As the resident crone, I can remember the time before computers. Heck, I remember the time before television. But the computer and I fell instantly in love. Y0u see, I had always wanted to write, but hated crossing out, erasing, writing up the margins of the page, and all the other mess of putting pen to paper. Cut and paste! That was the miracle I had been waiting for.
When I finally published a book I learned that it wasn’t enough to tell my friends and relations, but that I somehow had to publicize the darn thing to the world at large if I wanted to sell enough copies to get a royalty check. Social media, I was told, is how one does this.
So okay, I put up a Web page. Luckily, I knew HTML, so this was easy. Next, I starting writing a weekly blog.
Then I was told I needed a Facebook fan page. I already had a Facebook page for the purpose of spying on my grandkids (hope they don’t read this), but I put up the requisite “professional” page. I won’t say I have trouble remembering to switch between the two before posting but you probably guessed that anyway.
Then along came Twitter. I held out as long as I could, but was finally convinced I needed to do this “to get my name out there.” So I Tweet once or twice a week and feel silly doing it. And, if I run across a really good book, I put a review on Goodreads.
Just last week a friend launched a Pinterest site where she has posted pictures and excerpts from her latest novel. Very clever. Then there is Tumblr, Instagram, and God alone knows what else is out there under the Social Media heading.
I’m drawing the line. Yes, I could do a Pinterest page. I could Tweet a hundred times a day and post fascinating tidbits on Facebook every half hour.
The truth is, I’d rather be working on my next novel.
Does all this really help sell books? As Fiona Lowe said in the RWR June issue, “I have a website, a blog, I have a Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Pinterest account. Does this sell books? Some. A few. Maybe. I don’t know.”
I don’t either. I’m interested in what has worked for you. Is spending precious time promoting your book worth the effort? Or should we spend our time writing the next book and concentrating on making it the best darn book we can? Or is there (we can hope) a happy media — er, medium?