There’s more to being an author than writing books. Writing new stories is the fun part. The publication process is a sometimes painful learning experience, but the real torture comes around the release of each new novel.
I’m talking, of course, about marketing and promotion, Even for an attention whore like me, the amount of self-promotion a writer needs to do is a little off-putting. Sometimes, I feel a little cheap.
The effectiveness of the various marketing strategies, techniques, and practices I’ve tried is difficult to measure. I know the number of comments my posts get on other blogs and the number of visits to my web site per day. Once a quarter, sales figures come with my royalty checks. A careful analysis of these data over the last three years proves, beyond all doubt, my marketing efforts suck ass.
One factor did have a statistically significant impact on sales. I didn’t need a complicated econometric model or sophisticated statistical techniques to figure it out either. Releasing a new novel ALWAYS boosts sales. Marketing is still a big part of the job description, but the emphasis should be on writing new novels. The challenge is striking an appropriate balance between the two.
In March and again last week, I had a long chat with the delightful Poppy Dennison, fellow author and marketing director for Dreamspinner Press. She likes her tea sweet, eats grits for breakfast, and is fluent in Southern Speak. We’re probably cousins.
Anyway, Miss Poppy scolded me about the amount of time I spend on my weekly blog posts. She used her outside voice, too. If I don’t mend my ways, she promised to take me to the woodshed.
My momma didn’t raise no fool. When experts give me free advice, I listen. Keeping my blog going has been my top priority. The truth is, I love blogging. I blogged long before I ever thought about writing fiction. The format appeals to me, and I love the instant gratification from likes, comments, and retweets.
The discussion with Poppy opened my eyes to the need for change. Instead of writing blog posts, I need to spend more of the limited writing time I have working on new novels. I’m not sure what that means for the blog — I’m exploring my options. Once I figure it out, I’ll let you know.