Okay, writers out there – here’s the thing. I KNOW we’ve all been told we have to develop our “platforms” and get known and be followed and all that such stuff, but we need to stop the self-adoration long enough to realize a few hard truths.
1. If you are self-published, make good and sure someone else has edited your writing for you at least a couple of times before you start flashing it about. It’s like smiling with spinach in your teeth to wave an unfinished book in people’s faces.
2. Be perhaps a bit certain that your story has merit. Have you read lots of books in your genre? Are you writing good stuff or are you trying to catch the latest curve – zombies, erotica, whatever? Unless you are insanely lucky, this will not make you rich or respected. I say “perhaps a bit” because a lot of tripe gets sold in huge numbers and while that makes me gnaw my fingers to my elbows, I can’t be responsible for the taste of the audience. So the best of luck to you if you can write sloppy derivative garbage and sell it.
3. Cross postings are boring. And annoying. I have one dear friend or two who posts their announcements in a variety of places, OFTEN MORE THAN ONCE. A lot of these places have the same members, so we poor facebookers get an onslaught of postings all about the same thing and see nothing else for days. This makes me want to go to your home, pick up your computer, and smash it on the ground with extreme prejudice. Spread announcements out if groups overlap. Keep track of them so you aren’t posting the same thing everyday. And don’t be so damn unrelenting about yourself. You may be interesting but no one is that interesting. Don’t post every damn blog posting in every Facebook group. If people like your writing, they’ll follow your blog.
4. Develop a sense of humour about yourself. Giles Blunt, a man who writes grimly dark and wonderful mysteries, and who is a success at it, has a hilarious self-description on his blog. I’ve always loved his writing, but now that I’ve read his blog, I want to meet him. Which means, since imprisonment for stalking isn’t my favourite thing, I will have to buy more of his books. (Many thanks to Judy Penz Sheluk for steering me to this blog, and hers.)
See, here’s the thing. We readers WANT to like new writers. I WANT to get to know new people, ideas, approaches. I read probably seven to ten books a month, easy, and I’m one of those good customers out there. So you don’t need to beat me over the head with stuff.
Write well. Post rarely. Have something to say. Whisper funny stuff in my ear and I’ll follow you anywhere.
Sending all of you wonderful writers out there much love for Valentine’s Day.