My Little Corner of the Cyber World
Blogging is a social media where writers excel. Social media is an interesting way to befriend other authors, connect with readers and make new friends in far-away places. But, it’s a real stretch of my knowledge in technology, patience and skill. Dave (36 years in the computer industry) reassures me that I’m more proficient than I give myself credit for. But here’s the thing: I don’t want to be a computer whiz. I don’t want to tweet and twitter and text. It’s a foreign language. I have a cell phone. It lives in my car and I use it for emergencies and to reach Dave when I’m on the road. It doesn’t travel on my person and you can’t reach me 24-7. I don’t know how to text and please don’t teach me. I love to write letters and make cards to send to people I care about, friends from other places and times. Texting ....
I’ve taken several workshops in social media marketing offered at conferences, I’ve taken classes on line, and enrolled in some I’ve paid for. I’m trying to be Thoroughly Modern Millie. But what I see is how addictive it all is. I’ve seen other authors at events with their cell phones, blue tooths, ipads, laptops, who aren’t selling many books. They are totally engrossed in their entertainment. My lack of interest in computer devices is probably the only thing saving me from such an addiction.
Many authors I know write and market ebooks. They are the clever ones who’ve unlocked the puzzles of Amazon and as a result, they are the authors making money. I don’t really “get” this market because it’s far removed from me. I don’t like to read ebooks. I don’t download them just because they are free. If it’s a book I want to read I purchase it.
I use the internet for research, but I always back it up with first sources, usually a museum somewhere, or at least a reliable collaboration. I do my work on the computer. I don’t want to relax or recreate on the computer in my non-working hours. I still sleep all night and facebook at specific times, not my work or sleep time. I play on Pinterest, have Goodread accounts, I’m Linked in, run two facebook pages, a website and blog, twitter and lots of online groups I interact with. All of these things help to bring readers to me and introduce my work to them. I don’t know if it sells books.
I look forward to my weekends on the road when I’m totally unplugged, meeting and talking to real people and selling my books face to face. Writing is a lonely occupation. I spend time researching and writing on my computer, talking only with the characters in my head for hours, sometimes days. But because the writing part is so alone, I want the marketing part to be human. I want to see people, meet them, talk to them, see where they live, what their town is like. I want to sign a book to them, put the book in their hand and say “thank you.”
If you want to sell anything, you have to be comfortable in your sales skin. Figure out what kind of marketing suits you and each product you have to sell. It’s not always just about the sale. Sometimes it’s about the selling.