Since finally committing to (and following through on) writing a book, my life has been a blur?not of parties and adulation, but of hard, hard work. In this new world, writing and publishing the book is only the first and arguably the easiest of many steps.
A real writer is chomping at the bit and already at work on the next project. She’s intent on applying the hard-won lessons from the previous work and getting a new cast of characters onto the page.
But can she simply write? No. Along with the challenge of 1,000 words or umpteen pages per day, she is faced with the uphill battle of being the marketer of the newly published book. The size of the task depends, these days, on the degree of her savvy in the tech and social media universe.
For someone who didn’t teethe on computers, my learning curve has been monumental. And ongoing. And simultaneously frustrating and satisfying. Just when I think, Yes, I do believe I’ve got it, the target moves, disappears, or is updated. While I can acknowledge I’ve come a long way, baby, it hasn’t been easy or pretty.
Conventional wisdom says that no matter what you are attempting to sell, you need a platform. That platform boils down to who knows you and is likely to buy whatever it is You’re flogging. These days platforms are built through Twitter, Facebook, blogging, websites, and the like. The goal is to lay down tracks that lead back to you.
Not only do you have to learn how to do all these things, you need to give value. Anything blatantly hard-shell takes on the scent of desperation and is soon dismissed as spam. Any blog that is intermittent loses its lustre?not to mention its search engine optimization. With billions of things (real and virtual) clamouring for each nanosecond of our attention, anything that doesn’t amuse or inform us is a bloody waste of time.
So in the last few weeks and months, I’ve learned to Tweet?even though I’ve mocked it in the past. (Never say never.) Could I be doing it better, more frequently, and using more hashtags? Without a doubt.
I’ve started a blog-type website through WordPress and am still learning the how-to and potential of the dashboard. That, too, is a work in progress. I needed to keep trying different themes until I found one that responded to my clumsy efforts. Do I blog enough? No. Are the entries penetratingly brilliant when I do? Depends on the audience I guess, but here, too, I have a long way to go. I still haven’t caved and started a Facebook page, but who knows?
So between reading RSS feeds, Tweeting, blogging, and updating the website, just when am I supposed to write? And I still haven’t tried joining a forum or guest blogging or adding comments or, or, or . . . Guess It’s too late to be an early adopter, from where I sit.