Hi I am self published with 12 paperbacks this year, high quality books in their genre (New Age). I am a 24/7 worker, good writer, meticulous publisher, prolific producer of good products! But I am not social. I have no social talent or motivation for this, and so using the social media is not a good option for me. I find it mundane, empty and boring. I do post announcements of my work on facebook (blog, radio show, books, research and other related sites) and I add "friends" regularly to my facebook list, but I do not have the time or the inclination to post empty hobnobbing "social" messages that nobody could possibly be interested in anyway. (I have read some writers blogs. Most of them say, "I am going to the dentist this afternoon." Are you kidding? Does that really create a folowing?) Having said that, I do not have an alternative. I don't have a large friends and family group to buy my books, and anyway I have read comments by authors saying that once that buying group is exhausted, they sell no more books. I am looking into Google Adwords which of course are expenseive, and following the genreal advice about sending info to the media and so forth. But aside from soliciting bookstores to carry my books, what are the real oportunities here? What do you REALLY have to do to sell books? How do you really inform the public that your book exists? Any ideas?
I don't know much, but like you I'm not very social. I have a blog & I never know what to write in it. I have a twitter acct that's just sitting there. I am however very active on FB under a different name. The friends I have say some really interesting things and give some great advice. I have "real-life" friends there, but all of my indie author friends I met on FB . I'm part of a few writers groups, and I just drop into the conversation every once in a while. Sometimes I'll literally say "Hey guys, just stopping by to say wassup. Have a great Saturday", and people will respond. Or ask questions, "What is everyone working on right now?" "What are you guys reading?" etc... People love to answer questions. You show genuine interest, then others will show it back to you. For my own status I'll say "Writing!" and people respond. Or I'll put up snippets of my novel, or a poem. Also, choose friends wisely. It's good to request friends that are in groups that you actually like so that you will really have something to talk about instead of feeling like you're faking interest in something. I have an account w/my pseudonym, and one with another name. I have way more friends on the other name, than my pseudonym & it's probably because I didn't set that one up as an author trying to get sales, but instead, just as me.
I know your question was asking about alternatives to social media, but I just wanted to share w/you how someone as non-social as myself has managed on FB. Is it working as far as sales? Like any marketing, that can take minutes, or years to find out. I've connected & reconnected w/some great people who have actively promoted my novel without me even asking. Someone that reveiwed my book said they bought it based on a recommendation from a mutual friend on FB. Baby steps:)
Kitty, write about your experiences in writing. Your frustrations, your joys. That's what new writers, or aspiring writers are looking for. If you're open with them, they will be overwhelmingly supportive. But, if you force it, they will pick up on that and turn away.
Thank you Kitty! I am very appreciative of your response and of those of others below. It is so good to connect. I was starting to feel pretty isolated. It's difficult to make real contacts and people you can talk to without being honest, but after I posted that "without social media" discussion, I was nervous! I thought, Oh no, I put my foot in it! You've helped me a lot with your thoughts. They are interesting suggestions and I will just make a list. I look forward to following you and your work. I just love it that so many women are entrepreneuring with their own books, interests, and stories. It is the enactment of the feminist ideas we promoted and yelled about in the 70's! I am 60 years old and have really seen the whole world change, and mostly for the better: faster, smarter, more confident,and with many more opportunities due to computer technology and economic leveling (compared to the past). I am a person who cares deeply about human suffering. So do most other people, really, especially women! People just need a chance to speak out, to act, to develop their talents, and to make a difference. Isn't it great to be a part of it with the publishing revolution? Computer technology has done a great deal for all of us. Thanks again for your response! Sarah
You're welcome Sarah.
I like your picture! S
You're welcome:) I often feel isolated as well. Sometimes I welcome it, but sometimes I just want to know that someone else understands. I'm ambiguous about this new social revolution created by the internet. People are more scared of each other than ever, & that feeling is growing because people don't touch each other as much. Kids don't even play outside the way they used to. But at the same time, there are some great ways to make a living sitting right in your home w/o moving. BUT THEN, human's are meant to move around, so that's not necessarily a good thing that we've become so sedetary. Like everything else, I guess I need to find a balance btw the good & bad. Still, these are exciting times!
