Thursday, 26 January 2012

Finding a Balance

I'm on the verge of getting very frustrated with social networking. Every day it feels as though something new is popping up, some must-do, fantastic site which will help us sell loads of books and reach a new audience: Klout, Google+, Triberr... just to name a few.

Sure, I'm a fan of facebook and twitter, and obviously I use Blogger, but really I'm not sure if I can handle much more. I'm a writer because I want to write fiction, not because I want to be soliciting myself on numerous sites, trying to build up a name so people will recognise me and hopefully go on to buy my books.

Okay, I know I have to do some of that, but really, does it have to be quite so much? I know I need to build up my readership and to some extent I'm happy to do that. I just wonder if I'll be happier being a writer who is spending most of their time actually writing and is only earning a moderate wage, compared to a writer who doesn't do as much writing, but is selling loads because they're always playing the social networking card.

I guess it's like most things; a balance needs to be found. Yes, I'm living my dream, being able to write full time. But my dream never involved placing all my self-worth as a writer on what score I've got on Klout (I mean, someone actually messaged me on twitter to tell me what I had and then what they had. Why the hell would they think I'd care???).

Maybe if I get more involved in all these different sites, I'll propel my career into the stratosphere. But then maybe if I just keep writing and getting books out, I'll just naturally build up a following because people, instead of following me because they want to find out via twitter what I had for lunch, have just read and enjoyed my books over a number of years.

Sure, it's slow and steady, but it never did authors in the past any harm!


  1. I'm right there with you. I'd much rather my words held weight than my popularity status. Never cared much for the name game in high school either. (Hugs)Indigo

  2. Thanks Indigo. I'm sure I'm not the only one out there who hates the 'pimping themselves' process. These days it seems to be a necessary evil!

  3. I'm pretty heavily involved in maintaining my two blogs, a large FB image, etc. However, I am a non pimper of my own writing. I post free samples of my writing on my blog, am writing a novel there, etc. I feel if people like what they read, they will ask for more or read my novels coming out this year. The rest of what I do is to promote others. I'm working on changing my blog a bit to add other publishers on the left side with direct click links to their sites, and below that I'll have links to their latest books. That way, I can be more productive with my blogging time.

    I certainly feel where you're coming from. The end of the day is mine: time to write. And that time is precious to me.

    Finding a balance is not easy, Marissa. Hopefully you and I will hit the perfect solution. Let me know if you do.


  4. Thanks for your input, Blaze! I doubt you will ever get that call from me going, 'yes! I did it! I found the perfect balance!' I'm sure I will spend the rest of my career grumbling about any time on my laptop that isn't spent doing what I love; i.e. actually writing. But then I have to remember that all jobs have their bad points. I guess sometimes you just have to suck it up!

  5. Hi, Marissa! Yeah. This stuff is crazy! I don't have the time to even mess with Twitter. I mean, I don't understand why I need to do more than share something on Twitter. If someone wants to follow me, fine. I like facebook better. Since I work 32 hours a week, I don't have the luxury of even going around many of the blogs I follow. Let alone maintain my own.

    Writing is what I want to do. And I've got too many stories in me to be worried about all this extra stuff, so I'm with you on that. It dose seem, like Blaze says, like pimping your books all over the place. I belong to several facebook groups. I can't keep up with them, let alone get very involved.

    Yes, I too am trying to find a balance and working on my writing at night. Oops. I just did this, but you're one of my bloggie friends (^;

  6. Sounds like we all agree there is no "magic pill." Damn! Guess we'll all keep searching for the Holy Grail. Perhaps the Grail lies within the great people we meet in this wonky business. You ladies are great, and I have met many other great people. So see: not all of this is merely a time suck, is it? :D


  7. *stands on table and applauds*
    Marissa, my friend. Just keep writing. You are kicking so much butt right now, I can't believe it!! Every time I turn around it seems like you've got another release out! With any luck you will no longer have to do as much on the social sites. Instead, you will only do it for fun. Pretty soon the books will begin selling themselves.
    Your buddy,


  8. Oh, wow, I hope so Jimmy! For books to sell themselves is surely every writer's dream? Maybe, a few years from now, I'll be able to see that sort of success, but for now I guess I'll just have to keep plugging away like everyone else!

  9. Hey there,

    I've actually just only recently stumbled over some of your books, and obviously started devouring them at a considerable speed. I would never have seen them through a blog or any other of these surely fantastic sites. In all honesty, it was more luck than anything else that turned up one of your books in an Amazon search. I find this a quite intriguing subject actually - how in many cases these days, we seem to get to know the people a little before we get to know what they actually do, though. You seem to prefer readers to find you through your work (to me it's the natural way to do it - you know, shine with your talent!), rather than finding your work through you. You've compelling stories to offer, and while getting your name out there can't really hurt, it'll always be the stories that will make a stronger point to me.

    Thanks very much for that! :)


  10. Thanks Franziska! It's lovely to hear from a reader's POV. So often, us writers surround ourselves with other writers and we're all madly blogging, facebooking and tweeting to each. Unfortunately, as you pointed out, most readers find books via Amazon or word of mouth. Many readers probably don't even think about book blogs!
    Thanks for reading!

  11. Hi Marissa,

    I agree with you - there's way too many to choose from. I'd say pick what you like, update what and when you can, and let the rest sort itself out! I'm partway through "Alone" on my Kindle, and really enjoying it - so making sure you've got the book-writing time is key.

    (In the meantime, since you're still using blogger... I've shared a "Versatile Blogger" award with you. Drop by my site to collect it - though more than understood if you'd prefer not - these things aren't everyone's "cuppa".)

    Good luck with your current WIP!

  12. Hi Chris! Thanks for reading 'Alone'! It always makes me happy to know people are reading (and enjoying) my books.

    I'll drop by your blog now. Thanks for the award!