I’ve been an indie author now for two and a half years. I can’t believe it’s only been that long sometimes, because in many ways it really feels like longer. A LOT longer! The other day I was posting something to my Facebook page and I noticed that they now have the facility to schedule posts, and I remembered how I used to actually schedule Tweets, and blog posts, and how I used to check my sales figures almost daily. It got me thinking about all the things I used to do when I first started out, and the things I discovered along the way, and how I’ve now dropped many if not most of those activities!
What’s going on here? Am I becoming lazy? Bored? Jaded? All of the above? Or did I start to discover that many of these things just don’t work, they take up too much time, they get on people’s nerves or are just plain silly?
I think a combination of factors are at play. First off, I have to hold up my hands and say that I’ve been doing less and less on the promotional side of things lately. I’ve had a busy summer, with family and personal health issues, and so my devotion to all things authory has been less than it was. And yes, I’m getting a little jaded about certain aspects of promotion. Who wants to read endless Tweets about books? I don’t even like Twitter very much, and I’m not that fond of Facebook either! (We need a new social network around about now, I think.) I love my blog – you’re never getting away from me, fellow bloggers and blog readers – and I still love writing and hearing from readers. Only last week I got a lovely email from a reader in Russia who had read and loved The Family Trap – that kind of thing makes the effort 100% worthwhile.
I used to produce regular vlog posts – videos of me reading out from my books, opening boxes of books, talking about books and publishing and locations and goodness knows what. Did anybody ever watch them? I don’t know.
I used to send out books wrapped in tissue paper with little stickers holding the paper together in the middle. I found the packet of stickers in a drawer the other day. No one buys paperbacks directly from me anymore – I guess they can order them from Amazon, and that’s a lot easier for everyone. But I have a stack of books under my bed, and I have all these stickers and all …
I used to blog regularly about self-publishing, offering all sorts of useful advice and templates and news and interviews. But these days there is so much out there on this topic, and all the information is already on the blog right here if anyone wants to use that little search box at the bottom of the page. In the closed forum on the Alli Facebook page there are new members joining all the time, and they ask such basic, elemental questions – questions about KDP and ISBNs and covers and pricing – and I find myself thinking: Really? You don’t know that already? You couldn’t just do an internet search and find that information at the touch of a button? (I guess they could, but why bother when you can just ask someone else and save time.) When I started out on this journey in January 2012 there wasn’t nearly as much written about the indie route; those coming to it now are lucky to have so many resources. But do I need to keep feeding this resource? What’s in it for me?
Well, I could paper my office wall with notes on all the things I used to do that I don’t do any more, but one thing is clear: I need to do something. I need to identify what I enjoy doing – the ways in which I enjoy connecting with readers and getting my news out there – and I need to make sure I’m doing that at least. I think I’m transitioning from thinking like an indie author to just thinking like an author. And that can’t be a bad thing.