By R. B. Wood
(Richard Wood is a friend whose first novel, The Prodigal’s Foole, has just been published by Pfoxmoor. As part of his blog tour to celebrate its launch, I’ve invited him to give us some observations on writing today. Here's what he thinks.)
The twenty-first century for writers is a marvelous time to be in the business.
The big six are trying to figure out what to do with the ebook revolution while Amazon nips at their heels to eliminate the middlemen (namely agents and other publishers).
Small indie presses are popping out of the ground like daisies and the self-publishing market is exploding.
What does all of this have to do with social media and said internet tools being a double-edged sword?
Let an old man get to the point in his own way.
Never since the introduction of the printing press (“Gutenberg!” you all shout – no… it was introduced much earlier. But that’s for another post), has there been such a revolution in the writing/publication industry as that which we are witnessing today. The small and self-publishing market alone has expanded dramatically and shows no sign of slowing down.
Both Bill Kirton and I are proud to be listed with other fine authors of the Pfoxpub group, under the hardworking leadership of Ms. Diane Nelson. Pfoxpub, which encompasses both the Pfoxmoor and more adult leaning Pfoxchase imprints, is one such small press that has arrived on the scene to embrace the new publishing model.
But along with being in the literary company of a small cadre of excellent authors, editors, and artists there comes a problem. See, the marketing budgets of the ‘Big Six’ are significantly larger than our budget. So how do we compensate for this disparity?
Well, the internet and social media of course. Told you I’d get there eventually.
Tools like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ are used with some success in advertising our wares. We’ve done other internet-based marketing as well, from blog tours to online trailers and from Writer websites to Facebook Fan pages and participation in online forums. Social media has been a big part of “getting the word out there.”
But it is a double-edged sword for two reasons.
TIME – All of these activities take time away from the actual writing. Websites need to be maintained. Twitter posts need to be consistent and conversational. And don’t get me started on Facebook, which in my opinion is the digital equivalent of the rabbit hole poor
fell into. The Social Media
campaign takes time, planning and in some instances as much creativity as was
poured into the stories we want to sell in the first place. Alice
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve found loads of advice online for an “indie writer” such as myself. I’ve made fantastic friendships (I’m proud to count Bill as one such friend), found amazing critic partners and all have generally improved my writing significantly.
Which leads me to the other part of our imaginary blade:
90% of those I’m connected with are writers. This is fantastic when you are just starting out. But make no mistake about it, most of the folks you end up connecting with in the writing world are trying to sell their own stories. And think about how many of your 2500 Twitter friends’ books you’ve purchased in the past year. A dozen? Half-a-dozen?
So even in this new world of ebooks and social media, we writers are left with the age old dilemma. Finding the READERS to go with all those writers whose company you enjoy online.
Social media will get the new millennium writer started. And you’ll be amazed at the number of writers out there who will want to connect to you as well. But remember two things about this new world we all are struggling with: limit/plan your time on social media; and make sure you connect with readers of your genre as well as those dear writer friends.
Links for Richard:Podcast (The Word Count)
Trailer for The Prodigal’s FooleShare |
Links for The Prodigal's Foole:
Links for The Prodigal's Foole: