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message 1: by Chuck (new)

Chuck Manson (chuck_manson) | 3 comments I've been trying to connect with writers and readers for quite some time via the myriad of social media sites and have really come up empty.

I'm not taking it personally. :)

What I have found is that my twitter feed is full of writers promoting their own works but no connections going on. Lots of "thanks for following" and "great to connect" but after that we all seem to retreat to our own world. I retweet when someone is promoting though I rarely get a retweet back. I tried to follow #amwriting but a lot of that has become self congratulatory tweets ("just finished 5000 words and still on first cup of coffee" smug smiley).

I'm wondering if enyone else is feeling disconnected from everyone we're trying to reach out to? How do you engage all those people in your timeline to have an actual conversation?

message 2: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 453 comments Yes! I feel like this too. I'm having a hard time promoting and marketing and finding new ways to get the word out. On top of that when I do I feel as it goes unnoticed or there's more authors like me then readers, which means the info is reaching one ear and going out the other. I'd love to try and make an impact and interact along with connecting without seeming like a salesman like everyone else and have useful and helpful connections with authors and readers.

message 3: by Jim (last edited Nov 16, 2014 12:26PM) (new)

Jim Vuksic Chuck and Justin,

Don't feel badly. Your experience is typical.

When I first notified the marketing representative, assigned to promote my novel, that I had joined Goodreads, he cautioned that social networking sites, even those specifically dedicated to literary subjects, seldom, if ever, have a noticeable impact upon actual sales.

A few months later, when I excitedly told him that 452 members had placed my book on their To Read shelf, he informed me that such intent, posted on literary sites, seldom translated into actual sales. He went on to state that the vast majority of readers, who join such sites, do so primarily to seek out and obtain free or extremely inexpensive books.

His cautionary advice proved prophetic. The four quarterly sales reports I've received since joining Goodreads have shown no significant uptick in sales.

The time-proven, traditional marketing methods: press releases, promo. materials, appearances at literary festivals, public libraries, book clubs, and book stores, and a website dedicated specifically to promote the book and its author are still the ones that continue to have a dependable positive impact on sales.

message 4: by Chuck (new)

Chuck Manson (chuck_manson) | 3 comments Jim,

In retrospect, it actually make perfect sense that sites like Goodreads and conecting with other authors via Facebook & Twitter doesn't lead to sales. We're all trying to get our own work noticed, we're not buying the works of others.

What I really feel is lacking in the few connections I've made is interaction. This is probably something inherent in the "internet age". Unlike living & breathing writing groups, there's none of the back and forth of reading and writing and critiquing.

message 5: by Jim (last edited Nov 18, 2014 12:48PM) (new)

Jim Vuksic Chuck wrote: "Jim,

In retrospect, it actually make perfect sense that sites like Goodreads and conecting with other authors via Facebook & Twitter doesn't lead to sales. We're all trying to get our own work no..."


Your comparison of virtual social interaction with face-to-face interaction is spot on.

I personally believe the reason is that, in virtual interaction, one never really knows for sure if they are conversing with the real person or merely a persona which that person has created and chooses to portray; an alter ego.

Instead of referencing an article, book, or information received from an expert on a particular subject, some attempt to portray themselves as an established, professional writer, generously sharing some of their wisdom with the masses. The fact that very few have ever heard of them or their work doesn't seem to matter.

Writing a novel was just one of several items included in a bucket list that my late wife insisted that I create upon retiring in 2001. It proved to be a challenging and enjoyable learning experience, well worth the time and effort. However, I have neither the time nor inclination to do it again. Although I must confess that the quarterly sales report and occasional royalty check are still welcome and appreciated.

That said; I do enjoy occasionally interacting with many of the Goodreads members and sharing information and experiences. But I never forget that virtual relationships, by their very nature, will never be as gratifying or credible as real-life interaction and face-to-face communciation.

message 6: by J.S. (last edited Nov 18, 2014 11:32AM) (new)

J.S. Burke | 50 comments Jim is right about sales. In addition, I have seen another change in the last two years: extreme couponing and extended sales such as Black Friday. I make and sell original art and jewelry, in addition to writing books. In early November I set up at a place that once brought many sales. This time, everyone wanted only free items. With books, readers wait for the .99 or free price.

The interactions are often insufficient. Perhaps part of that is the fact that 80% of what we communicate in person is not via words, but through tone, body language, etc. Having tea with a friend who's right there is a bit different. But it is possible to have online friendships. I think the artist Georgia O'Keefe said it well: "To have a friend takes time." And most people are not willing to take the time.

message 7: by E.C. (last edited Nov 22, 2014 07:23PM) (new)

E.C. Moore | 1 comments I have made a few friends through social media. Still, I find most author's are just out to peddle their wares. But, I will say this, it's not much better in critique groups or writing conferences. Author's (not all but some) can be awfully competitive. I am on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads and Pinterest. Follow me and I will follow you back. I retweet, friend and pin back too!

message 8: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 453 comments I try not to be aggressive in promoting but tend to have a laid back casual approach. This is because I see way too many authors spamming and not caring where or how they sell, definitely not a good idea and not what I do. I promote and make connections in the proper manner though sometimes it can be challenging.

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