Since I left South Africa I have become a full time writer by default. Those of you who know me, know how much I love writing. I will happily write all day if given half a chance. In the last few years I have written six novels: two for practice, three for sale as ebooks on Amazon, and one more to join them shortly.
I don’t have a problem writing at all.
However, I do have a problem marketing both myself and my books. It’s not that they don’t sell, but rather that they don’t sell fast. Granted, I haven’t exactly been bending over backwards to publicize them for the last few years. Moving to Australia took rather a lot of time and energy out of my life in the not too distant past, especially in the last two years.
Time waits for no man (or woman) and in the time that I have been pottering around getting ready to come to Australia, thousands and thousands more writers have made their books available as ebooks on Amazon.
To say that competition is fierce is as much an understatement as declaring that the animals used in the circuses of ancient Rome were a bit cranky and might be prone to biting. In the three years that have passed since I wrote that blog-post in which I called myself an invisible novelist, I have become even more invisible – if that’s possible.
In fact, my author presence now resembles that big double black hole that astronomers discovered just the other day (the one that looks like a dog’s nose). Or perhaps, in my case, that should be a triple black hole because I have three invisible novels out there in the ether that no one is seeing and even fewer are buying!
Some people are great at marketing their own work, but some of us just aren’t. I’m one of the latter. It doesn’t help that I’m naturally a bit shy, nervous and introverted when in the company of people I don’t know. This includes the WordPress blogosphere, all the new people I have met in Australia, and the entire universe, of course.
As much as I am part of the tribe of writers who could happily spend all day writing and never interact with their readers, I’ve realised in the last three years that this is not how today’s writers make a living. So I have finally taken the next big step and jumped on the bandwagon of trying to promote my own work and my author platform.
What exactly is an author platform? Basically it’s an internet presence so that you – all current and potential readers – can find me and see what I’m up to. I already have a website, 3 blogs, a twitter handle and a Facebook profile. None of them are big or rah-rah, but they will shortly be joined by my monthly email newsletter. This is simply a means of letting past readers of my novels, current readers of my blog, and potential readers of my upcoming novels, know my latest news. Such as: there will shortly be a new novel out, and those of you who have enjoyed my previous romantic mysteries might enjoy the next one as much as you did the others.
By the way, I’ve also decided to take advantage of Amazon’s freebies from time to time in the future, and I need to let people know when they can expect to be able to download any one of my books for free. Yes, it will happen – I just don’t know when. That’s one of the marvelous things about newsletters…
Also, in the not too distant future, I hope to investigate organising actual print copies of all my books, and to sell them on Amazon through their print-on-demand affiliate, Create Space.
So, in the spirit of all of this “keeping readers informed” stuff, my new email newsletter will debut shortly. It will be administered by Mail Chimp, and I would absolutely love it if people would join it using the following link: http://eepurl.com/bHtC0P
If you click on it, you will be taken to a sign up page where you will be asked to fill in your name and email address.
Please be assured that your privacy will be honoured, and your email address will never be passed on, sold, or used by anyone else other than me, and I shall only use it to send you one newsletter per month. If you sign up and then regret doing so, there will be an “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of every newsletter where you can opt out at any time if you don’t want to continue receiving them.
Well, there it is – my soul on the line – the formal plea that will hopefully earn me a few followers so that I can finally tackle the twenty-first century like an adult, and maybe I will even have more time to write!