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

Monday, February 25, 2013

Writing and Marketing

Once I got online I never looked back. I wouldn't dream of not being here, not blogging, not being active on social media, which is my chosen way to promote myself as a writer and part of the job.

However, finding balance is difficult because of the tempting nature of the beast. One can easily spend every second of free time online, feeling like important marketing is being accomplished as the seductive Internet eats up our precious creativity.

Regarding marketing, I feel that once published, writers need to spend more time writing and improving our craft than talking about our books. Get the word out then back off and write the next book, while still doing enough to maintain a website/blog geared toward your demographic.

Regarding social media, I think it's important to develop an online presence to make connections with other writers, the publishing industry, and with your readers. Online is where the news hits first and where trends are started. Stay in touch with the writing, publishing trends but don't fritter away precious creative time overdosing on social media.

That's the basis of my philosophy about writers and marketing. I don't always follow it. But I believe it. And I keep trying for that elusive balance. Which is why I'm posting less often and commenting less frequently, try to control myself on Twitter, don't do much on Facebook, and why I am assiduously avoiding Pinterest.

Have you found an agreeable balance between writing and marketing?

34 comments:

  1. Social media is totally addictive - totally!! And anyone who does all the social media-ing as well as living and having a life and career are just people with super powers! I certainly am in awe but I know in my heart I can never do such things simultaneously!! Balance is so all! Take care
    x

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  2. I'm not sure I've found balance yet, but I've deliberately cut back on the ways I market myself. Better to pace yourself with thoughtful posts and tweets than to inadvertently spam people with a one-trick pony.

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  3. I believe one shouldn't just use the Internet (blogging) for promotion, but few that I follow do that. Mostly, they're staying connected with their readers. But, there has to be time to write that next book or the readers will be very sad. :)

    Awesome post, Karen.

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  4. Oh heavens no - I know you're right, that we all ought to develop a sensible balance - but some days I just sit and write and others I fritter.

    Must try harder ... (how many times have I heard that!)

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  5. I'm just at that point where I'm trying to find the balance between writing and marketing. It's tough. I know that I need to do both, but finding time for both is hard.

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  6. I'm mostly balanced although I know I spend a lot of time online.

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  7. Marketing has totally changed with social media. I think it takes some big commitment and time to do it successfully.

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  8. "I feel that once published, writers need to spend more time writing and improving our craft than talking about our books." I totally agree with that statement. I balance social media by putting caps on how much time I spend online. But, it's important to be strict with ourselves because it's easy to spend hours online.

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  9. I agree completely. I have a fixed amount of time first thing in the morning and then a small window in the evening which I dedicate to Goodreads. It works well. Balance is vital, as are priorities.

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  10. Not yet, Karen, BUT STILL TRYING.

    It is important to stay connected but as you said it is a delicate balance. Some days I manage it, but others .....

    I hope all is well with you...

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  11. Still working on balance. But I did gear down for a while so I could finish writing my latest book. I'd still be writing if I hadn't.

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  12. Social media is a good tool for authors. Until I joined the online community full force, I had no idea how many people are writing. Now I have a profound respect and awe for this huge community.

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  13. I have no balance in any area of my life. If I'm excited by something, it gets my full attention to the exclusion of everything else. I really should try harder.

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    1. Annalisa, LOL. Sounds very much like myself :)

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  14. I'm determined not to "play author" ("or is it AUTEUR," she said with more than a whiff of affectation?) but to be a writer. That means writing comes first.
    Agreeable balance? Still looking. Always.

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  15. Good post! I should spend more time online. It seems like there's periods where I am more social and I put it to good use, and other times when I only want to think about writing, or there are family things going on that keep me busy. Just can't seem to balance it perfectly . . .

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  16. I'm working with a 90 year old author right now who I wish I could get to read this. I've almost convinced him to start a blog so he can promote his upcoming books he's hoping to release. He's pretty headstrong about the way things work, but he's converting. Me? I spend way too much time doing social networking and such and I really need to get down to writing.

