I have to admit, being a writer is pretty darn cool. I get to make things up for a living. If you upset me I put you in one of my books and kill you off. If I think that your cool you may very well end up in one of my books. Any dream I have is fodder for my muse, I people watch like its my job. And did I mention I get to make stuff up for a living?
Now don’t get me wrong, I never said being a writer was easy because it can be extremely difficult. But through all the difficulties: working with an editor, getting bad reviews 🙁 , trying to finish a book on time, writers block. I still love actually being a writer, I get a thrill everytime I sell a book, even if I’ve sold my fair share of books, however, I am grateful and feel blessed each and every time some buys one of my books because with out the readers out there I would be nowhere. So just know when you buy one of my books I an so vey thankful.
But through all of that being a writer is so cool. Here are my top 3 reasons for being a writer.
- I get to work in my pajamas. Some people might wonder why this is my number one reason but seriously, I get to work in my pajamas.
- Did I mention I get to make stuff up for a living? lol Cause that is just AWESOME.
- I can drink. Don’t get me wrong I’m not taking shots between each well crafted sentence, but I nice glass of wine while I compose the well crafted sentence doesn’t hurt.
Seriously, if you aren’t a writer, have I made you want to become one?
What are your favorite parts of your job? I would love to know.
So this past weekend I was privileged to participate in RWA of Utah’s annual readers luncheon. I have been lucky enough to attend all 3 events. And this event gets better and better every year.
The point of this luncheon is to focus on the reader! Show the reader some love and gratitude. Because without readers where exactly would we be after all. Readers get a ton of swag from the authors participating, and they do a ton of baskets and giveaways. You get to sit at a table and have lunch with the author of your choosing (you have to sign up early to reserve your seat with the author you want to have lunch with).
Being an author is a very solitary type of work, so getting the chance to get out and meet and mingle with my readers just means the world to me. Plus writers, I think, are some of the biggest fans out there. And getting to rub elbows with other authors is just too much fun.
This year we were lucky enough to have ReaAnne Thayne, and Jill Shalvis speak and they both gave amazing and wonderfully inspiring presentations about being a writer, and more importantly the love of reading. They are both New York Times best selling authors.
So overall if you ever get the chance to attend a readers luncheon grab that opportunity with both hands. I know if you come to the Utah luncheon that we hold every Oct. you won’t be disappointed.
Promoting sucks, ask anyone it’s the bain of an authors existence. I don’t care if you’re a traditional or indie published author, marketing and promoting books just sucks the big one. And there are several reasons why, so let me break it down fo.
(1) Authors are by nature introverts, you may see us at promotional events where we are being out going and all smiles but inside we are introverts and wondering what we need to do to be put in
a time out.
(2) The promtional and marketing world is ever changing. And frankly it’s just hard to keep up with it. What works Tuesday doesn’t work on Thursday. Why? Why doesn’t it work on Thursday, and who can explain it to me? Which brings me to #3.
(3) There is a guru for everything. A guru for Facebook promotion, a guru for Twitter promotion, a guru for Instagram promotion, a guru for YouTube promotion, a guru for Amazon, a guru for blogging, a guru for selling your paperbacks, or ebooks or selling them to aliens for goodness sake, a guru for being a guru, and of course they say they are free until you click on their webinar and listen to their “free” 45 min. speach then you have to pay to actually get the information that will help you promote anything. Guru? No more Guru’s for me, is what I say.
(4) The dreaded online book tour, now for some these tours work. But I’ve done my fair share and to be honest for the amount of time and work they take my ROI (return on investment) doesn’t break even. They just aren’t worth it. They cost anywhere from $60 to $200 dollars and that’s just to do the tour, I’m not counting the time you have to put in or the giveaways you have to do. It’s just way to much work for the actual amount of sales I get. Now again please remember this is just me, I’ve known indie author who swear by virtual book tours so please if they work for you go with it.
(5) Keeping up on social media… everytime I turn around there seems to be a different social media platform that is the new and shiny thing I should be doing my promotion and marketing on. And frankly I just can’t keep up. And don’t forget the guru’s are telling me which platform I should be consentrating on. And each book tour has a special button I should set up and interview with and give a special book giveaway to for the new platform that I didn’t know about last week. And now I’m running in fifteen different directions trying to sell my book and giveaway the bank and trying to find my readers and because I’m chasing them they don’t know where to look for me and I don’t know where I am from day to day they can’t find me. And it’s just a vicious circle. Who knows where who is, and where who is going where, and when does any of the writing acutally get done?
Do you see where I am going with all of this?
