I'm an author and a writer so please follow me

I’m an author. Me too! I’m a writer. Me too!

Being an author, novelist, writer or whatever tag you place on yourself is a rather thankless occupation. After slaving away for months and months on end writing a great story and going through the pain of editing, proofreading, independent appraisal, finding an agent or publishing it yourself, what do you get?

If you’re lucky, some sales that go nowhere near paying for the time you spent writing, some good reviews, a lot of criticism and a feeling that you’d better start all over again. Better luck next time. We are all honest enough to know that a raging bestseller is rarer than rocking horse droppings, so we stay realistic yet pessimistic and fatalistic. With an occupation such as this, it is now such a pleasure to be able to discuss our woes with our fellow masochistic scribblers on social media. It helps to know that we’re not alone and from time to time gives us the opportunity to have a shoulder to cry on.

Well, in all honesty, I say to you get over it and get on with it. Getting all chummy and warm with other authors isn’t going to sell one single book.

When I looked at the profiles of a number of authors on Twitter is became clear from their followers and following that they consisted mainly of other authors, lit agents and book bloggers. What was missing were avid readers. Now I’m not pointing the finger here, as I was until recently as guilty as any. Until I realised my stupid mistake. I forgot about finding new readers for my books, and isn’t that exactly why we are on social media in such numbers?

So I have changed my outlook completely and now make a follow of anyone with anything at all to do with writing, editing, publishing or reviewing books as the exception. I know many of my readers and they are doctors, plumbers, nurses, PA’s, SAHM’s, carpenters and police just to name a few. So I’m off, hunting for tradesmen, bankers, clerks and gardeners.

So will you get out of the ‘Author Cuddle Huddle’ and start up conversations with those people who will, in the end, put food on the table?

The Cosy Author Cuddle Huddle
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6 thoughts on “The Cosy Author Cuddle Huddle

  • 17/09/2011 at 5:16 pm
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    Trouble is Derek, that talking to others via Twitter or any other social networking system for people like us, is time not spent writing. See what you’ve done, you’ve stopped me now. lol :D

  • 17/09/2011 at 5:51 pm
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    I’m clearly in the ‘cuddle huddle of authors’ group. I learned from one of your earlier posts to follow readers, but so far they’ve been difficult for me to find. Authors keep flocking together like electrons to the positive terminal. I know it will take more work to seek out and pool together a good group of readers. In the end, I do believe it will pay off.

  • 17/09/2011 at 11:25 pm
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    I minimize interaction with other authors. They’re competition ;)

    But readers, yeah, bring them on! :D

    Pallav

  • 17/09/2011 at 11:52 pm
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    Can’t agree Pallav. I never regard other writers as competition. Writing has never been about competing against one another. It’s a unique vocation in that regard.

  • 18/09/2011 at 3:25 am
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    Derek,

    You are a mind reader! I was just thinking about this today and vowed to change my approach! Your blog post just solidified what I was thinking. Thank you!

    ~TC

  • 21/09/2011 at 5:10 pm
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    I was poking around on the KDP forums and had asked if anyone knew where to find readers and connect with them (not to spam, of course, just to join conversations). The response was almost universal ‘We all read what are we chopped liver?’

    I found one reader site through Twitter by following librarythingtim but the really important thing to keep in mind is that you can’t show up at sites like that shoving your books in their faces. (They usually set up a nice quiet little corner of the site where you can get all that out of your system.)

    The best thing you can do is just join into conversations. No links to your books, no casual dropping your titles into your comments, just interact. When they get curious enough to check your profile and see that you are a writer, and a polite one at that, they might decide to check out your work.

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