As an indie writer I am faced with the enormous task of building a following for myself, preferably before my first book even hits the virtual shelves. Unlike an author who goes the traditional publishing route I do not have a crack team of marketing professionals at my disposal, or an agent who will go to bat for me. I am just another no-name author in a sea of thousands vying for the attention of readers who have absolutely no obligation to buy my book or even notice me. It is not their job to find me, it is mine to put myself out there where they will see me.
As those of you who are adrift on the same ocean of self-publishing as I am know, this is an arduous, time-consuming, and oftentimes daunting task. Where do I begin? Which social media avenues should I pursue? How often should I blog, or Facebook, or Tweet? What do people want to know about me? There are a thousand questions breaking the surface of this vast ocean like whitecaps. And for every one there are a dozen others lurking beneath the dark waters, circling like some great gliding behemoth of the sea waiting for that first tantalizing drop of blood.
Luckily, what I do have is an amazing support group of friends and family who are happy to pimp me out (I told Mr. Awesome Sauce yesterday that his new nickname should be MacDaddy Awesome Sauce. I don’t think he was too keen on that one!), and you dear readers. Whatever it is that has drawn you to my little corner of the blogosphere I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sticking around, and joining me on this voyage.
The question remains though, how do I continue to attract followers, and what can I do to keep them?
For someone who generally finds it easy to pen a tale, I seem to have an inordinate amount of trouble coming up with engaging topics for this blog. I could simply recycle the same tried and true topics that I have seen several other bloggers touch upon, but I don’t want to feel like I am simply regurgitating the same material that’s been discussed a hundred times already. So, what on earth do I talk about? Do people really want to know that I had oatmeal breakfast for the fifth day in a row? Doubtful. Even I don’t really want to know that. But at the same time I feel like people want to see me in my blog, not just me begging everyone to “Please follow my blog, like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter!” I don’t ever want my blog to feel like a constant barrage of pleas for people to buy my work, but rather a chance for them to get to know the person behind the words, and occasionally get updates on how the books are coming along, and some of the experiences I’ve had while sailing along on this voyage of achieving my dream.
I’m not sure if this post really ended up fitting the title, or if it was just a chance for me to express some of thoughts on what it feels like to be a newbie indie author just trying to stay afloat in an unending sea of fellow authors. In the end all I can do is…