I’m not sure what I thought would happen, or what I thought I would feel once my first novel Find Me was online. In about three hours from posting this, it will have been for sale as an e-book on Amazon exactly a week. It feels like much longer.
Whatever I thought would come next, what actually happened was more of that new stuff I mentioned in my post Brave new world. Social Media stuff. And also admin, lots of admin. Navigating Amazon author page and book page. Facebook and Twitter (both of which remain a mystery), and Goodreads. I’m still finding my way on Instagram, which I love by the way. I’ve taken a step into Reddit, Pinterest, and even Tumblr., but no more than a step. I’ve followed a few writing blogs. And all of it is pretty amazing. Free, informative, creative, empowering. But also bewildering, and exhausting.
Maybe the head cold I’ve been weathering has contributed, but I feel like I’ve lapped the world a few times, and missed the hundred or so laps necessary to achieve passingly conversant terms with this brave new world I’m so late in coming to.
The point of it all, helpfully outlined by Let’s Get Digital author, my self-publishing guide David Gaughran, is to create connections and build bridges that ultimately lead readers to my books. I get that. I want that. It isn’t happening in a big way yet. It may not ever. I have a lovely gut feeling that my writing’s audience will find me on the strength of the first people to read Find Me loving it, and telling others that they love it on the very platforms I’m trying to navigate. Either way, it will take a long time, I know. I wish everyone would know it’s a great book already. But in the meantime, what I’m getting is so cool.
It’s like a hallway all your own. And off that hallway is a bunch of doors. You can open any door and find different groups of people catching up with each other, and pretty okay with you hanging out for a bit. Some of those people you might even recognise behind another door. I’m not a big-group person. Not even much of a small-group person. Maybe it’s a writer thing. I’m more of a person-to-person person, interested in making the occasional meaningful connection.
And that’s what I’m finding. Encouragement, inspiration, the odd laugh or misting eyes (happened today, someone sharing an honest post about serious difficulties they’d faced). I’m also learning how others promote their books and businesses, share their purpose and be part of a web-based community. The downside, and I can see this potentially becoming problematic, is the tension I’m starting to feel between posts. “Is anyone out there?” kind of thing. By putting yourself out there, you’re making yourself vulnerable. It’s all a bit fraught. But also lovely. I’m glimpsing what a balancing act a lot of this is going to be.
Ultimately, should anyone want it, my advice to those new to all this like I was would be this: know why you’re participating. Figure out what you are there for, then take a step inside a door, and test the waters at your own pace. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. If you have any questions about the (extreme) basics of navigating any of this, including how I’ve found listing on Amazon, leave a comment here, or email me through Facebook, and I’ll answer as best I can. Happy writing all.
For a look inside Find Me on Amazon click here