Hi Kitty! thanks for your reply. It is good to hear that others do not know what to do with "social media!" But like anything, we learn. I really like SW, it has many opportunities to meet people and that is the biggest thing in figuring it all out. Support keeps you going. Also, my work itself keeps me going, in fact, I would say it is the number one thing keeping me motivated. If the work is worth doing, it is its own reason for being, and selling it is just something that goes along with it; it is not the main purpose of the work. For me, that keeps my energy up, and I do think the one thing a marketer needs is constant energy and motivation. You just keep pushing until something happens, from what I can see. Really I am starting to understand that marketing is no big deal. It doesn't take genius or even money. It takes effort. Ultimately, it doesn't matter how valuable your product is. If you push it enough you can create "buzz." That word somehow gives me the creeps, but none of that matters. It doesn't matter that a ridiculous product can be marketed and sell successfully alongside a valuable one that may benefit not only immediate consumers but generations to come or even the whole human race. I do the kind of work that is designed to help the whole human race, and that is what I sell. It has to be sold through buzz, like anything else. Buzz is like a hammer. It is a tool. It can be used to build a beautiful,solid house or a cheap one of low value. There is no point in blaming the hammer if bad houses are built. And there is no point in me saying, "I don't care to be associated with hammers! Too many bad houses are built with them!" Publishing and marketing are an exercise in problem solving, especially marketing. How do you make something happen? Some people can sell themselves on the force of their personality, but I am not one of those. All I have is the quality of my work and my love for it, and my love for the human race that has great needs and is suffering. But perhaps that is all one needs. If you believe in what you are doing, you can create something from nothing.That is what every writer does. Your book comes from an idea. What do you think? thanks for the conversation. Sarah
What are the titles of some of your books? Where can we find them? What are they about? Who's your target audience? Are you working on anything now? How far along is it? Those are the kinds of bits of information you want to share up front with people.
If so, and you're not using an agent or publicist, you're probably still going to have to do a lot of what you've been told about using social media. Kinda like you're doing now. She Writes is still considered social media. And from what I've heard from other writers, even with agents and publicists, we as writers have to work our butts off to reach and connect, and reach and connect some more.
And think about it. Even the ads will only do so much for your exposure. If people never see them, or don't notice them, then how effective are they for you? Think about how much attention you pay to ads posted on the Internet, and where the ones that you do notice are posted. And once you notice them, are you enticed to look further? Are you compelled to buy?
Telling people about your book, via word-of-mouth, blogs, social networking sites, fairs, conferences, etc., are the only way I know of to get your book noticed, and create the buzz. We are all learning to create buzz, build buzz and expand our reach through however we can get buzzed.
And no amount of work you put in is going to guarantee a buzz or a following; but you have to be willing to make the effort. You have to make the time to make the effort. That's what I've learned as a writer.
You're in a good place, here on She Writes, to get plenty of valuable feedback. There are quite a few of us up-starts, but there are also a lot of experienced authors and some bestselling authors here, too. I've found it to be a very helpful and nurturing environment.
Just stick around a bit, and stick with it. Read, comment on other threads, join forums, and continue to ask questions. Make some real connections with others who share your interests and you may find some readers out there who are willing to support your work.
Whatever you do, you've got to do more than just plug your work, talk about yourself, collect friends, and sit back and wait. You've got to do more. Consider this: If you're not inclined to do more to engage people, then people are less likely to be inclined to care anything about you or your books.
They say that writing the book is the easy part. Once that's done, the real work begins.
Thank you Regina for your advice! Those are good thoughts. You are probably quite right, social media is the best option. Thank you for asking about my work. In a nutshell, I self-published 12 paperbacks in my first publishing season 2012, and will release 4 of them on Kindle this summer, all on psychic and self-development topics: tarot, channeling, dream, alternative reality theory, and one paranormal romance novel, a fictionalized autobiographical account of my personal relationship to the "Galaxy Teacher" voice I channeled for 13 years, published in 5 volumes. Anyone who is interested is most welcome to see them at WWW.GalaxyTeacherBooks.Com
I also manage the online nonprofit foundation site where we give away free psychic services: WWW.GalaxyTeacherFoundation.Org
I write the blog at WWW.GTSchoolOfPsychicDevelopment.Com
And will host the upcoming radio show at WWW.BlogTalkRadio.Com/Galaxy-Teacher-Radio (first episode on "Multiple Consciousness and Telepathy" July 15, 4PM Eastern).
