“You have to,” my friend told me, when I explained that I found all the networking difficult. “You have to put yourself out there, and connect with your readers.”
“Won’t an advertisement about my book do?”
“No. People want to know about you, and what makes you tick.”
“Who are these people who want to know about me even before knowing about my existence? I am practically unknown.”
“That’s your fault. The least you could have done was to have your own blog.”
“What will I blog about?”
“Anything. There are any number of things you can write about. You could start with your secret recipe of prawn curry.”
I knew this was my friend’s way of getting at the recipe which was guarded by my family like a state secret.
“I write for children, for middle graders. How will a food blog sell books?”
“Mommies are fond of food blogs and mommies decide what their children should read.”
What my friend said seemed logical but I was not keen on blogging, it would eat into my writing time, and I wanted to make up for the twenty-six years when I had not been able to write because of my day job.
“Join a book forum,” my friend suggested. “You love books, and you love discussing about them.”
“But I can’t discuss my own books!”
“They usually have a folder for self-promotion.”
Three months later I told my friend, “It isn’t working. I have posted in more than ten groups but haven’t made a sale.”
“Just posted? You should take part in the discussions, contribute, and network. No group likes people who only peep in to wave a poster.”
I grumbled, “No group wants authors. Just look at the names of the folders! Shameless Self- Promotion! Pimp your Stuff! They should welcome us because the relationship between a writer and a reader is symbiotic.”
“You are a struggling writer, not a writer. You are like a salesman with a new product so you should hawk your wares. You should be on facebook, twitter, Google+, etc.”
Convinced, I started posting and tweeting about my books, myself, and my cat. My friend had a huge following and he helped me build one too. My posts spread like ripples.
A month later, when I was going through the latest tweets, my friend dropped in. “What are you doing?” he asked.
“Checking to see which ones to retweet.”
“Are you reading them? You don’t have to. Just retweet and spread the word.”
“Don’t you read the tweets?”
“A few. I just retweet most of them. That is what everyone does.”
If what my friend said was true, most of the social networking I had done had ended up as statistics. The number of ‘likes’ and ‘retweets’ were just numbers. But my sales had shown some improvement, I’d made some new friends and had had some good laughs. And the pundits swear by it.
My book, Cinderella’s Escape, is free on all Amazon stores on 5th, 6th, and 7th September, 2014. Please share, re-tweet this post.
Gita V. Reddy is a writer of fiction for children and adults. She enjoys thinking up tales of different genres. She has written mysteries, adventure, science fiction and even an animal tale for childrens.
Ms Reddy was born in India, is a post graduate in Mathematics, is married to a physics professor, has a son doing research in neuro-electronics and loves literature!
Her other interests are painting and writing poetry.