It used to be, back in the day, authors didn’t have to worry about much other than writing, editing, and doing book signings. Promotion was done by the publisher. It was a two-edged sword, because it meant you had to be really good for a publisher to decide he wanted to spend money on you. Of course, we still have that today, but now it’s on the writer to promote. We’re expected to have a platform: Facebook, a blog, maybe LinkedIn and Twitter. A website.
A list like that leaves many authors asking, “When am I supposed to write?”
It’s a good question. It’s like we’re supposed to do everything except print the books. In some ways, it’s understandable, with the economy the way it is. Printing costs are high, and taking a chance on an unknown is daunting.
But printing costs have always been high, and we’ve been through tough economic times before. Hell, publishers didn’t expect writers to self-promote during the Depression. They expected them to write and sign books. You think there were lots of folks buying books when they were worried about where their next meal was coming from?
Griping about it isn’t going to change a thing, though. We just have to adapt and live with it, no matter how much a pain in the ass it is.
Here’s where I stand. I have two Facebook pages, my personal one and an author page. I’m on LinkedIn. And I have a
WordPress blog. The blog posts on my Facebook and LinkedIn pages. That leaves me off the other of today’s Big Three: Twitter.
I’m resisting it mightily.
You’ve seen my posts. Can you imagine me being restricted to 140 characters? I can’t even complete a thought in that amount of space, much less write anything coherent. My daughter has pointed out that I can just link my blog to Twitter and let it post there and not do anything other than that.
It’s a tempting thought. I have a smartphone now, so I could Tweet if I wanted to…I’m just not sure I want to. I already get email and Facebook alerts, not to mention my texting. Do I really want another ding going off when someone says something to me on Twitter?
On the upside, there’s the additional exposure, and authors need that. All of it we can get. But all this tech, as fun as it can be at times, is damned invasive, and I’m not sure I want to put up with another invasion. I think it’s a foregone conclusion I won’t be Tweeting much, if any at all. I’ll just have an account and let my blog post there.
And that means I gotta ask myself if it’s worth it. I mean, how many million folks Tweet already? How much notice am I really going to get? And do I really need yet another thing taking up my time? It’s going to be in really short supply during the next year anyway. Messing around with yet another social site just seems silly to me.
But I’ve come to you, my readers, to ask your opinion. You’ve heard my gripes about it—and I think I’ve griped about Twitter in other posts—but I readily admit to bias: microblogging seems silly to me. Not if you’re doing it. Only if I’m doing it. I’m funny that way.
Should I get on Twitter? Or do I have enough of a platform as it is? I hope, within the next year or so, to get a website up and running, which would be great, but I don’t know that for sure, and I don’t know when it will be.
Let me know what you think.