My long-time colleague Ellie Fiske and I will begin a series of out of body experience experiments in July, holding chats on Sundays at facebook. Email me to join if anyone is interested! Sarahpaul68@yahoo.com
From first appearances, I did not know if anyone at SW would be interested in psychic development literature, but most people are actually fascinated by psychic reality and quite rightly! There is nothing more fascinating and common to ALL of us! I love it; it is my life work.
I am interested to see that you are starting your own publishing company. That is of great interest to me. The thought of publishing other people besides myself appealed to me for a while, but after producing 12 of my own books in six months, a new one every two weeks, the idea lost its romance! You are very right, the real work starts after the writing is finished. But there it is! Publishing is for people who love it. It's too grueling for anybody else. I am most interested in following the progress of your publishing work. Will you be marketing for your authors? What genres will you cover? Will you specialize? Will you start very small? Do you have publishing partners? I tried to start out with 2 publishing partners who were old beloved friends, but that did not work. They don't have publishing skills of any kind. I learned there that you cannot go into business with people just because you love them! And people who may be gifted in their work may not be gifted at writing about it. AND people who do not write or publish do not have the SLIGHTEST idea how much work it is! Again, I appreciate your response. Hope to friend you. Sarah
Yes, I'm learning that the publishing side of things is pretty grueling. I've got so many ideas and projects in my head, and two that are actively working, and hardly any time to dedicate to either of them. Whew! It's a lot of work.
I do not have any publishing partners, but that's fine with me. I don't want any partners, at least not for now. I think not going into business with people, even if/especially if you know and love them, is a great rule to follow. The publishing house is a whole new adventure for me. I'm still getting myself set up and established. My first title hasn't even been released yet. I think I'd like to see how well it does before I think about bringing on board other people.
I feel very fortunate that I'm a pretty good story teller, and that I'm absorbing a lot of good information about how to proceed as a publisher, including good advice from my attorney. But time will tell how it all pans out.
I'm going to specialize in publishing short works, 50,000 words or fewer. I believe that's somewhere around 150-200 pages. That's more on the novella-style. I want to publish different genres. Whatever appeals to me, and hopefully to a wide audience. Except erotica. No erotica for my company just yet.
Not only do I hope to tap a market for people who love to read, but are short on time, but I also hope to save on editing and publication costs by focusing on shorter works. My company will definitely have a publicity and marketing budget in place, which is one reason why I will only work with a few authors at a time. I want to be sure that people understand that I am using a traditional model, but I'm focusing on developing and promoting authors who might not otherwise have the opportunity to get published.
I plan to start small and stay small. At most, I will publish a dozen titles per year. At least two titles per year. Being a small publishing house helps me to dedicate and concentrate my resources on just a few projects and authors at a time, and hopefully, get the best results that way. I don't want to spread the company too thin. Just learning it all as I go.
Thanks for asking. I love talking about my company and my plans for it. :)
Regina-I enjoy hearing about your business! Yes, making decisions and crafting an identity for the business is really fun, isn't it? And it is personally rewarding, an exercise in defining yourself as you define your business. And the business becomes dear to you. It's like it is alive, like it is your child. I know! It's cool! And you're so proud of it. Creating a business is really a neat thing. When I created my logo, I wanted to choose a motto that covered all the types of books I was writing so all my work could have the same brand. So I decided on "Galaxy Teacher Books--Quality Literature for a New Age." And I say I produce psychic AND self development titles, which is correct. We teach that psychic development is personal development at the most profound level.
I have always written a lot of How To titles and personal growth stuff. When creating the logo forced me to categorize all my writing, I discovered it all boils down to teaching. I just want to develop to my maximum possible level in this lifetime and then turn around and give it to everybody else. I see you feel that, too, with wanting to publish people who might not otherwise get published. Level the playing field!
Publishing the short novellas seems very timely right now what with digital reading devices, and it does sound very plausible economically. I always think it is best to secure one's position and then move forward in stages.I did not do that with my first 12 books, but I am already learning from my mistakes.
It is so rewarding to have a publishing season! It's fun to be a publisher. You must let me know when you publish your first book. You said your own first title has not been released. What is it? Fiction, non fiction? Which do you prefer to write? I have produced one novel: Conversations with the Galaxy Teacher, the Novel, a fictionalized, autobiographical account of my personal relationship to the channeled Galaxy Teacher voice, in which he introduced me to telepathic sex! I kid you not! And I will release Druid of Ulster in 2013, an historical novel or novella about a legendary druid, based on the ancient Irish text the Tain Bo Cuailgne.
So, please tell us about yours? S