by: Lynn Chandler Willis
Warning: If you're Stephen King, Nora Roberts, James Patterson, or any other multi-mega star writer, you can stop reading now. This probably doesn't apply to you. This is for the wanna be writer and the writer with one or even a few books under their belt. Maybe even several books.
Since self publishing (aka indie publishing) became the force to be reckoned with that it is, the masses began offering advice on how to make it work for you, you rogue writer. The problem is, there's so much advice, how is one to know what works and what doesn't? I don't think I'm alone in saying it and I hate to admit it, but I've started scanning over all the "how to" advice with the same amount of interest as I do for magic weight loss ads. Make a million self publishing your own books now warrants the same amount of interest as my free credit report or mail order Viagra.
And that's sad because there might actually be some gems of advice in one of the "how to" articles/books/blogs/take your pick.
One of the biggest advice generators for new writers is the use of social media; Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Linked In, and the list goes on and on...I've even seen infographs on what to post when on which avenue. Never post to Twitter on a Friday night. Promote yourself on Twitter between 1pm and 4pm. Never post to Facebook on Monday. Don't have a dedicated Facebook page for each book. Have a dedicated Facebook page for each book. And then there's Pinterest. Image driven so make sure you post pictures - but don't post pictures of how you envision your characters. Readers like to create their own mental image. Sigh.
My advice: Relax. Just like with good story-telling, apply the five w's.
Who are you trying to reach: Other writers or readers? It's okay if you say both.
What are you marketing? Yourself? A new book? An old book? If you're like most writers, your books are who you are so if you market yourself, you're going to naturally be marketing your work.
Where are you doing this marketing? Wherever you're most comfortable. If you're more comfortable on Facebook than Twitter, devote more time to Facebook.
When should you market? Always. Everyday. Remember your words are a part of your own being so it shouldn't be painful to discuss with anyone. Find what works for you and do it again and again. But be a presence, not an annoyance.
Why do it? Only you can answer that. Remember why you started writing in the first place? It probably had something to do with the joy of it. If that joy has been replaced with dread, aggravation, and yes, confusion, it's time to take a step back.
And of course, there's that H that totally screws up the five w's...the How.
How do you do it? 1) Accept there is no magic formula. What works for you may not work for someone else. 2) Find a few trusted sources and study how they do it. 3) Relax and enjoy the ride. How many other jobs let you work in your pajamas?
Look for the next blog post April 30!