    You might enjoy the first blog post that my new friend put up with my help on the blog I'm trying to put together for the writing group I've been attending. This is quite a funny read: "Recovering"

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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    1. Arlee, I hope your friend listens to you and gets going on his blog. Although blogging isn't for everyone, we can't know that until we try.

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  17. I hope I've found that balance, or that I will do soon. I've actually found that a reduction in social media presence and an increase in writing has sort of forced itself on me. I feel much inclined to spend less time checking blogs and Twitter and more time working on the next book. It just feels like the right thing.

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  18. I haven't published yet, but I'll let you know. :-D

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  19. Hi Karen. I am too raw as a writer to care about marketing. I only blog because it is nice to make meaningful connections and to write and read what others have to say. I don't have facebook and I don't have twitter because it would be too much clutter for my mind. Have a great week.

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  20. Hi Karen - Through your connections to visit and comment, you have inspired others to use and explore their talents. Because you left a personal comment, this created a chain reaction for that individual to also leave a comment and so the chain grew and so on and so on. I believe your comments are sincere, honest and valued. I cannot think of too many authors that would take some time to connect like that. I think its wonderful to know when and where to balance all that one does in 24 hours - I personally do not twitter - no time for that and basically not interested.
    Karen came down the mountain and left a comment and the individual grew into something more than they were before -met the challenge and grew their own smaller mountain - all because this once reclusive AUTHOR; now published AUTHOR. TOOK THE TIME TO LEAVE A COMMENT. Thank you from your FOREVER FAN in Atlantic Canada.

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    1. SaucyKod, This comment is so nice I want to frame it :)

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  21. I try. When a book is new and just comes out, it feels like the balance is WAY off. :P But then it settles back down. You're so right, though, about doing that initial marketing push and then moving on. We have to! <3

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    1. Leigh, Which proves that balance can be ebb and flow. It doesn't have to be constantly consistent.

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  22. Dear Karen, I'm still learning--at age 76, soon to be 77--about balance: how to find it, how to be in it, and how to maintain it. Social media mostly eludes me. I still post once a week on both of my blogs--the on-line memoir on Wednesday and the one on writing on Sunday. But right now I'm interested in completing a novel. So that's where my energy must go. Writing is the sustenance; everything else, it seems to me--even sells--is frosting. Peace.

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    1. Dee, I just finished your book, A Cat's Story. I am 100% in favor of you writing more books!

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  23. This is great advice. I don't always follow it the way I should, but I try. You all are so darn interesting! I try to dole out online time like a reward. That and chocolate!

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  24. ...still working on that balance, maybe someday ;)

    El

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  25. Karen, this is great! I'm with you...I just say NO to Pinterest! I'm barely on facebook...don't even get me started on that. I spent TWO HOURS today fixing a scam page of me...or whatever it's called! I'm ready to totally close it. I think with a really good blog and website, that can be enough. And I'm also a member of LinkedIn and She Writes and Red Room. What do you think? I'd really like your advice.

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    1. Becky, This is the second time in two days I heard of a spam, or artificial, FB page of someone. That blows me away! I don't have an author page, just a personal one on FB. I've never felt the need for a separate author Facebook page.

      I'm with you that a really good blog and website are essential, and possibly all one needs. I do like LinkedIn for getting professional information, although don't care much for the writer groups and forums as they're the same as everywhere else. Nothing new there, just writers talking about themselves and their work LOL.

      Overall I think it's a matter of choice-- explore the social media outlets that most interest you and then settle on the ones that seem to fit your personality and your audience. For me that's my blog and also my website, and Twitter. These 3 sites are where I'm most active and that I most enjoy.

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  26. I find this dance difficult, but am trying!
    I find my free time is not always mine.
    Family doesn't get why I do what little I do online-which makes for angst in my home life.
    I feel like a juggler, who can't juggle right~

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  27. You're right, Karen. Get to the writing. If I only had to juggle writing and promotion of previous books, I think I could manage. But it's everything else that enters into the mix that makes this such a challenge: kids, aging parents, family emergencies, taxes to calculate, bills to pay. These seem to clustered, and then there's just keeping the home fires burning. Yikes!

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    1. Lee, You are so right. It's squeezing the writer life in between the regular life that is the toughest challenge of all....

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