What Not To Do To Sell Books

My WIP had not progressed as far as it should have so I dropped out off the cyber map for a few days. What I suspected would happen happened:

  1. My e-mail piled up.
  2. I acquired few Twitter followers.
  3. Fewer blog readers read my posts.
  4. Fewer readers bought my book.

In other words, my word count shot up and my “popularity” dropped. I proved that every marketer, author and social media expert who says we must create, increase and maintain our social media presence at all times to build a successful platform is correct.

Finding the time to write while running my author’s career is hard. I have read that authors should spend about 20% of their time on promoting themselves.  Then, I should be spending about 48 minutes a day on promoting. That’s enough to manage my inbox and to Tweet on a daily basis, but only enough to write one blog post per week.

I’m at that point where so many other authors have found themselves ready to say “To Hell with sales! I’m just going to write.” I don’t think that’s the way to go. It seems to diminish my goal of succeeding. It reduces my efforts to a hobby. And if writing were a hobby, the 20 hours I spend on it during the week and the other 20 I spend on the weekend would be considered overkill. Someone would say “You should really make a career out it if you’re spending that much time on it.”

I am standing at a fork in road. Toward the left runs the path where I could spend time promoting and no time writing until I can no longer call myself an author. This path is not an option although an easy one to walk. To the right lies the path where I could spend all my time writing and none of it on promoting. This is the most appealing path but success could be the price. Then there is the path ahead of me. The one I have plodded on for the last few months struggling to find the right balance between writing and promoting, switching between the two modes with difficulty.

I keep wondering if it will ever get easier. Has someone found the right formula? How do you switch between promotion mode and writing mode? Which aspect of your career do you find most difficult to handle? I love to hear from you. Leave a comment.


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  1. #1 by Edward Owen (@StoriesByEdward) on August 13, 2011 - 10:44 AM

    I am such a social animal that my writing tends to be the part that suffers, hence the “as yet unpublished” moniker. Setting time limits helps, but only if you pay attention to them. Great article, but my monitor (and my eyes) are having some difficulty with the white on yellow. Maybe it’s just me… I’m old LOL great article

    • #2 by Patricia Caviglia on August 13, 2011 - 11:07 AM

      And so often people think writers are hermits! So untrue. I’ve been trying to figure out how to boost my word count and get another camping trip in this month. Fun gets in the way of writing.

      Thanks for commenting on the blog color. I have been wondering about it for months but you are the first to say anything about it. I have noticed that depending on the computer I use the color is different. It should be a dark orange and brown but on some monitors it is more on the yellow side. I will fix it. Thanks again.

  2. #3 by patriciasands on August 12, 2011 - 7:50 AM

    So true! Finding the balance is the challenge. I guess the only comfort is that you are not alone!

    • #4 by Patricia Caviglia on August 13, 2011 - 11:00 AM

      You are so right, my friend. We have to keep in mind that we will accomplish our goals if we keep working on them.

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