Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Maybe Twitter's not so bad after all

I'm having one of those jealous weekends. You know the kind? Where everyone else seems to be doing their stuff so much better than you?

Ever since I got published, I've observed other writers to see how they market and promote themselves and their books. Knowing this is a weakness of mine, I wanted to learn from example. And I've learned a LOT but realize I'm still not very good at that part of being an author. So in a moment of  frustration I wrote this on twitter:  

Following other authors on blogs, facebook & twitter makes me realize that I am CRAP at marketing.

A few hours later when I went back to Twitter, I saw 5 or 6 responses-- other writers in sympathy, knowing how hard it is and just giving the sympathetic nod in my direction. Gosh, that made my day. It didn't sell any books but it sure made me feel better.

32 comments:

  1. It is nice sometimes to find that others understand what we're feeling without having to go into great detail. Knowing others are in or have been where we are does make it easier.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think you are so brave for jumping in and doing what makes you uncomfortable. Though I'm not an author (published anyway), I still can't bring myself to Tweet. Everyone is doing it, but it just seems like one extra thing and I'm already busy with rewrites, my own blog, commenting on other blogs, my facebook and my non-profit. Maybe one day I'll be brave like you and Tweet! I'm glad you heard from others who feel the same way you do.

    Sometimes being validated by our peers can go a long way toward making us feel better about ourselves. There days when you just need to know you aren't alone!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Karen, I don't understand Twitter. :( I'm pretty sure that when I do finally have a picture book or a mg novel my readers aren't going to be tweeting...One of my published friends who is VERY successful does a LOT of school visits. I'd say that is the best marketing tool....plus the fun of interacting with kids. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I DO love how we can all band together and be a support for one another. And I admire you taking on Twitter, Facebook, and the others. You go! As I told you, I'm still a bit scared of Twitter. Someday I'll figure it out....

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mason, I think that's the appeal of twitter, you don't have to go into a lot of detail. Same with blogging. You can put a little bit out there and make connections w/o having to spill your guts. Or answer a lot of questions.

    Jennie, Jumping in and doing what makes me uncomfortable pretty much sums it up!

    Sharon, I don't really see it as a way to connect with readers, but with other authors. Well, I guess authors are readers LOL, but mostly I'm on there to explore it and see how it works.

    Jackee, Me too! I love that about social media!

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's rare I get any comments back on twitter but it's so great when it happens. Us writers need a lot of encouragement since our work is so isolated. That's why I love most forms of social media.
    W.I.P. It: A Writer's Journey

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi,

    Oh god, Twitter - I dread it and resisting still! Not that I see any point unless I break back into being a published writer. I dropped out after a serious riding accident (came to in hospital and discovered I couldn't read magazines and books, hence couldn't write either - another story and back on form now), and I'm having a tough time getting pubs to look at my work.

    To be honest there's no better way of communicating with fans than having your own web site and blog, plus having your website address inside book! Fans will come to you and support you in your next project, and so too other writers who like reading your work. I guess twitter will work in a similar way, but reckon a blog website is even bigger allure!

    best
    F

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've had one of those periods lately too Karen, but not about writing - just about life!

    I think being a genuine person often pays off with marketing. People will read your blog and your tweets and even if you aren't the most glittering social-networker out there, if people like you, that goes much farther. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi
    Yay!! I think social networking is fab for finding a supportive community. I guess translating that into hard sales is another matter - but it doesn't harm to get one's name out there and into people's consciousness in the nicest possible way!

    Take care
    x

    ReplyDelete
  10. Unless you're JK Rowling, I think every writer feels your pain! Promoting is the worst part of the job!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I don't understand twitter at all.
    It just goes right over my head.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have a feeling that Twitter is filled with people who don't realize they understand it and people who don't realize they don't. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but in my brief experiement with Twitter I certainly ran into a lot of people who belonged in one of those categories.

    Good luck with the marketing!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Don't feel bad - I'm not good with Twitter either.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am glad Twitter has come through for you.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I think you are amazing at Marketing! Seriously, your book (think will start with Farm Girl, although Uncut Diamonds does call to me too!) is on my soon-to-be-purchased list, and that is all down to you and your blog. What do those other folk do differently from you? I think you are fab. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I find it amazing how writers are so willing and ready to support each other. Like you I don't spend tons of time on Twitter, but I've made some great connections with some terrific people :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Don't be too hard on yourself. You're still learning AND you are being forced to do stuff way out of your comfort zone. I think you should pat yourself on the back!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I haven't yet joined the Twitter flock, but I know other writers who swear by it. And a few who swear about it.

    Good luck with your marketing!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Keep tweeting -- retweeting (forwarding others tweets) and responding to tweets and it will soon become even clearer. Really.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Well, that post got me following you on Twitter, so I think you're doing something right! (I don't tweet using my blog name BTW.) In fact I think that with a blog and a Twitter account, you're way ahead of many, many writers. Which doesn't mean it's easy - marketing is a dark art that few of us possess.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Queenie, "marketing is a dark art that few of us possess" So TRUE!! Wow, that pretty much says it all!

    Colette, I've studied foreign languages before and this is very much the same! Converse with Spanish/French/Russian people and it will soon become even clearer :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Karen, I have a Twitter account, but rarely go on it any more. I just don't see the benefits, although I trust the other writers to say it is beneficial. And I have 30+ years of a marketing career behind me. I still can't make myself do many of the things an author needs to do to be successful.
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  23. I think you are doing the best you can do right now as you learn. Just keep the same determination to do better you used to get you published. That's an incredible accomplishment all by itself!

    ReplyDelete
  24. See, this is why I love Twitter. It's so responsive - and so supportive! I hope you're feeling a bit better now?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Talli, uh.. no. Which is why I'm going after the website for authors who hate marketing with a vengeance. More to come on that later.

    ReplyDelete
  26. It is SO HARD! UGH! But that's what I love about social media... the friendships you make are amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Karen, you're trying to write and you're trying to work and you're trying to promote yourself. You have three jobs and only one body, so don't be so hard on yourself.

    I attended the BlogHer conference this weekend. One session was about how much publishing has changed in the past few years. One women wrote a book, Red Hot Internet Publicity: An Insider's Guide to Marketing Your Book on the Internet. She seemed to know her stuff so I bought the book. Looking through it, I'm glad I did. You should buy it too because this one actually has practical advice for people like us.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I doubt that I'll ever do Twitter. I know it would drive me crazy; and at my age, I don't need crazy. I'm loving blogging, and thanks to you got off to such a great start meeting people. Some I feel are lifelong friends. That's important.

    But we do need to market if we want to sell our work. And I'm excited to know what you're doing with a "writer's website."
    Ann

    ReplyDelete
  29. I know the feeling. Everywhere you look, you see other authors trumpeting their latest review, or some crazy sales number and it's like, shoot, that'll never be me. We think others have it all figured out, when in reality, I think most of us are just stumbling along, finding out what works and what doesn't.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Everyone has downers. There are always people who do things better but hey maybe they have flu today! :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. I've bonded with many tweeters. It feels like less of a time suck since I get something out of it.

    ReplyDelete
  32. That's because we're all one big brotherhood. No matter what stage we're at we can still have sympathy for one of our own who's having trouble getting there. Same way, I'm sure you can empathize with writers who're banging their heads against the wall trying to get published.

    ReplyDelete