If anyone believes that being an author is a solitary persuit, then I beg to differ. I may have agreed with that until eighteen months ago. Sat closeted in a room researching, writing and editing for eighteen months until the book is ready to be released into the world to fly or sink, Yes, I did that. However, you are unlikely to see more than a trickle of sales that way. The only way to get your book noticed is to get yourself noticed too.
When I retired from my day job, the thing I most missed was human interaction. Becoming an author was not an intentional way of cutting myself off from the world. Rather it satisfied my desire for intellectual stimulus and creativity but did little for my social life. So what changed? Two important steps from which all else has followed..
Joining a group of local authors who are willing to share their experience and are already getting out there. It’s called CHINDI.
Secondly planning a joint book launch with three friends from my writers group, all of us Twitter virgins. I’m not going to reiterate what we did to get that particular show on the road. But the impetus that gave us was huge. We went from being full of self doubt to being full on social media converts and to making contacts with book bloggers across the UK and across the rest of the English speaking world. Teamwork gave us the confidence to say ‘Ok, I’ll give it a go.’
We joined author Facebook Groups we didn’t know existed, made loads of virtual, supportive friends and are paying it forward ourselves.
So what is the message here?
Three Ss – Support each other; Share your knowledge; your time and contacts; and Socialise via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or whatever comes up next.
That’s not to dismiss newspapers, radio etc. But be imaginative. If you don’t know how to do something, ask. Someone will help.
And my sales? In the last two years they have risen sixfold. Pages read on kindle unlimited quadrupled over the last year, all without spending money on adverts.