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An author’s rant

by on September 21, 2013
Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

That’s it I quit. As authors we say this quite often.  Not because of the writing aspect, not even because of the editing issues, heck we even can get through the rejection letters like pros. Some find them a cheap alternative to wallpaper. While others find it a mark of a real author to be rejected. Whatever your poison it’s not the writing that makes us want to quit.

What is it? You ask. The marketing.  Are we under exposed? “You have a book out?” to which the author smashes his or her head against the table because they’ve only posted, tweeted, tumbled and invited this person to multiple events through social media.  “Yes, it’s new.” Or has been out for a few years and you even liked the cover art. 

We don’t want to bombard people to the point they no longer want anything to do with us.  They may unfriend us or worse yet block our messages. This leads to the second issue…are we overexposed?  When every post that an author puts up is about how hot this scene or that scene was or that they’re in the mood to write a hot scene, well after awhile you just want to send them some St. John’s Wart and a fan to clear up the issue.

As authors we giveaway more than we make.  Yeah I’m my husband’s favorite tax deduction. Trying every swag gimmick out there until we learn we’re a year too late.  We blog, so you can get to know us as a person because selling books is more about selling the person than the prose. BTW if you haven’t noticed I’m a bit of a smart ass. We even are crazy enough to ask readers what draws them to books.  I say crazy not because their opinion doesn’t matter, but because there are so many opinions.  Remember the over and under exposed?  Yeah, that’s why we quit.

Image courtesy of Just2shutter at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Just2shutter at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Where do you as readers want us to draw the line? Daily posts about every book in our catalog? Do you care if a scene makes us cry or gave us shivers? Or if it’s so sexually hot I’m panting as I write it. What would have you invest your hard earned money into a new author? Do they need to write shorter books priced from free to $0.99 or would you make the leap and pay $5.99?  I get cheap, I’m right there with you. Before ebooks I would wait until the paperback came out.  Only occasionally if I loved the author would I shell out for a hardcover. At the same time for a full-length novel how much does an author have to give away? Would you go into work for a year for free?  Okay I’m getting off my soapbox.

It no longer feels like you’re writing, could be because 80% of the time you’re marketing. In reality most of the words you’re putting to page are on your news feed. Even when we write and try to disconnect somehow we’re drawn back in. Maybe it’s an alert on our phone. Or we need to look up the exact dimensions of a basketball court. Either way what should have been a quick Google search turns into forty minutes of uninterrupted viewing of memes. Not by me of course because I’m singularly focused, but you know people talk. OMG what a cute puppy and it says I wuff you.

Back to the issue at hand.  Me quitting.  The hard part is if I keep my characters to myself I’ll lose my mind. I need to put them to page.  I have so many and they won’t stop coming. This takes time and when it comes down to it the people who do buy them enjoy them.  So I’ll sit back, be patient and both the other me that I write under and I will keep creating stories. Readers please do me a favor, if you read a book and enjoy it, tell at least two people, because your opinion is the best marketing in the world.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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14 Comments
  1. That’s been my biggest problem with some authors and social media. It’s supposed to be social, yet all I ever see are posts promoting, promoting, promoting. Even their blog posts are nothing promotion. Enough! We get it. Yes, we have to promote, but when that’s all I see, I tune them out because it’s pure punishment to have to read that all the time. Ugh.

    Wonderful post on it. =)

  2. Kira Morgana permalink

    Reblogged this on The World of The Teigr Princess and commented:
    So perfectly put that I can’t add a thing… *goes back to writing*

  3. I’ve been in the same position of feeling such intense frustration with the whole need to market. And as the person who commented before me said, my feed on social media is so jam-packed with the marketing of others.
    I don’t know what the answer is except perhaps stop caring very much about sales and focusing on writing. I love writing but it’s taking a back seat lately. Our brains work in very interesting ways, so using a very logical and methodical train of thought (ie marketing) is going to push away less defined and more creative avenues (ie stories). I need a holiday, yet I do still need to sell books.
    A conundrum.

  4. if readers would review at amazon or goodreads it would help a lot with some publicity – and the best selling authors have staffs to do the electronic promotional stuff, so everyone else is at the disadvantage. this problem is only going to get worse

  5. belindaegreen permalink

    Wow….wow! The rant…. I hear and understand your pain. I feel for you! It’s a no win for either the reader and author. As a reader my greatest joy is reading and discussing what I have read with the author. That’s a true bonus! I do want to know what’s coming up from the authors I love. However, here comes the issue, I don’t want to see all the promos all the time from them or any other authors. Pretty soon all you see on FB and twitter are these. Multiply that by lots and…well you do the math. The social thing goes out the window and you as authors lose that audience. I won’t be online as much.

    I thought blogs or newsletters were a good option! That is until you start getting 50 or more in your inbox everyday! The first week of September, I got 80 newsletters/blogs everyday! Clogged email! Not good. So, now what? True, I want to be informed about my favorite authors and find out about new authors I might like but…. True as an author writing is a passion but you still got to eat and pay bills like the rest of us. You are challenged with marketing your product so we buy and you take home a decent paycheck. Only a fortunate few hit the so call “big time.” I have been thinking about this because in talking with authors, they all share your pain. It cost money to market with no guarantees! Indie authors have even more of a challenge!

    I don’t have the answer. I wish I did. It’s the same old adage of, how do you serve two masters at the same time asking for radically different things and satisfy both. It’s a dilemma. Maybe if we put our heads together we can find a happy middle ground. Just a thought.

    Thank you for sharing and know that as a reader we understand but we don’t have an answer either.

    Belinda G

  6. Are you sure you’re not a mind reader or a little bit psychic because you just wrote everything that’s been going through my head!! Thank you for making me feel a little less alone in all this. 🙂

    • samanthapleasant permalink

      I do have mad skills. You are far from alone on this.

  7. Reblogged this on Lori King Books and commented:
    Well said!!! I agree with EVERY word! 🙂

  8. Authors everywhere will appreciate this post. Marketing is the hardest part of being an author. We’re constantly worried about whether or not we’re doing enough, or doing too much. When we’re marketing we feel guilty for not writing. When we’re writing we feel guilty for not marketing the books that are already out there. And, then we have friends and family members who avoid us like an Amway salesman because they’re afraid we’re going to try to sell them something. Thanks for writing this. It’s perfect.

  9. I reblogged this as well on Behind Closed Doors. It’s like you’re reading my mind this week. Thank you again.

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