One of the first things my publisher told me to do before my novel Fling is published in 2015 is create a fan base. I don’t think he was referring to the kind of fan I’m used to, a mechanical object with rotating blades that whirl around and stir the air. In a way, though, I suppose the kind of fan my publisher was referring to can stir things up and call attention to our work.
Yet for someone of my disposition (I don’t love big parties or crowds; I prefer quiet intimate dinners with close friends and enjoy spending time alone), making the kind of outreach that marketing a book requires is hard. Not only is it all consuming, taking time away from the precious little I do have for writing itself, but I also must enter a world totally different from the one I’m accustomed to.
I’ve had to learn the language of twitter (I still haven’t a clue how to make that networking approach work); tumblr (not sure exactly what this does); and Facebook (I’m a neophyte, but I’m learning how to add “friends,” many of whom I don’t know, and I’m very good at liking things that stand out); triberr (can’t figure this one out); and Pinterest (not sure how to employ this tool). I’ve signed up for blog rolls and blog hops. I’m investigating virtual book tours since real ones don’t do much for unknown authors. At the moment, I have a 15-page marketing plan, and I’ve only scratched the surface! It will be a book itself by the time I’m finished.
This sounds like sour grapes when I should be grateful that my novel will be published (and I am!), but how will all of these activities make people like my writing or become a “fan”? This marketing madness is an aspect of writing I hadn’t anticipated. While I was familiar with the demands of researching publishers and publications for long and short work, both poetry and prose, the business side of what we writers do, this other aspect of publishing has totally changed my life.
It’s also one of the reasons I am writing this blog (as so many other writers are doing), trying to make my presence as a writer known beyond my immediate friends (who must hate receiving all these posts!). At times I wonder if I’m just preaching to the choir since most writers have the same goals: We’re enrolled in Goodreads and Librarything. If we’re women, we try to keep connected with Shewrites. We’re all trying to sell books, but are we actually reaching those readers who aren’t writers themselves, the ones we want to attract?
I would like to hear from other writers who are also going through this process and have advice on how to survive it. Meanwhile, here I am, stirring up a little air on the Internet in my search for fans.
4 thoughts on “Blogging into Visibility”
I am not a writer but as an artist, I have been blogging now for quite some time to try and put my work “out there”. Here is what I have found so far. I love my blog. I have never been much of a writer but for some reason, I love writing on there. It is my main form of communication. I gave up on twitter a long time ago. The only thing I do is have my blog posts go there automatically in case someone wants to read it. I find it all moves too fast and communicating with people on there is nearly impossible. Pinterest I like. As a visual artist I pin other artists’ work who I find inspire me. I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I like that people see my work and sometimes buy it from me right then and there. But I hate all the political rants and other annoying features that comes from having many friends and customers from all over the world! I still haven’t figured out Tumblr too well. Mostly I just share my artwork from my Flickr site with Tumblr. It gets to be too much to keep up with all of it though as I mostly want to be working and making. Hope this helps.
I’m surprised to hear you say you’re not a writer. You write very well! I completely understand what you mean about Facebook. I now have all these “friends” that I don’t know, and it’s difficult sorting through the posts to find things that interest me. And time consuming! I too haven’t a clue how to use Tumblr. So it’s a big learning curve for all of us. By the way, I found your blog on “Bloglovin,” a survey that I receive by email. Since I dabble in the visual arts as well (collage and watercolors/acrylics), I always am drawn to the blogs of artists like yourself.
I think the most important thing is to be authentic and let people see a little about who you are as a writer.
I’m trying! Thanks for the advice.