Saturday, June 1, 2013

You can't be everywhere

I've been doing a lot of blog reading in the past couple days and it's so much fun touching base with all these fantastic writers. But you know what? Sometimes it seems pretty overwhelming.

I read this yesterday. It's an article on marketing your novel, with ideas of what to do and how/where to interact if you want to promote your book without being Spammy McSpampants. And one of the points it makes is that yes, you should start laying the groundwork way before you even get a book deal.

That kinda stresses me out.

I'm already doing a lot of those things because I love to. I love reading about and meeting other authors through blogging, Twitter, and Facebook. And though I'm nowhere near the kind of network size I probably ought to be if I expect to get "attention" when I have books to advertise, I have a decent number of people paying attention to what I'm doing. So, what's the problem then?

Well, I'm not everywhere. I'm on Goodreads under a different name, because I love posting in-depth book reviews, but I'm not there "as an author." I'd like to be, but authors kind of aren't supposed to speak poorly of their "competition" (and even though I don't see other authors as competition, I do tend to be pretty hard on books, and when I give a one-star review, I bet they run away with their bottoms red). The link above suggests I should be on Goodreads, participating in groups and whatnot, but I'd kind of feel like a jerk if I signed up with a second account just so my public presence wouldn't be misinterpreted as me attacking my competition. I thought maybe I should just dip my toes in so I'll have been there a while when I do have something to promote, but . . . I just can't be everywhere. I don't know.

I'm already blogging in like five different places (two of which are attached to my public writing stuff). I'm tweeting and I'm Facebooking and I'm leaving comments whenever I'm inspired (which is, jeez, all the time). I make YouTube videos on writing, and have a separate channel that covers my primary nonfiction topic. I'm at Absolute Write and Figment and Poets&Writers and Query Tracker forum and SCWBI and WritersNet and YALITCHAT. I've participated in a bloghop for the first time and I want to do it again. I want to be in a position to host one someday and to do giveaways or cover reveals or guest posts when it's my turn. But I know I absolutely cannot do it all, even though I do seem to be able to, uh, smear my personality across the Internet more than most people do.

Maybe I need a schedule or something. Maybe I'd feel less stressed out by everything I want to create and consume and interact with if I set aside certain times for stuff and then say "Okay, that's all for now, more tomorrow." Or maybe scheduling is the opposite of what I should do. I'm not sure yet. I guess maybe I'm just trying to be in too many places at once--and considering I also have, oh, a job, a social life, and an absolute metric ton of creative projects ALWAYS on my plate, it's bound to get overwhelming sometimes.

I guess this weekend I should just focus on editing my book proposal to send back to my agent on Monday, and take little breaks to read blogs in between. One day at a time. Trying to stack up too much at once will cause an avalanche somewhere and bury me.

And I can't write if I'm dead.


  1. I learned quickly I can't be everywhere (despite what everyone thinks!) which is why I focus mainly on blogging with accounts on Twitter and Goodreads.
    The secret is to interact and support so that when your book is released, others will help you promote it so you don't become the annoying spam-promoter.
    And yes, a schedule helps! I keep a detailed calendar for my blog. Otherwise, I'd never remember everything.

    1. Yep! I have no interest in being anything but an authentic interactive participant in any community I've signed up to be part of. I guess the places I don't happen to have a presence will hear about my stuff anyway if others like me enough in the places I DO have a presence. :)