Gabrielle Bisset

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What Counts

I've been feeling a bit at loose ends lately concerning the whole indie pubbing thing.  Wearing all the hats is a lot of work, and since the end of 2011, it's been wearing on me.  What I want to do is write.  What I'm told I must do is promote.  These two things are often at odds.

The truth is that I realized a while back that the only promotion worth anything is reaching out directly to readers.  Reviews are nice, but I haven't seen that for the most part they sell books or deter the sale of books.  What sells books is good writing and getting to know your readers.  It's the reason I do all the giveaway hops.  Sure, they get people to my blog, but what they really do is introduce me to people who are interested in my work. 

I love to find out other authors are feeling the way I do.  Writing is often a solitary act, so it's great to find out others are dealing with the same things you are.  Joe Konrath did just that on Monday in his blog post Writing Matters.  For me, the takeaway from his post were these lines about what makes a book sell:

"I've also seen the opposite thing happen. A book has a good cover and a few 5 star shills, and it does well for a few weeks, and then because it isn't very good the 1 star reviews take over, killing its sales. If you put a fresh coat of paint on a turd, it's still a turd.

The writing counts.

If you're a writer in 2012, it's important to be savvy about social networking, publicity, marketing, platforms, covers, formats, and all the things associated with self-publishing and ebooks.

But the most important thing is the book itself."

So true.  In the end, what matters to me is the story.  It's the reason I do the research, worry about structural issues, and care so much about the editing--all things that readers rarely take notice of unless they're not done well.  With a little luck, I can reach a good number of people and they may enjoy a book and tell others.  No matter how many readers I reach, though, I know that I put the most important thing first.

The writing. 

To read the rest of his post, visit his blog A Newbie's Guide To Publishing.

Have a great day and happy Read An E-Book Week everybody! 


Eden "Kymele" Mabee said...

It's all about communication. I believe a writer wants to open a dialogue with other people, and that is why s/he writes. And part of that dialogue, while not always the easiest to manage, comes via social media. The sharing... what you want, what he wants and she wants, what we all want to offer each other and take from each other...

And readers know when you haven't done your homework. They want something real and honest.

Nice piece, thank you for sharing it with us.

Ciara Gold said...

Excellent post. I've been warring with some of the same issues. I'd much rather write and write well than give up that time to promotion that doesn't seem to work.

Unknown said...

Thanks for stopping by Kymele and Ciara!

Lily Graison said...

I made a post similar to this today. Writing really is the easy part, even though it feels like I'm beating my head against the desk at times. Connecting with readers, networking and promoting your books is where the hard work, and most time consuming, part comes in, especially for those who are 'quiet' by nature. I'm not normally quiet but putting yourself out there makes us all vulnerable to a certain degree.

Great post! Just keep keeping on. I'm still under the belief that it 'will' get easier. Or I'm hoping it will.