The only thing I take seriously is my Freedom. And Bacon.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Why I Hate Stephanie McAfee - The Social Media Nobody

Stephanie McAfee? Huh?
Who the fu*k is Stephanie McAfee, why do I hate*** her and why should you love her?

Because Stephanie McAfee proves that rules are made to be broken and following your passion can lead to fantastic success.

If you are not an Indie author or a frequent reader of Indie eBooks - you probably have never heard of Stephanie McAfee - but you will.

Stephanie wrote and self published Diary of a Mad Fat Girl. She didn't have a blog or a twitter account when she published it.

A former highschool Spanish teacher, Stephanie was a stay at home mom happily married to a military man who just happened to write a book when her son was napping.

She had about 300 friends on Facebook at the time.

She published Diary on Dec 25, 2010 and in her first blog entery (Dec 29) stated she had sold 12 copies.

Her big "marketing" strategy? She announced her book was for sale on her FaceBook account, and didn't use the Amazon Forum boards (as most Indie authors do). She didn't blast it on Twitter (she didn't even have a Twitter account).

Yes, many of her friends bought her book, but it was more than that - it was sheer word of mouth that soon propelled Stephanie's break through the top 100 books in the Kindle store on Amazon.

The more people read, the more they talked about it.

Now, I tried to read Diary of a Mad Fat Girl - it's not my cup of tea. It breaks every 'writing' rule - there is cliche after cliche. Many typos. Much telling - little showing.

Yet, readers LOVE THIS BOOK.

And Diary caught the attention of the LJK Literary Management Agency (Larry Kirshbaum was the CEO of Time Warner) - who signed Stephanie on with his agency in March, 2011. By the end of April 2011, Stephanie had a 3 book deal with Penguin/Nal. 

The lesson here? You do not need to be a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, you do not need to put out a typo free book, you do not need to follow the "Writer's Rule Book" - all you have to do is tell a good story.

The social media stuff - that can come later. The most important thing is to WRITE your story. And do it your way. Try to make it as polished as possible but don't be such a perfectionist that it sits on your thumb drive forever because you're too afraid it's not 'perfect.'

***I do not hate Stephanie. I've spoken with her and let me tell you, she is a down to earth Southern girl with a great sense of humor. She is sweetheart.
Am I envious - hell yeah!!! - but if anyone deserves success - it is Stephanie - in all her simplicity and warmth.

In truth, I love Stephanie - I love what she stands for - she's a renegade without realizing it. She had a story to tell, so she told it. Do you know how many books I've bought on 'branding' and 'marketing' - do you know how much time I've wasted in the 'planning' instead of the 'doing' ?

“Anything is possible. You can be told that you have a 90-percent chance or a 50-percent chance or a 1-percent chance, but you have to believe, and you have to fight**.” - Lance Armstrong

** if you're an author, substitute the word "write" for "fight." 

Now, go forth and don't worry if you don't have a social media presence, don't worry about clinging to the rules, don't try to follow in someone else's footsteps, Stephanie McAfee proves that anything is possible - that bitch!


  1. What a great and encouraging story! So easy to get mired in all the marketing things we're told to do - when in the end what matters is whether the writing speaks to people.

  2. I agree! While marketing has its place - it's awesome to see that word of mouth is still very powerful.

  3. I LOVE THIS POST! Even though at first I was like, "No she didn't say she hates another author." I get it now.
    I keep hearing about Stephanie's many typos and I cringe. But like you said, JUST DO IT. Because, see, I've been sitting on a delicious book since 2007 and after finally catching up to the eBook indie author success hoopla, I'm in the process of re-editing a gazillion times but today, oh today, I'm gonna just go ahead and publish it, dang-it! THANK YOU for this post. What really resonated was the "renegade" part--I've actually been calling myself one for the past two years.
    Some renegade.

    Now if I can only figure out how to upload it via HTML. Yikes. Repeat to self: U R A Renegade.

    Writers rock.

  4. Good luck! You'll never know if you don't give it a try!