Friday, October 4, 2013

Authors Are Spending Too Much Time On Social Self-Promotion

First, let me point you to the source article I am grabbing my discussion from:

Indie Authors Are Spending Too Much Time On Social Self-Promotion

Note how I dropped the “Indie” on this. I think this applies to Indie, Small Press, Mid-sized press, and all authors who are not top tier sales at a large publisher.

The argument is a simple one. If you are spending too much time on social self-promotion then you are not writing, or working on your craft. The problem is that even publishers don’t seem to care about quality any more. They care – with good reason – about survival and survival is by sales.

The mistake is, in my ever so humble opinion, that this fundamentally insults readers over the long term. Sure, if the book goes viral it will launch your career 50 shaded ways, but your writing won’t improve and worse, what fans you do have won’t get that second, third, fourth book.

I love two quotes from this blog (one pulled from U.K.’s The Guardian—emphasis added):

In a recent article in The Guardian, Nesrine Mailk said, “A distinguished British author and historian recently told me in a private conversation that his publisher had forced him to go on Twitter in order to promote his latest book. Having joined just for this purpose, his timeline was an unbroken litany of self-advertisement. He soon realized that the constant promotion was backfiring, and that his ‘brand’ was being tarnished as followers were beginning to snipe at his hitherto exalted status. Indeed, the whole exercise was creating the impression that he was a pompous bore whose brash self-promotion did not match the profundity of his work – but he did not know how to rectify that.”


…take the advice of Bret Easton Ellis‘s friend, who reportedly told him at the Vanity Fair Oscars’ party: “You need to get off Twitter. People think you’re crazy.”

Now the authors are New Libri Press are going to remember that I said “go out and promote your book, because we don’t have a marketing budget that counts,” and say “what the f*ck? You’re telling me now NOT to promote my book.

No, we are interested in survival too. But, like many micro presses (publishing less than 25 titles per year) we believe in the authors. So, sure, we want it all. We want promotion and another book from our authors. But, for the good of writing in general and a long term focus, we know where we would come down on the question of “I can write, or I can promote, which do you want me to do?”

Write. Keep writing. Get better. Live long and prosper.