Café novelist

Frustrated indie author!

Holding your own counsel

on March 29, 2014

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I just don’t have the attention span or interest to contribute to forums. As self-published authors there seems to be a lot of advice ‘out there’ to contribute to writers’ forums and build up relationships which will help promote one’s brand. That’s all well and good and I see no problem with this, and of course I want people to know about my work. Now call me an old cynic but I can’t help but think when I read the posts on those forums that there are a lot of thinly-veiled attempts at self-promotion, wrapped up in words of advice or simply points of view. When I have looked at one of those forums in particular you see the same names crop up all the time and one contributor always has a short tag-line and a link to their work on every post. I think it has the opposite effect, for when I see their name I don’t even bother to see what they’ve written.
One contributor’s post made me laugh as they had written an in-depth answer to someone’s initial question. In that response they had mentioned about how many books they had written and how well they were doing on Amazon’s sales charts. Nearing the end of this lengthy reply they said that they had no time for self-promotion as they were too busy writing books! Hmm, I thought, you don’t seem to be doing too badly. Another forum which I initially started reading when I made my first foray into self-publishing was full of such angry people dishing out large doses of abuse to people who strayed even slightly from the rules that I don’t even go anywhere near it now. If you are a self-published author I think you know which forum I am referring to! I know there are a lot of authors out there who are embarking on their first foray into the self-publishing world who need advice. Don’t get me wrong there are a huge number of people on those forums who are knowledgeable and generous with their advice. If you are looking for advice on technical issues such as formatting for Kindle and CreateSpace then they are an invaluable tool. I for one looked up all the information on my own and taught myself what I didn’t know and only started reading forums later on.
We all have a style of writing, unique to the individual author, so I would say revel in your own personal style of writing and believe in it like only you can. I have seen people asking for reviews on forums but I would say, be patient, for if your work is truly any good then the reviews will come. After all someone who has bought your book has already liked enough about it to part with their hard-earned money and if you’re lucky will leave an honest review – these unsolicited reviews are the ones which you should cherish – good or bad. I’ve decided to leave forums alone now as I’m quite happy doing my own thing and just read the blogs that I have chosen to follow. Each to their own.
See, look at that, I’ve written this lengthy post without once referring to my book, The Shamanic Prophecy – whoops!
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2 responses to “Holding your own counsel

  1. Susans says:

    “I think it has the opposite effect, for when I see their name I don’t even bother to see what they’ve written.”

    Funny – I just read more or less exactly that in Jeff VanderMeer’s book this morning. There is a balance apparently and one person selling themselves over and over is often going to be counter-productive!


    • Yes, that’s what I find. It’s a bit like an over-enthusiastic sales assistant in a shop, if they try to sell too much then I just walk out! You have to use a personal approach and not a blanket sell-all to everybody.


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