I hope so because the point of all of it is this. Marketing and promotion is a pain in the arse. and makes even the most seasoned author have a panic attack. So yes I am the queen of non-promotion. I have a total of three books out, my fourth is due out next month. I do a couple of different promotions, nothing that breaks the bank. And only things that I can afford. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads, and Instagram and on Instragram very little. I blog but only a couple times a week (if that) and its not all about writing and my books. It’s mindless rambelings sometimes (like this rambaling post). As to my book promotions, I really want my books and my writing to stand for it’s self. Hopefully my books are excepted by the masses for what they are: well written and fun to read. And because of that I have built a great fan base. And that is my marketing and promotion. The majority of books are advertised via work of mouth regardless of whatever you do for marketing and promotion anway. and that just sucks. So stop chasing yourself and work on the promotion you can dedicate time to, not everything out there.
Good luck and if I’ve forgotten anything please leave a comment and let me know. Christie
So what is the magic bullet… the magic thing… that magic key, the recipe that brings the masses forth from the unknown depths to buy your books? I’ve been pondering that questions as I get ready to publish my next book, my fourth that is. You would think I would have some idea about the secret sauce by now. But the questions and the recipe for the secret sauce is more convoluted now then it was years ago when I first jumped into this mired pool.
I’ve contemplated PR teams, Facebook ads, Facebook apps, twitter ads, twitter apps, Instagram, blogging, emailing, spamming, Pintrest, Goodreads, YouTube, book signings, virtual book signings, Google, Google Play, LinkedIn, Vine, Tumbler, Instagram, Flickr,.. I’ve Social Media myself to death and what have I got out of it??? Mediocre sales and a headache…
Now I’m definitely not saying the readers are not out there, but I wonder as I beat my head against my desk on yet another morning, as I read another article about how to reach those readers if what I have been doing and what I plan on doing is just a waste of time, or a waste of my energy.?!
Is my marketing money wasted in email marketing/blogging/Facebook/twitter…
Here is the conundrum… several years ago or not so many years ago. Something amazing happened. Indie publishing hit it big. And with it these little people who knew nothing of the publishing world became publishers. (Introduce me! I’m taking a bow here, thank you very much.) At the same time, Social Media went bat shit crazy, and we were a match made in heaven.
All us knew authors who knew nothing about marketing, nothing about advertising, had to do was create a Facebook page and we were golden. Readers were meeting authors and vis versa.
It was a symbiotic relationship that was cataclysmic. It all blew up, now I’m not just talking about brick and mortar vs ebooks that blew up, I’m talking about the entire enchilada it splattered all over the wall. Editors, book cover artists, web developers, even developers of writing software. Writing became big business. And we all started co-existing like happy little ameba in a petri dish, when before it was a behind the closed door type of relationship that wasn’t talked about unless you had a signed contract. And even then you didn’t talk about it with other authors, god forbid.
Now days, you share your wonderful editor with your other author friends, you tell your authors about the great graphic artist you used for the cover of your books. You don’t hide these amazing people behind a closed door only used by one publisher. These people are valued and to be passed around because they need to feed their families too. But that’s another blog post.
Back to what I was going on about… when it all took off years back I remember sitting back and thinking how exciting it all was, how wonderful it was to be able to reach out and touch my fans. Or how fantastic it would be to publish a book without needing the backing of the big publishers from NYC backing me. How wonderful it would be to publish as many books as I wanted to a year, instead of just one book a year. (I will be publishing 3 this year!)
But the dust has settled… and I think the readers and even authors are standing back and looking around a little shell shocked wondering exactly the same thing I am… what did we learn from it all? And where have all the fans gone?
The worst part…. There’s a social media expert out there for everything give us all conflicting information when we desperately ask for help.
- Twitter… the fans are out there you just need to post to twitter everyday between 2 and 4 – my book sales are dependent on twitter followers out there who only have an attention span of 140 characters for 2 hours a day? Is that EST time? MST? CST? Wait, maybe its Greenwich Time? SHIT… but I still Twitter…
- Facebook… now I like Facebook, but the ads confuse me and you have to boost everything or good luck getting it out to your fans. Facebook is nickel and diming me out of all my sales. And don’t forget to LIKE, SHARE, and SMILE, and HAHA, and POST everything or a baby elephant is lose his citizenship to the US and have to grant rides to overgrown millionaires children.
- Email List – Demand everyone you know give you their email along with everyone they know and all their relatives so that you can email spam then even though you have promised that you won’t email spam them. But you just can’t help it. But what you email spam them is not really spam because—well its YOU!!! And you would never spam anyone.
- Blog – You must blog everyday for as long as you can, forget everything else that is on your to do list and blog, blog, blog, blog. Your readers want to hear from you ALL THE TIME. BLOG. BLOG BLOG. Did I mention you should blog? Because you should. Blog that is. Then when you post your blog, you should email that shit out. And twitter about it, and Facebook it and make sure you boost that Facebook post because well the elephant don’t forget about the ELEPHANT!
And in the end, do I have any more fans than I did at the beginning? Maybe, a couple? Probably… and the receipt to the secret sauce… it’s still a secret.
But hey if you figure that shit out would you mind passing it along to me I would love to twitter about it or maybe Post it on Facebook? Or email out? I might even Blog about it.