How Much is Too Much?


As authors, we all know it’s up to us to market and promote our books. Times have changed, and it’s the rare author (except for the big names) who gets much support from his or her publisher. In fact, a lot of publishers are requesting a market plan from the author before they’ll consider contracting the book.

I’m sure most of us follow the same path. We read books on marketing. We sign up for Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc. We visit blogs of our friends, invite them to visit our blogs, and watch our numbers on Amazon.

I eventually reached a point where I was forced to ask−how much is too much? Little by little, I found myself spending more time with social media than I was with writing the books that required me to have a presence on social media. I was swallowed up with visiting the same author friends on the same blogs promoting the same books. I mean how many times can you wish someone ‘best of luck with XXX?’

This year will be super busy for me with what I already have under contract, planned to write, edit, and have published. Plus I’m the new president of my local RWA chapter. In addition I give back to the writing community by judging contests and critiquing other authors’ manuscripts and/or beta reading. And I enjoy giving book reviews as a trade for reviews of my books. It was time to take a serious look at how I was spending my time.

When it comes to writing, I’m usually a panster, but a definite plotter in my life. I tore apart my entire marketing strategy for 2012, went over what I did, what I thought worked, what I thought was fun, but generally a waste of time.

Several online groups I belonged to had become no more than cyber coffee klatches. They had to go. Twitter is important, and so is Facebook. Goodreads comes in third, and possibly (for me anyway) not the best use of my time.

Blogging is good. As long as I have something to say worth reading. Constant blogs about my books would become boring and uninteresting in no time. Hence this blog – well, maybe in part about my books, but more about my plans.

I checked out a few new things I’d learned about in my quest for the ‘perfect marketing plan’ and will see how they work out. But for the most part, I’m headed off into a better use of my time this year.

We’ll see how it goes, and I’ll report back next year. In the meantime, I’d like to hear what has worked for you, and what changes you might be making this year.

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