Interesting article over at Publisher's Weekly by Jennifer McCartney about best-selling author Victorine E. Lieske.
Lieske says a key ingredient to success is to simply write a story that
people want to buy. “You’d be surprised at how many writers don’t
understand why their part science fiction, part women’s fiction, part
space opera, part paranormal romance, part dog mystery based loosely on
their life story isn’t a bestseller,” she says.
She examined her marketing and publicity efforts but remained confused.
Sales were steady and didn’t jump when she posted a blog or bought an
ad. So what was influencing people to buy her book? Lieske says she got
an email from a woman that helped solved the mystery. “She said, ‘Amazon
recommended your book to me, and I really enjoyed it.’” At that point,
Lieske realized that it was not her tireless marketing efforts that had
resulted in more sales. “I was doing all this work, blogging, and
posting on forums, and making book trailers, and all these things that
weren’t reaching people,” she says. “But Amazon could reach hundreds of
people each day.” She decided that the key to a book’s success must
happen before the book is published—a combination of writing, story
line, cover design, blurb, and price.
In other words, all the time and effort sunk into blogging, twittering, etc. is exactly that: sunk.
Funny, I was just thinking of making a book trailer.
What about blogging? It's kinda fun trying to write reviews. It's a very different kind of writing, compared to a novel, say, but it really doesn't help much of anything. You'd have to blog for years and years, on a very specific topic, to get any traction. I've tried to focus on Sci-fi and Post-Apocalyptic, but that's an area saturated with online material.
I may still write a review of Victor Gischler's Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse though. He's into the whole gritty, absurdist post-apocalyptic thang, complete with civilization saving strip clubs.
Damn, I thought I was original with my satire.
Google Communities are pretty touchy, so that's not a very viable way to connect with people. I'm contemplating starting one myself, but then, I imagine that'd just be another time sink, and there's probably good Wild West reasons for Communities to be so quick to delete and ban.
No easy answers, other than starting 5 years ago instead of now.
And I'll bet others be saying that in five years...