Not My Forte


I can think of dozens of things I might say on my death bed 200 years from now, but one thing I’m sure I won’t say is: boy, I wish I’d spent more time marketing. If anything, I will lament how much time and money I spent trying to convince people to read my books instead of actually writing them. In fact, if I’m taking too long to die, just show me 280 accumulated years of Facebook Ads receipts and I’m sure my heart will seize up.

Look, I understand the basic necessity of marketing and advertising. It’s just that I hate ads so much! Why would I want to subject anyone else to them? They’re so obtrusive, especially on social media. Both Facebook and Twitter have ads above the fold when you visit their websites; you don’t need me trying to sell you a book full of guns and nudity while you’re catching up on your sister’s First Day of School pics.

Advertising needs context. If I’m searching for barn doors, then by all means, Google, show me ads from Home Depot and Lowe’s. But if I’m just checking out Luba’s newest story on Instagram, I don’t need to see an ad for that stupid exercise bow thing. Seriously, what is that?

So, to me, advertising is permissible in places people are already looking for books, and even then, it should target people’s interests. Using that logic, I was able to convince myself that it’s okay to advertise on Amazon and Goodreads. The latter, especially, since that site is all about the books.

Allowing myself to advertise is only half the battle though. The other half is actually writing copy. You might as well ask me to eat a plate of spaghetti squash. Gross.

Still, I should at least do a minimal amount of work and have my books show up on Goodreads for readers who like dystopian cyberpunk. I set a time limit for 15 minutes and started writing. 140-character ads for five books. So simple an otter could do it.

Here are the results:

Hybrid Mechanics

The war between organics and synthetics is over. We lost. But there is hope in the Garden… the seeds will soon be flowers.

Por Vida

The war between organics and synthetics has begun. We hide. But the bunker doors not only keep them out, they keep us in.

Perion Synthetics

The war between organics and synthetics is coming. When the day arrives, will you be against them or one of them?


The war between organics and synthetics destroyed the world. Instead of fixing what was broken, we hid the damage by painting over it.


The seeds of war were planted in the ashes of the free Net. We knew a human mind could be copied. We didn’t know it couldn’t be contained.

I don’t know what kind of person would respond to this ad, but I hope they have money and some free time. I guess the point is I don’t know how to market, and I doubt I’ll ever take the time to educate myself. There’s just… no time right now.

And I can’t imagine a day in the future where I choose learn marketing over writing or spending time with my family or watching movies or playing video games or jury duty.

If anything good came from this exercise, it’s the realization that every book in the Vinestead Anthology plays a part in this huge Organic-Synthetic War. And honestly, that’s where I think technology leads us, to a great war, a war on such a scale that it ends humanity. Humans don’t have the gall to destroy the planet to win a war. But Alexa? Couple more software updates and she might…

About the author

Daniel Verastiqui

Daniel Verastiqui is a Science Fiction author from Austin, Texas. His novels explore relationships and identity in the context of ubiquitous technology, pervasive violence, and frequent nudity. His most recent book, Brigham Plaza, is now available in print and digital formats on Amazon.

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