct thing to do if you were a manager of a business. It wasn't just a suggestion: you were directed to use a more generic term by the Human Resources department.

I was the co-founder of a company in San Diego, and after a while we grew so large that we had to hire an HR executive to help us follow all the HR rules of a larger company. I don't recall that any of the people working for us really cared about what we called the holiday, as long as we threw a good party. But then the HR people told us that we couldn't serve fattening food or alcohol at the party due to the risk of someone being offended or the increased risks of liability. Kind of took the fun out of Christmas at the office.

So, now I'm an author and I can say just about anything I want. So, Merry Christmas everyone - including anybody who doesn't celebrate the religious significance of Christmas, or anybody who is a humbug, or who thinks Christmas is spelled with an "X".

One more thing - buy a book!

The World of TikTok

So, here I am, at age 74, trying to figure out how to use social media to promote my books. My 14-year-old granddaughter has a TikTok account and tells me that this is where things are happening these days. I have an Instagram account, although I've never used it. I think I have one follower. I use Facebook, but I'm sure the people, about 250 or so, who see my postings on that platform are getting burnt out at seeing my book plugs. I also use LinkedIn, but I'm not sure that's an ideal place for boosting book sales.

Have you ever looked at TikTok? Wow! It's a strange world. There are some really weird things going on out there. There are postings that I really don't get and others that are bizarre. Well, I finally figured out that there are ways to zero in on specific things you are interested in or actually relevant - like books. I did some online research on how to get started with TikTok, and I'm slowly zeroing in on the so-called realm of BookTok.

First, let me say that I'm easily the oldest person in TikTok land, so I'm not sure if this whole effort will work or not. I was pretty sure that 99 percent of the young people using this app would quickly scroll past anything I put up. I finally got the nerve to put a video on it though. It was the goofy skit I did for my promotion of Trouble in Choctaw County - the one I call "Slim's Recommendation" where I'm dressed up like a cowboy with an eyepatch. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that I got 483 views so far.

I'm starting to get the hang of it and have 4 or 5 more skits outlined for the near future. I'm also looking at the posts of some of the young people who recommend books. Not quite sure how to get their attention but I'll keep plugging away at it. I was shocked the other day when I was in Walmart and discovered that, in their book department, they have a whole separate section called TikTok selections.  Get outta town! My book is sold by Walmart, but I didn't actually see any copies of it on their store shelves.

Call me an old dog trying to learn new tricks, but I'm going to keep working on this TikTok business. One of the good things about it is that I can always watch the never ending  stream of funny dog videos that just keep appearing every time I log into TikTok.

Still Need Beta Readers

If you are reading this and even remotely interested in being a beta reader for my next novel, The Five Watches, please send me an email and I'll reply with information on what that is all about. In a nutshell, you get to read the novel before it is published and you get to give me your input which will help me make it a better story. Sending an email is easy. Just move over to the Contact page and fill in the email box.