Before you say “Bah” and flip to something more interesting, I’m NOT trying to sell you anything. I’m also not trying to tell you how to increase your followers or get rich working from your home.
I just want to talk, honest.
This whole building an author’s platform and selling yourself on the Internet is a big question mark to me in certain ways. Sure, I get that if you reach out to people and get to know them they’re more likely to care about you than if you simply try and shill a product. In fact, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Part of the writing thing for me has always been about connecting with people through my stories. Yes, I do want to sell books at some point in my career but I’d be writing even if that wasn’t a possibility.
Enough trying to spout my motives. This discussion is about what to do to get known. I still don’t really know what the magic bullet is. Sure, there are millions of people on the Internet. It is this great, global info dump. How do I get noticed amongst all the other writers, podcasters, etc. out there?
If I knew that answer, I’d probably be the next JK Rowling. I know that word of mouth is as important as anything; if I can get people talking about my podcasts and books, then others will come. But what is the compelling thing that gets those people talking? And just who are THOSE people anyway?
I know of some ways to get partway down that treacherous path. I can use social media tools to meet and make friends with people. I can podcast my work to get others. I can try and tap into known quantities (like podiobooks.com) to build audience. But that will only get me so far.
I can ask people to review my work. That should be good for a few more hits. If I leave comments on websites and podcasts, contribute to forums and chat rooms that will even draw more people in, especially if I can say brilliant things all the time.
Still, when you take the sum total of all these activities, how much does it really add up to?
When I look at my peers who have gone before, some are successful and some are not. I know that the success or lack thereof is not a factor of talent. Great writers/podcasters have fallen short when equally talented ones have gone on to do big things.
Is it as simple as personality? Does someones drive push them over a certain threshold? I simply don’t know the answer. I wish I did. What do you think?
At the end of the day, I would like my books to be successful. I too would like to work full-time as a writer. I don’t expect to, but I would sure like to. All that’s missing is that magic… something.
Chime in if you have any thoughts on the subject.
Just got (another) rejection on my YA novel. This was the writing contest I entered. I’m not totally bummed. It just means I need to keep sending it out. Maybe next time.
I also set up a new group on Facebook (my first) at the suggestion of Ross Gallagher. He said I should have a page for fans of GalaxyBillies so he could start spreading the word. Hopefully this is what he had in mind. Ross is a great example of how word-of-mouth can spread the message. He heard about GalaxyBillies from Megadan who was my winning bidder for the GB character spot. Megadan talked about it on a WoW podcast. That’s an audience I hadn’t thought about approaching (yet).
I think I need to set my sights to the horizon and find the new possibilities. Have a great week.