Updated: Dec 31, 2019
How many of you authors are overwhelmed because you don't know what you're doing or how to do it?
I bet there are a lot of you.
I hear a lot of author's who say they just give up on something because it is just too frustrating. I get it. I did that when I first got on Twitter. I wasn't on any social media. I started out on Twitter. After a month I shut down my account and cried a lot.
YES - I cried over Twitter. I am not ashamed to say it. Then I read some stuff on how to do it right, and I got back on. Glad I did too. It is by far my favorite social media. It fits me. Doesn't mean it wasn't hard and time consuming. And that's it in a nutshell--anything you want will cost you time and patience. A hell of a lot of both.
I think as new authors we have been told you need to be on this and that, you must do a blog, or be on Facebook. We are told you need to be on all things to build your reader fan base.
That is all true. However, I'm telling you, not to do everything all at once. I'm on everything, LOL! It's fucking hard. You can't do everything and not feel overwhelmed. You have to pick what will work for you and only do those. Find a balance. (FYI I will be streamlining my social media. I will be concentrating my efforts on YouTube, Twitter, Google +, Facebook, and my website.)
Listen, yes, as a new author you will need to utilize social media to help you get out there. But you don't want to be a jack of all trades and master of none.
Any social media you are on requires a shit ton of time. And depending which one, depends on how much time you have to spend.You have to cultivate a following on each social media platform. How do you do that, create content, curate content, and engage. All of those tasks take a shit ton of time.
You can use services like Hootsuite or Crowdfire to schedule posts. (I highly recommend both.) But you still have to write the posts. You have to schedule them. And you can't just posts shit and not interact with people. That would defeat the purpose.
Why am I telling you this?
I had an author tell me the other day, they were going to sign with a new indie publisher, just so they didn't have to learn how to use social media.
I was dumbfounded. If you are going to be a writer, and have it be more than just a hobby, you can't expect others to do your shit for you. Gone are the days of the writers living in the Ivory tower. Where all they had to do was write the books and the fans would flock, waiting to buy them.
You are going to have to learn how to use social media, marketing, promotion, and write the damn book.
And it doesn't matter if you are traditional or indie, you still need to do this stuff yourself. An agent isn't going to rep you if they have to do everything for you. They will expect you to put time in and work your ass off. A publisher will expect you to promote yourself as well. And if you signed a multi book deal, not only will you have to promote the current book, you will have to write the second book within a certain time frame.
I am amazed that there are author's who just say I'll pay someone to do that. For how long? I am not making any money at my writing YET. A smattering here or there.
I only pay for what I can't do on my own. Formatting: I learned how to do it, it's a horrible process. But at the end of the day I bought Joel Friedlander's Book Design Templates (One time fee). I pay for editing, (I suck at grammar.)
I studied Derek Murphy's book covers and read everything he had on making them. Then I bought software to design my book cover, and then guess what, I learned how to use it and I make my own covers. (Yes a traditional publisher will do these for you. I'm an Indie Author.)
I had someone mention each book they produced cost 3-5K....WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? Is what I wanted to say...but I was laughing too hard to get anything out. I later found out they pay someone to do almost all their shit. Why? Take the time to learn it. Then use that money on editing, marketing, and promoting. Or a bottle of whiskey!
You can pay someone to do everything. But what if that person quits doing that particular job, oh say right in the middle of your book publishing, and you don't know how to do it? What the hell then? You will shit your pants and cry a lot. And everything will come to a screeching halt.
My husband has often said I work for about .25 cents an hour with all the time I put into my books. Including writing, publishing, and promoting. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Your success will depend on how hard you want to work.
I write crime fiction horror, thriller, and paranormal novels. My time in the Coast Guard and my degree in Forensic Chemistry helps me create fantastic stories. If I'm not writing, I am binge watching Netflix and probably drinking whiskey.