I'm sure this has been mentioned somewhere, sometime before -- but it's a question that persistently baffles me. Sharing. We all read books. Most of us are writers. We encounter other writers, though this site, GoodReads, Facebook, Twitter and many other sites.
I'm curious about the enigma of reciprocity. I have helped promote other author's books on many online sites. I do not find they reciprocate. I buy and review other writer's works but they do not review mine, nor share a link. They certainly do not purchase mine. Others, not authors, do share a link or help promote. And they purchase.
I realize we are all attempting the daunting work of marketing/promotion our own works. Why is it that this quandary exists? Are we so enamored of our own works, that we are fearful of somebody stealing our thunder?
Why can't we, as writers, bloggers, etc. help each other? Am I missing something? Am I too naive about this subject? An example: I've followed many "established" authors on FB and Twitter. They do follow me as well. I post links/reviews about their books. They do not do the same for me. Am I asking too much?
I don't think so. This is intended mostly for the indie authors. We all want noticed. We all want our books to sell. I'm just not seeing the value of promoting the books of others, when my own work is ignored. Call me crazy, but I'm really quite curious (not angry) about this phenomena. Thoughts?
I agree with your thoughts, Michael, that we need to support each other. As a new indie author, I am in no way under any illusion of how difficult it is going to be to get my books out there. I have a similar story to yours too. I believe the more I give; the more I'll receive in turn. If no one reciprocates my goodwill then that's their loss. I'll just keep blogging, writing, reading and reviewing. Maybe people are time poor or they don't feel qualified to review someone else's books?
I agree, Susan, except I'm not so sure that people are "time poor." I've had some "name" authors -- best sellers -- continuously ask for my support. Over and over. I give them that. But -- when I ask for support for my book, silence falls like a snowy Winter night. I don't ask anyone to like or review my work, only to acknowledge it. I'm rather tired of helping others sell books and receiving a curious deafness in return.
I'm disillusioned. It seems to me like it's becoming a numbers game:" Let's see how many followers I can get. I will continue to promote my book and I'm happy that you are participating, but I'm not willing to acknowledge that you also have a book out," I'm becoming jaded about this process. It is daunting to continue to market and promote your own book -- without the reciprocal relationship. I'm about ready to give up. I've given much. I do not necessarily expect any return. But that would be a courtesy, to my way of thinking. I suppose I am out of the loop...
I don't feel in any way wronged or unfairly treated. I don't expect others to rush and purchase my books, review them or even give them a nod. I posed the question out of curiosity. I think it also calls into question the time we spend on all these various sites we inhabit to promote our own works. It's quite possible that spending so much time on so many sites is just not my cup of tea. Or perhaps I should learn to manage my time better, so there is at least some consistency to all this. One can get overwhelmed easily -- at least I can.
Oh, I'm fairly new to Book Blogs. I wasn't referring to anyone here. It's daunting, the attempt to keep up with all the sites, all the people, books, discussions.
I think I should have given this post a better title. I really am curious about how much time other writers spend on sites like this one. And if they are on many different sites or just pick two or three to visit and interact with?
We can't be everywhere at once and we all have other lives to lead as well as that of author. ;-)
I absolutely love this discussion. I've been on this site briefly- perhaps a month or more? - and I've been looking for real discussions but mostly what I see are posts of blogs, book covers, etc., with no one responding to anyone else. I began to feel as if the site were only "parallel play." Young children at play dates play alongside one another but not in any interactive together play.
I would love to see actual discussions where authors share their experiences. This social media thing seems highly recommended but I personally have not seen results from it. Or, rather, I have seen more people look at my sites but they don't buy.
I think one real issue is how to help someone from knowing about the book to making the step to buy it. That is one discussion I would truly enjoy hearing others' opinions of.
As for this particular discussion about reciprocity: I have had a great deal of internet publicity from the reviewers on this site. They are ardent supporters of spreading the word. I can't say I've noticed anything from those I've "followed" or added to my facebook, etc.
Thanks for the opportunity to express and invite opinions from fellow authors. This has been GREAT!
I think that's a fair and accurate assessment, Roger. I wouldn't have that much time, either. Everyone is very busy promoting their own work, not to mention writing. I'd love to receive a book plug/blurb from Neil Gaiman, but it's unlikely. :-)
As far as sales go, I've probably made more from Facebook than anywhere else. But that fades a bit in time, even with other people reposting links and reviews.
One thing that could be hurting me is Twitter. I really don't know how to use it, although I've read much from successful authors about how to go about it. I log in to Twitter and just see the same repetitious posts, for the most part. Perhaps I don't understand the language of RT and # and how the tweets zip by like bumblebees! I admit I'm not a fan. Therefore, I may well be disregarding a very important promotional tool. Between FB, Twitter, my own much-neglected blog, this place, GoodReads, flickr (where I began my "online" life) and others...I just feel too scattered. But, again, that's just me.
I think Book Blogs is a better environment for me. And I'm still learning, testing the waters here.
Writing has been a big part of my life. I wrote several novels, but only had my latest one professionally edited since English is my second language. Because I actually spend money on it, I felt I had to find a way to publish it.
The process of self-publishing took me into a whole new world. The world of promoting your own work. An entirely new ballgame, and very time consuming.
While exploring I found very interesting blogs, with great books, but finding your way through the maze of blogs, websites, social network sites etc. is overwhelming. Remembering where you've been is even harder.
It makes me want to crawl back into my own nest and disappear.
I know what you are going through, Starla. I've got two books out, working on a third. It's hard to get noticed with all the other books and author's trying to do the same. I've given up mostly on promotion/marketing. I followed the advice of writers I know -- and those I didn't but read. I joined so many internet sites that my head began to spin.
Despite what everyone tells you, you also need the mysterious ingredient of luck. That's been my experience over the past year.
I don't have the time to spend tweeting and pointing at myself. I don't even like Twitter. I don't care about it. I'll continue to write, knowing that my audience is going to be small, but still hoping for that good fortune to come my way. That doesn't mean I'll completely stop promoting. But, since nothing so far has worked for me (besides FaceBook), I'll stick with writing and setting up book-signings and getting the word out slowly.
I'd love to be able to make my living as a writer. But that just doesn't happen to many people and it sure won't happen overnight. The more you write and publish, the better. Besides, writing makes me happy. It's how I want/need to spend most of my free time.
I wish you well in your own endeavors and, though I also sometimes want to crawl back into my own nest, I urge you to keep pushing onward! If for no other reason than to please yourself! :-)
I second that. Thanks, Michael.
Your encouragement made me upload my novel to be able to sale it as a hardcopy. After that's done, I will spend the next few months working on my second English novel. It's what I love to do most. Writing.