Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday's Focus: Why Can't I Just Be a Writer?

I'm really not whining, honest. Well, maybe just a little. But I can't help ask the question, why can't I just be a writer, and not have to worry about all these other things that come along with being a writer?

I have two books coming out within about 5 months of each other. Now, that's something to shout about, right?'s just not that simple, I'm finding out. There's the promotion element that is the elephant in my office. Oh, I knew I would have to do some promotion for my book(s), I just didn't know how much.

First, I have to set up a website. I'm still fighting that war, and havent won a battle yet. Or even a skirmish. So that's hanging over my head like an evil little spider just spinning its web and happily wondering when she can drop down for a surprise visit.

Now that school is about to be in session, I have to start going to the middle schools to see if, and how, I can set up a school visit. Not too much of a problem if you have a print book to show and hand out, but how do you do this kind of thing when your book is an e-book? My advisors tell me I need to think about how much I will charge for school visits. Excuse me? Charge? I feel like this is a privilege for me to be allowed to come into a classroom and talk about my book. I'm not going to charge for this privilege.

Then there is the "launch party." Where to have it, when to have it, how long should it be, how long should I take to talk about the book, and should I have a question and answer period? Q and A period? But both my books are MG, so will there be middle grade children there? And would they ask questions, or simply want to move along to the cookies and punch "period?"

Oh yes. The "giveaways." Most important. Book marks, mugs, t-shirts ?( too expensive for my limited budget so scratch them), Sticky Notes imprinted with the book's name, my name, etc., and...what else? There are literally 1,000s of things that can be used as giveaways, but they all cost money. Which I am not made of. I can make the, well, if I can find another 3 or 4 hours in the day to do so. Mugs, Sticky Notes, note pads...not too bad in the finance department, but still...

There are Blog Tours. Did you know that there are actually people who arrange for you to do blog tours, AND that you have to PAY them for that? Another expense I really can't afford. But as authors we are "expected" to do this. Do I have enough friends who will allow me to do a blog tour for free? And maybe do an interview with them, or perhaps guest post? I don't know.

Then there's the Media Kit. I'm supposed to go to the local radio and TV stations in my area ( I think there is one of each in this small county) and bring them all kinds of promos and information about me and my book, and make me "exciting" enough for them to want to do an in-person interview on both the radio and TV news shows. Oh, really?

The libraries. There are about 7 in this county. I have to go to all of them and talk about my book. But it's in e-book form. That limits the number of libraries who will be...possibly...carrying the book, because only a few have e-book capabilities. Also, I need to talk to the librarian in our town's library to see if I can have a launch party there. I was going to have it in our clubhouse. "Advisors" say no, try to set it up in your library. I told them it was going to be in the library of our clubhouse. They weren't impressed.

Advisors say, go to all the bookstores. That's a laugh. We have ONE bookstore in our town, owned by a friend of mine, and it's second-hand books only. But she is going to let me have a presentation there, but it's not exactly Barnes and Noble.

Facebook and Twitter. Hate them both. Advisors say, use them! Promote yourself and your book, that's what they are there for. Use social media to your advantage. I guess that's good advice if you're a social media person. I'm not. "Promoting" myself in that realm is just something I don't want to do. Sigh...don't think I have a choice.

Why can't I just be a writer?

Until next time,
That's a wrap.