BJK White Factoid Of The Hour: I don’t like coffee, except those little packet just-add-hot-water things, and instant coffee with UHT creamer and packet sugar at camping grounds. Tea, of course, is lovely.
Today’s self-promotional activity was suggested by MSTHRILLER of Kindleboards. (Yesterday’s, ‘start a blog’, was suggested by Anne K. Albert, also of Kindleboards.) Here is the suggestion:
“Sign up for goodreads.com and join a group in a genre that you read (and write in).”
So I found “Wild Things: YA Grown Up“, which seemed adequately perfect (also there were no pirate-themed groups; boo). They have strict rules about self-promotion that I firmly agree with–no promoting until you’re an active member of the group–so I won’t actually be doing much promoting there for a while. But it’s a start, a firm decision has been made. And that’s always a good thing.
Joining groups is always a bit delicate when your primary goal is ‘letting people know about your books’. You don’t want to just be using a group, but on the other hand you probably wouldn’t be there if you weren’t trying to increase your exposure. What I try to do is just forget that I’m an author, forget that I have books that people might want to buy, and let my secondary motivations rise to the surface–I like to talk about books and other interesting things, I like to engage politely with people, I like reading new ideas and sharing my own. Rather than looking for opportunities to hawk my wares, I try my best to just be a regular member of the group. Of course, this is where the ‘delicate’ part comes in, it’s fine to just be part of a group, but people won’t just read your stunningly constructed and brilliantly insightful posts, stroke their goatees and utter to their manservants, “Wilkins, I do believe that this young man may be none other than … an author! Yes, yes, my deduction could not possibly be in error–hie thee to the local book depository and retrieve his complete works, post-haste!”. Although a world in which that actually happened would be amazing. But no, unless you give at least SOME indication as to the existence of your books and your status as an author, no one’s going to know.
Another issue is that of ‘time’. There are only so many hours in the day, and with two young girls to help look after my free time is already limited, and every hour I spend on message boards is an hour that I’m not doing any writing. My main haunt would be the Kindleboards (Link!), which are filled with people who are just, oh, lovely. I spend about an hour there every day, which I consider time well spent–aside from all the useful advice and support, it’s just nice to be a bit social from time to time. I think a lot of writers are natural hermits, suited more to squatting in caves muttering to themselves and emitting the occasional mad cackle than actually going out into society and being allowed to talk to real people, but a touch of human contact is nice for even the loneliest hermit.
However, getting back to the point (such as it is), if I now choose to become a member of this new group then I’m going to have to find time to spend there, as well. The danger lies in ‘spreading yourself too thin’, of trying to engage with too many different groups. Probably what I’ll do is just check the Goodreads group a couple of times a day, see if there are any immediately interesting topics or replies to my posts, then with great discipline and self-control close the tab and get on with some work, instead of dredging through posts for hours on end while thinking “you know, I should really be doing some writing” and then getting all guilty about it when I realise it’s four o’clock and I’ve only written six words, five of which are ‘ohno!’.
So! That’s my promotionally exposing activity for the day. Any suggestions for further activities would be warmly welcomed and probably given a little cuddle. How should I promote myself next? Stay tuned to find out!
Next: Something Else To Do With Promotion Probably.