Do you wanna feel better than others for a minute? Do you want to be smug for just half a second?
There is a thing I have been doing… mostly it started just to mess with Facebook and Instagram’s logarithm. I should start by saying, I am not even all that mad at the idea of logarithms. I mean, if you’re going to put ads in my feeds, I would rather see adds for books, notebooks, pens, food, bags, snacks, and crafts and NOT dick pills, HRT, and ANY MLM. Truthfully, January was blissful in my feed because it was all bags all the time. Kickstarters for new bags, newly designed and produced bags, bags *clearly* made in China, ads for accounts that review bags. It was great. That is some logarithm shit I can get on board with.
So, a few months ago, something in my profile on Facebook pulled in an ad for a newly published romance/erotica book. Which is interesting, because it is the genre of books I find least interesting and because I don’t have all that much time to devote to reading, and don’t read for pleasure all that often. At all. And, because of the sections I walk through at any given book store or library, they are the books I am least likely to pick up/acquire, and read willy-nilly. And you can bet your ass that I am not blowing an Audible credit on a romance/erotica. No. Just no.
My initial intrigue at what part of my profile flagged the logarithm set to display this romance/erotica book in my feed was soon replaced by three things:
- Interest in the “genres” of these novels.
- What clicking on any of these ads would do to future logarithms.
- The comments. The comments are always entertaining, but also make me sad for humanity.
First, these genres are ridiculous. So, when you go to Amazon to see the listings for these books, there are tags to let the reader know generally what the content is: standalone or series, cliff hanger, hotwives, first time, billionaire, baby, bad boy, boss, friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, etc. Which is unreal because that’s giving away a big part of the plot, don’t you think? So, you go to a listing for a book and in the about section and comments, etc, a big part of the book is told to the reader up front. For me, it removes any premise that these books are written for literary enjoyment. That is not their purpose.
Also, it is funny to me, because the success of the billionaire, baby, and boss genre tells me a lot about what these writers think women want to read about. If that is in fact what these authors write. I mean, we’ve already established that they are not writing the great american novel. To read these descriptions, you would think that most women want some billionaire boss bad boy, with him they have a happily ever after.
I clicked a post with a book about a billionaire boss… because it is funny as fuck and unrealistic. Sure, some 30 year old nitwit with a body also happens to be a boss, who “needs” a “personal assistant”. Its hilarious because actual 30 year old billionaires look like the biggest nerds on the planet:
I look at each of these guys and think: they probably know their way around some html code or bitcoin. There is nothing about the looks of any of these dudes that make me think: oh yeah, probably good in bed. I don’t mean to be a hater, like, I recognize that when its all said and done, Elon Musk is probably going to have the biggest impact on climate change of any person on the planet. And I am glad to exist during the same era as him. Again, just not realistic. Completely fantasy at this point.
Second, clicking on one of these ads ensures that more will come up in your feed. Obviously, that is how logarithms work. A few “books” I have followed to Amazon’s page have only guaranteed that more like that have come up.
Last, let’s talk about the comments and the real reasons why I feel like a genius.
I am also going to start from the premise that most, if not all comments on a romance book’s ad on Facebook are fake. Because… well… Its an ad… and if there are farms of computers in Russia and Moldova commenting on political articles to win Trump elections, I have no doubts that there is a market for commenting on other shit. So, obviously, skeptical. But, even if we assume that some of them are real, I have some real questions about people who comment on an ad for a self-published erotica on Facebook. Because the comments are never: “Meh. This was kind of a waste of time and money… but it beat reading the newspaper.” The comments that I see are: “This book is the BEST! Absolutely love Lainey and Brayden together! New favorite couple!” or “Caiden sounds so fucking hot!”
So I read one of these “books” and it was a nightmare. Start to finish. Little character development, completely implausible dialogue. And not funny. Not even like breathe loud once through your nose funny. Basically, I think the book had 6-8 sex scenes… and it was just terrible dialogue and shitty character development stringing from one scene to the next. It was fucking awful.
And so how do I feel smart? First, I am smarter than any real person who comments that they love one of these books on a social ad. Full stop. Again, assuming that most of the comments are fake, I am, at the very least, smarter than the fraction of real people who comment that the books are amazing. The best! The best series!!! AND I am smart because the majority of the books I read are about real shit. Or they are actual literature… about boring shit (looking at you Finkler Question). And not completely unrealistic trash being sold on Amazon for $0.99.
That also makes me better than a lot of people.