Though I’m a fiction writer, I bet the number of words I write each day in the service of promotion and communication far surpass the daily output of my WIP. We writers are a garrulous group and keep in touch with one another via email, listservs, Facebook, blogs, twitter, Pinterest, et al.
I start every day off reading my emails. One reason is I can’t resist the urge to find out what miraculous bit of good news has come my way. I’m ever optimistic despite the fact that most emails are advertisements offering me free and discounted books, items of clothing, and trips to faraway places. Still, my writing groups/ listservs keep me informed regarding who’s winning prizes, signing new contracts, reporting on various conferences. Gladly, I send out many congratulations to my colleagues. They also keep me informed re what’s new in the ever-changing publishing industry. I skip through the many offers to promote my books, noting how many companies have recently formed to “help” authors as a way of making money for themselves. If only they could really achieve the wonderful results they promis.
Still, almost every day I come upon a valuable piece of information regarding promotion and book sales. I take the time to read the Book Marketing Expert Newsletter and Joan Stewart’s The Publicity Hound because of their wonderful offer wonderful promotion ideas. Other emails might include an invitation to write a guest blog, a free way to publicize my books, or an invitation to take part in a book fair. Blog posts and articles related to writing or promotion are wonderful sources of information. I often tweet those I find most helpful to share with my fellow writers. Sometimes I read the article on the spot. Doing this is like turning down new paths in the forest. I always have to remember to return to the main road. Or in this case, be aware of how much time is passing, time I’m not working on my novel.
Like most authors I read and review friends’ novels as well as novels I’ve gotten from sites like Net Galley and Shelf Awareness. And I when I post a blog of my own, I have to announce it to the writing world and respond to readers’ comments.
Promoting a new book means getting the word out to readers—tweeting, writing guest blogs, doing interviews, and talking up your book on social media. Communicating with readers and fellow writers, in person or online, is a lovely reprise from the lonely pursuit of writing. Which makes it all the more difficult to get back to the nitty gritty of writing the next novel.