As I walk farther along the self-publishing path, deeper into the promotional woods, I can’t help but feel a little lost and alone from time to time. The internet is full of advice, some of it useful, a lot of it, not so much.
Bloggers insist that I should be updating my blog daily, following every other blog I can find about indie authors and commenting prolifically. My Twitter feed is full of other self-published authors promoting their books, indie publishers advising and admonishing, and even some authors boasting about their huge sales. (That’s more than a little depressing to me, especially after purchasing one of said books to find out that it’s terrible.) I’m on Wattpad and Goodreads. I’m still learning the pros and cons of self-publishing on Amazon (like that you need to purchase expanded distribution to make your book available on Amazon.ca even if you’re a Canadian author).
And I’ve barely written a word for my latest project because my precious writing time is spent keeping up with social media.
Since the early days of this process, I have stubbornly insisted on not blogging unless I actually had something to say and was happy with what I wrote. And there’s the uneasy feeling that spending too much time on marketing and promotions was not only going to have a negative impact on my creative life, but also be a complete and utter waste of what little time I have to dedicate to writing.
Social media and the internet in general is amazingly powerful, but tweeting and blogging is also a little like sending a message in a bottle out into the wide, wide ocean. Or hundreds of bottles, if that’s your strategy. At best, it will work. At worst, you will annoy someone who may otherwise have been inclined to read your stuff. Most likely is that it will go completely unnoticed.
Then, I came across this blog post by Michael J. Sullivan and I feel much better. In a nutshell, Michael reminds us that we have to build our fanbase one reader at a time. It sounds daunting, but for me, it’s a reason to hope that it will happen.
So, for now, I’m sticking to my guns and ignoring the blog and Twitter hype around self-publishing (especially the 50 Shades of Nonsense), and choosing to concentrate instead on arranging readings, reviews and interviews. Maybe I’m old school, but I don’t think anything is more effective than person-to-person interaction. Maybe it’s slow, but just a few months ago, my book was still hidden in a drawer.
Besides, I have another trick up my sleeve…
If you are interested in writing a review of In the Fool’s Footsteps, email me at simplicity[dot]kh[at]gmail[dot]com.