This is the dance of life, the message given in this brave new world of author-entrepreneurship. Now you have to be an authorpreneur – that hideous buzzword that implies that because the Internet (capital ‘I’) has destroyed the creative world, authors, creatives have to – and I mean HAVE TO promote themselves and be at it TWENTY-FOUR SEVEN.
In my view nothing destroys creativity more than systems and rules and ‘have-to-be’ scenarios. NOTHING is more important to me as a writer than having serious alone-time, thinking-time, where ideas and plots emerge out of the fog of this shout-and-stare world, WITH NO DISTRACTION.
The pressure to be on all the time is making me physically sick. Writers are not supposed to be ‘on’ all the time, and by ‘on’ I mean be ‘social’ and out there promoting themselves.
I am an obsessed reader. I read from the minute I open my eyes in the morning and then throughout the day. I never want to know the author personally or look at their life online or connect with them in any way.
The fact that they have written a book is enough for me. It’s enough of their world. I respect it and them. I read their book and I move on.
I wrote yesterday that I don’t get/understand social media, but the more I dig down into the subject (reluctantly) the more I know that I actually do understand social media; I have just never been able to make it work for me because I am completely overwhelmed by it. And that makes me cry. And the sad thing is I don’t see this pressure to promote yourself going away any time soon.
I am doing an experiment at the moment. I am running an advertising campaign on Amazon – paid for by me – just to see if this quiet method of getting noticed works. I will report back on my findings when my ad campaign is finished.
I have a mailing list but only a few subscribers; I have a Facebook page and hundreds of likes there – but no sales. I try giving away my novels but I can’t give them away, no one downloads them. I have an Instafreebie account and a Bookfunnel account and no downloads. I have asked people to review my books but no one is willing.
I don’t like to Tweet and sell – that’s not my style.
I don’t like the begging bowl that is Patreon, I feel too weird about that platform.
So what is the answer? I have no clue. This is not a whinge, it’s a fact, it’s the truth. Last month I made £4 in royalties from all of my books. Yes, that’s four UK pounds.
I know my books are fine pieces of work because I have been writing for money – journalism – for many, many years. I won the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in the Thriller/Mystery category in 2013, out of 10,000 and got an advance and made a lot of money because Amazon know how to market and sell to their mailing list of squillions.
I am on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Mailchimp, Instafreebie, Bookfunnel, Smashwords, Kobo, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, Lulu but no – nothing.
Someone tell me. What am I doing wrong?