Monday, August 13, 2012

Salesman was not part of the job description...

Recently I posted a link to an article that appeared in the Guardian that sought to debunk the suggested benefits of social media for raising your profile and selling your books. All very interesting stuff and there has been plenty of debate on this topic across the intramaweb - Ms Crisp has some links to the debate at her blog here. I like this comment by frequent blogger, and writer Nicola Morgan which kind of touches on some of the issues here. Like it or not social media is here now (and staying forever I reckon) and is a part of the authors promotional arsenal. I am reasonably active on social media, but the bottom line is I must write the material that forms the foundations of my writing career first. Then do what I feel comfortable doing to promote myself and my books. I like a mixture of social media and personal appearances. Social media is less effective in the children's market I think. Picture book and junior novel buyers aren't hanging around on the internet, they are chasing after the readers or are a little too young to be trawling blogs and facebook looking for authors. Teachers and librarians do use social media but its also brilliant to go meet them in person. It is different for teens but I think they drive the connection more than the authors do. I could probably do more to promote myself and my books but there is a corresponding rise in my feelings of awkwardness, embarrassment and discomfort if I try. There is a tipping point and I aim for just this side of it. I am always looking for ways to work smarter not harder, with a lower embarrassment/discomfort quotient. These are the things I will do - but it is always a love of books and the written word that will dominate my approach. I do want my books to sell. I understand the direct correlation between sales and continuing interest from publishers but there must also be some understanding of the underlying truth that I am a writer and not a salesperson/social dynamo. If a lack of sales skills was the factor that stymied my writing career, I don't think its me that needs to change.

In other news: I pounded the keyboards and finally got to the end. There are still more edity bits to go but hopefully nothing too major. Now it is finessing all the twiddly bits like a glossary and a note on pronunciation and a map and acknowledgements and things like that. After living, eating, breathing this story day in and day out for so long, I am finding the current phase fairly weird. Part of me has a distinct urge to go write another book straight away. I REALLY want to. But realistically I have other things that need doing. Things that I have pushed further and further down the to-do list because they are hard and tricky and less pleasant. Sometimes you have to go there and that sometime is now. Wish me luck

1 comment:

Old Kitty said...

Wishing you all the best!! Take care