WHAT THE HELL

Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

I ♥ @amandapalmer

What an interesting day at the blog yesterday. A quiet Sunday, as they often are. Typically low traffic, what, with lovely early autumn weather and the end of the regular baseball season. People have better things to do than browse among the blogs.

But then around 4 pm I got an alert that Amanda Fucking Palmer had mentioned me on Twitter.

(I wish I could write that sound a cartoon character makes when he shakes his head really hard. You know what I mean.)

Amanda Palmer, you might recall, made a brief appearance in a post I did the other day — Self-publishing wake-up call No. 999 — in the context of Alina Simone’s transformation from musician to novelist. Alina and Amanda are friends. I lamented that it’s an uphill climb for an indie writer/publisher and said I was in Alina’s camp of not relishing the promotional challenges, but, unlike Alina, I didn’t know Amanda Palmer. I closed: “Amanda? Call me?”

So on Sunday afternoon came this tweet:  “amanda palmer calling. hello? is this thing on? RT @kevinbrennan520 Self-publishing wake-up call No. 999 wp.me/p3sx1Q-hQ

Within minutes, since Amanda has almost a million followers on Twitter (922,024 and rising), my traffic began to spike. From page views in the low 20s to well over 100. Quickly to 150, 200, 225… By the end of the day I had 353 page views, which so blows my prior high out of the water that my graph suddenly looks sexually suggestive.

Even today there’s a little residual activity, with page views sitting at 66 right now.

This is my first experience with the exponential power of Twitter. Up till now I hadn’t seen it. Brushing up against it like this is a total fluke, obviously, since I dasn’t hope that Amanda Fucking Palmer might actually see the post she was mentioned in, then take a moment or two for an RT. And even though only .00035% of her followers clicked on the link to What The Hell, that represented a huge influx of new eyeballs here and might have landed me some word-of-mouth megaphones for Yesterday Road. Who knows? Some of them are now following the blog and/or my Twitter feed. And some might buy the book and like it enough to talk about it.

Worth hoping for, anyway.

Amanda Palmer, if you’re not familiar, is a singer/musician who combines, in her own words, “punk and cabaret.” You can see her on YouTube here, read her blog here, follow her on Twitter here, and catch her TED Talk below (definitely worth watching). Writers will be interested to know that she is married to Neil Gaiman and that her wedding was performed in the parlor of Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman. It’s good to have friends.

I love what she says at the end of the TED, that instead of finding a way to make people pay for music [books], we need to find a way to let them pay for music [books].

Sounds like a plan.

(Thanks for the RT, Amanda!)

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15 comments on “I ♥ @amandapalmer

  1. Claire Duffy
    September 30, 2013

    Congratulations – just goes to show you, you never know the minute!

    • Kevin Brennan
      September 30, 2013

      True. I guess you have to always be ready for your close-up… 😉

      Thanks for following too!

  2. Dave
    September 30, 2013

    Funny, I’d never heard of her before reading your previous post that mentioned her. I even checked her website and watched the video for “The Bed Song”. I really enjoyed.

    Glad she gave you the tweet. Pretty amazing what a little exposure can do.

    • Kevin Brennan
      September 30, 2013

      Yeah, I’m glad I finally found her. I’d seen her name here and there but never heard her stuff till recently.

  3. 1WriteWay
    September 30, 2013

    So awesome 🙂

  4. Blaise Lucey
    September 30, 2013

    Really cool – congrats on being a bit “viral” … I’ll be interested to know how all of it translates to sales and everything, too. Track your clickthroughs!

    Twitter is an amazing tool – mention someone, somewhere, and there’s a good chance they’ll come knocking.

    • Kevin Brennan
      September 30, 2013

      As short-lived as I’m sure it will be, it’s been cool seeing a bunch of new people popping in. I’m following a bunch of ’em on Twitter now, so it works both ways!

      Sales? Not so much. We shall see…

      Oh, and, thanks for that depressing post earlier today! 😉

      • Blaise Lucey
        October 1, 2013

        Haha – I know, I know… I’ve been on a bit of a melancholy streak lately. It was good to see that your post was a bit on the lighter side!

  5. galinthegreyhat
    September 30, 2013

    That’s mighty awesome! I had a similar experience with her a few weeks ago…she and Twitter are a powerful force!

    • Kevin Brennan
      September 30, 2013

      I knew she was a revolutionary and a social media maven, but I would never have expected to hear from her! So cool.

      BTW, thanks for following. I gotcha back… 😉

      • galinthegreyhat
        September 30, 2013

        I know that’s what floored me too! A little Amanda love goes a long way. Hey I like what I read on you blog and I can’t wait to read more. Thanks for the follow back!

  6. denizb33
    October 4, 2013

    She retweeted me once for just a passing comment and even that got me all jump-up-and-down excited!

    • Kevin Brennan
      October 4, 2013

      It’s cool just to know you’ve been noticed, isn’t it? I get the sense that Amanda likes to dish out little treats to her peeps. 😉

  7. marci
    October 9, 2013

    You know that Amanda Palmer sits around and googles herself to see who is writing about her, right? Sometimes she leaves nasty replies in someone else’s name or tweets something snarky about someone, but if what she reads is positive, she will definitely retweet it. It’s not about you though; it’s about her – you said something she wanted to hear about herself. The power of Twitter indeed.

    • Kevin Brennan
      October 9, 2013

      Thank you, Marci, or should I say — Amanda!

      Just kidding. Yes. It’s pretty clear that’s how she rolls, but what slayed me about the whole thing was how her followers click on the links she puts up in droves. It’s a phenom I hadn’t experienced yet on Twitter.

      However, with social media, all is illusion. Dudn’t mean nothin’.

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