Sunday, July 31, 2011

I'm wasting my time talking so much to authors

I need to think about how I should be trying to promote by books. Like everyone else, especially writers, I have a limited amount of time to write and promote, and work at my day job. I have been at this now since February, and while I have made some good friends and learned a great deal on various discussion boards and blogs. all of that is taking time away from communicating with potential readers.

Take, for example, my MG/YA books Anabar's Run and Anabar Rises. Instead of discussing them on author blogs and websites, I should be communicating with young teens and their parents and librarians and maybe even teachers. I need to focus on the people who I think are likely to read and enjoy my books.

Then there is social networking. To be honest, I still haven't really learned Facebook very well. I have a page and started a fan page, but I know I ought to be writing instead. Then there is Twitter. I do like Twitter, and I can usually spare a few minutes to send a few quick tweets or re-tweets. I just reached 100 followers this week, and I felt like that was a significant milestone for me; however, I see many people with thousands of followers. Instead of envying them, I wonder how much time it must have taken them to get so many followers, and for what?

I do believe networking and other forms of marketing are important when you are trying to make it in self publishing, but at some point they become intrusive. I see all this discussing books with other writers taking time away from my writing and connecting with readers.

I have made a few important connections with people in the business, but I don't need thousands of connections with people who probably won't read my books. I understand when other writers don't buy my books. I don't expect them to.

I have joined in a partnership with a small group of professionals involved in publishing. We are actively helping each other to revise, proofread, and market our books. This is vastly different from all those Facebook friends and Twitters folks. In this partnership, we are committed to working together and selling or books. I will write more about this in the coming weeks.

There is nothing wrong if you enjoy social networking and all the other forms of electronic communication available to us. Many people really enjoy them, and I am all for people doing things they enjoy, but I should be focusing on the people who I want to buy my books.
I wouldn't have this blog if I didn't want to sell my books.


  1. It is definitely one of the biggest paradox for today's author. Building a platform is important, but as you say, you want to get your books to READERS, not necessarily other authors.I'm still figuring it out, but it is also good to have author 'friends' who can then reach into their networks and so on ... Keep on! (By most standards 'since February' is hardly much time at all!)

  2. Thanks Tracy,

    I know it hasn't been long since February, but I think I should focus more on the things that will give me the best chance to sell my books. It is easy and fun to make author friends, but for the most part, that won't help me sell. It is important to focus on your audience, or, in this case, your potential audience.

  3. What I am thinking about doing in the future is not having an author tour but a book tour, where the focus is on promoting the book with very little about the author. For instance, an inspirational tour where several inspirational books are highlighted, with a brief excerpt and plot line, with a link to buy it. I think author tours are great for that purpose, but you do have to think about who your end user is. I am still processing this, but I think the focus needs to be very narrow.

  4. I think you don't have to really convince other authors to read your piece, but make them interested in giving you a review through their blog / site. I've seen this happening between authors in the blogsphere and they've been sharing thoughts through comments which attracts attention (readers).

    Mila Petersburg
    Christian Books