“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” (Leo Tolstoy)
I’ve been doing some thinking about the massive amount of time and effort book promotion through social media takes and weighing that against the so-called results. Hmmm . . . It is clearly time to reassess.
Considering the above quote, I have to admit – social media as a way to promote myself as an author seems like much ado about nothing. It often feels manic and not like me at all. I need to break the whole thing down into its components and see which ones work for me and which don’t, because the package deal is getting more than a bit overwhelming.
What do I like?
Blogging – definitely! When I have the time . . . lately, with going away and having company and the demands of summer, (eeekkk – I love the garden, but geez, I’d love it more if it would rain only at night and I didn’t have to water!) I feel as though I’m not putting my best foot forward. Blogging takes a lot of time if you’re going to do it well. I’m seriously thinking about the slow blog movement. Better to write one blog per week that is well thought out, than three slapped together pieces because I don’t want my stats to suffer. And I want the time to develop real relationships with those who interact with me on the blog. That means reading posts and commenting and taking the time to be present.
My author Facebook page – I love sharing tidbits on this page, and the opportunity it provides to interact with people in a different way. What I hate is anything to do with following that stupid little chart that says interest in me is plummeting and then feeling as if I need to boost myself. Fancy way of saying – pay for more exposure. I’m also finding that I want to be careful when it comes to getting involved with too many Facebook groups. A couple of well-chosen forums are more than enough. Unless I have the time to be present in a group, there is no point in being plugged in at all.
I have come to realize that Twitter is almost a complete waste of time. I’m now at the point of following around 500 people with 400 people following me. At any given moment, when I have a chance to check the Twitter feed, I’ll probably see tweets by a handful of people – the same thing over and over and over. If I look back through my own tweets, I’m just as guilty – only on a smaller scale. I tweet far less than most. It all boils down to the same thing in the end – my book is great, buy it! How boring is that?
To be honest, I don’t even check out the other platforms (LinkedIn, Pinterest, Goodreads) on anything like a regular basis. I don’t have the time or inclination.
So – where does all of that leave me when it comes to promoting my book through social media?
I have read more than a couple of posts and articles over the last month (I’ve been too busy to jot down links – I think that’s a bit unforgiveable!) that stress the idea that indie authors need to think more about gaining readers (here is where the patience and time parts come in) than about sales figures. We win over readers one by one. And a reader won over to my book will attract other readers. (I have Linda Gillard to thank for that idea.)
More and more recently, I’m coming back to the idea that selling myself as an indie author is a marathon, not a sprint and anything that feels like sprinting is not for me. I just want to turtle may way through the social media whirl. I’ll do the things I know mean real connection and leave the rest by the wayside. And believe me, I know the difference. The loyalty many of you have shown to me in the blog world since Disappearing in Plain Sight was published has stunned and overwhelmed me! I don’t know how to thank all of you. It’s been like having my own cheering section 24/7.
I think the best thing to do is simply send out sincere thanks. Which I do! And a commitment – I will remain true to myself. What else really matters?