Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Are We Authors or Retailers?

What is going on here? Since when in recorded history have writers, artists, composers, and other creators been expected to hawk their creations like so much tawdry merchandise? And where are we supposed to get the skills to do this well?

I'm a writer, not a bookseller. I write novels. I enjoy writing novels. I'm good at writing novels.

I don't enjoy promoting, advertising, Tweeting, Google+ ing, Facebooking, Pinteresting, Linked-inning,  Goodread-ing, whatever, and I'm not very good at it anyhow.

I've authored 5 books in print, e-book and audiobook editions that get mostly good reviews and, somehow, have sold in modest numbers on the internet.  That's nice, but not the way to become a best seller, is it? I doubt that any of these sales were stimulated by my amateurish and occasional time-wasting efforts to use social media.

Frankly, I'm sick and tired of wasting my time reading articles telling me the 21 (or 5, or 8, or 15, or whatever) best ways to create a buzz about my books using all kinds of Internet platforms. That's not why I became a novelist in the first place. What about you?

We are creators. We create fiction (or poetry, or essays, or memoirs). Selling it takes a different set of skills and interests than creative writing, doesn't it?

I suppose some authors know how to generate sales in this way but, for me, learning and practicing the marketing ropes has proven to be a huge time drain, time that could better be spent in writing and polishing my next novel.

Some would say we should hire the needed marketing skills rather than using a do-it-yourself approach. I'd love to, but has anyone analyzed the cost/benefit numbers lately. Put a pencil to paper and if you can find a way to sell enough books to offset the costs of professional marketing services, please let me know.

This post is now ended. What should I do next? Write a couple of chapters for the next book in the Harry Grouch mystery series, or hang out in social media all day to promote the last one?

What is your advice?

Novelist, Poet & Wannabe Golfer

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