Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Writing and Selling Books

If there is a part of my 'job' that I still don't really like, it's the self-promotion part. 'Hey!  Look at my book!  It's a masterpiece! Buy it now!'

I know that I'm talking to people who know exactly what I mean, and if we didn't have to do it, wouldn't it be marvellous?

We could spend our precious free time writing books, creating the plots and the characters that inhabit that other world inside our heads as we go off to work, having shoved the latest pile of dirty washing into the machine so that we can forget to hang it out later.

I have my routine, just as everyone does. In the morning, I get up at around six-thirty, full of book, and see the kids to the school bus. Then it's home to write up my new ideas for a couple of hours before my husband gets up and goes to work in his office.  After coffee and almond croissants (I wish you could try one!) I do my tweeting and retweeting.  The tweets are fun to write and I enjoy trying to make them intriguing and snappy.  The retweeting takes a lot of time.  I like to read what I am retweeting and reply to any tweets I particularly like.  Then, before you can say 'that book will never get written', it's time to tidy the house and make some lunch, prepare my lessons and teach my classes.

The afternoons are chaotic and too boring to go on about here.  But I generally slink off and do some more writing when I can get away with it, always reading what I wrote earlier to get back into the flow and generally working until my eyes give out.

Evenings in are spent on the computer again, in front of the television.  I like to watch BBC four while I whizz around my virtual world, chatting with the interesting folk involved in the world of books; having a bit of a laugh and telling people about my writing.

And when a new book is finished, after all the edits and re-edits have been done, when it has been formatted and re-read before being published, I set about composing new tweets and wade in.  However,I can't help feeling that I am blowing my own trumpet very loudly indeed and that people will shudder to read that I have received another five-star review..

But the reviews I get thrill me.  They drive me on and validate my faith in my writing.  I am grateful for the effort made by the people who have not only read my books, but have taken the time and the trouble to leave a comment on Amazon or Goodreads.

As an examiner, I must say that the star rating is rather unscientific, but until someone comes up with a different system, I suppose we are stuck with it, even it it means that relatively unknown authors must rely upon other methods to get noticed, while people in the public eye zoom to the top of the charts and stay there. 

Selling books is quite different from writing books.  In a perfect world, we would all have someone to do it for us.  Having said that, my good friend and ex-astronomy teacher, Dr. Stuart Clark, assures me that the only person who ever sells books is the author.  He goes all over the world promoting his work. And he is very talented and successful.  Nevertheless, I am not convinced that I would like to follow this path (I know that you are thinking the same thing that I am thinking - 'Fat chance!'),  But I am glad not to be following the traditional route for now.  I like being in control of my books.

I suppose it's about finding the right balance and being a bit of a realist.  If I didn't tweet and if my fabulous friends on Twitter didn't retweet me, I would end up with a pile of books that would never be read, and that would be too sad.

So, if you have any miraculous solutions, leave a comment.  In the meantime, in a world where there are far more important things going on, I'll shut up and get on with it...

No comments:

Post a Comment