Thursday, June 9, 2011

Not My Favorite Business Game

I'm suffering a conundrum.

Social media--FB, tweets, emails and Skype--have become a cherished addiction. I've made some wonderful friends among the great women who run book blogs (you know who you are) and I'm delighted so many of these dedicated professionals have read and reviewed Treasure Me on Amazon and Goodreads. At the same time, I've begun to connect with other authors, joined groups, offered praise and received the camaraderie artists need to make long days of solitary work tolerable. I'm having a blast.

The conundrum arises when it comes to touting Treasure Me, and the upcoming Second Chance Grill, through all of these media outlets.

I'm a pragmatist by nature. It strikes me as silly that many novelists seem intent on selling their wares to other novelists. Most of us break into publishing on a shoe string. We work feverishly to turn a lifelong dream into a lucrative business. Most of us won't strike it rich but some of us--God willing--do build a readership, allowing us to pay the bills, eventually quit the day job, and perhaps even move Fido up from discount kibble to gourmet treats. Personally, I harbor a silly dream that, eventually, my novels will do so well I'll be able to pay off my children's college loans. A crazy dream, but it's mine.

So here's the deal. I'll continue to connect with reviewers and other writers through social media. I'll never feel comfortable linking my every comment back to my Amazon page or to this blog. The way I see it, if I write compelling novels, never slack off, and never publish first-draft rubbish, readers will find me. Not other writers--readers.

That's my new credo and I'm sticking to it.

Photograph: wild phlox by the woods. My youngest, Marguerite, shot the photo


  1. Luckily I think all of the social media can be a great way to find readers too. I know that as a reader, I've found lots of new books that I want to read through other book blogs, Twitter, and FB.

  2. Hi Meg! Absolutely, social media provides a great way to connect with readers. I'm simply not, um, comfortable blasting other novelists with constant promos of my books. IMHO the reviews of a novel, more than anything else, drive sales.

  3. I agree, at first I was not comfortable plugging my own book. But I'll have to agree with Meg here that many readers are uncovered through the social media. I too have found interesting reads by talking to various people who I would normally never meet. Just let me know when your new book is arriving...I'll plug it for you!

  4. Hi Judy, IMHO there's nothing wrong with plugging one's book, especially in obvious arenas like FB, writer's groups, on review blogs, etc. But there's a line that's too often crossed by many professionals--not simply writers. Have you ever been bombarded by ten tweets in a row that are all none-too-subtle advertisements for someone's services? Or read comment fields by an author who mentions his/her book ad naseum despite the conversation at hand? There's marketing, and there's bashing-folks-over-the-head. I find the bashers exhausting.

  5. I too have noticed that. I have an acquaintance who does nothing but advertise consistently on twitter. At first I was unaware that twitter was supposed to be "social" like FB but he is an expert and knows better. I often wonder how he has so many followers. And yes, I get sick of it too. Quite honestly, I would like to see him get a little more personal with his readers.

  6. Judy, my favorite author posts convey something about the person behind the novel, which piques my interest then sends me searching for the novel. Some of those tweets that constantly tout the writer's work start to feel like someone is shouting in my ear: "Buy! Buy!" It scares me to death