Monday, August 8, 2016

The Conundrum

I don't remember how long ago, but possibly 15-20 years ago the publishing world told us authors that BLOGGING would get us more sales, that READERS would jump over to our lovely blogs and READ them.


No. It didn't really work that way.

Who read our blogs? Other writers. And we read theirs. We became followers of their blog, and sometimes they ours--depending upon who they were. You couldn't exactly expect JK Rowling to follow you, a lowly unpublished author who might have sold 50 books in it's lifetime. But you hoped that readers would somehow find you.

Did they? Even when you told them about your BLOG?


So, then someone invented SOCIAL MEDIA.


We hopped on that, didn't we? Now all our real-life friends (those who we either work with, neighbors, family members) could follow us, check out our books, and maybe even check and read our blogs.

Well, that didn't work either.


They are saying now we need a NEWSLETTER.


Every time I sit and watch one of my programs in the afternoon, on TV, I get inundated by COMMERCIALS.

I don't really like commercials. Who does? More to the point they are repetitive, and 99% of the time, it's nothing I need. Like a catheter, or a tort lawyer who will help me sue for something...

I've had newsletters sent to me, and along with a lot of other things that come in my mailbox, I will delete them, because A. I have no time to read or go through it. B. It is of no interest to me. C. Sometimes I have no real interest in what the author writes. Maybe I did at one time or another, but I don't now.

Anyway, what I'm saying is it's just another form of commercialization. We sell ourselves like a bunch of book whores. After a while it becomes distasteful. Sort of like the zealot preaching from a corner. Okay. Nice. I'm walking away now.

I still follow some blogs, but I don't always have time to go and read them.

So, the question is, is this NEWSLETTER just another THING TO ANNOY EVERYBODY?

My prediction is it will be no better than the blog. If you actually have found people signing up for your newsletter--[from where? Like your blog??? I don't even know how to set one up, to begin with]--then, who are you reaching? How do you know that you are reaching READERS? I really don't think you know. How can you know who your newsletter is going to?

At this point in the game, for me, I'm not falling for more ideas that will, with time, fall flat because everybody is doing this. I'm within an inch of not doing much at my blog (or facebook), but I do because I do know SOMEONE sometimes reads it. I had over 300 people stop by my blog 2 weeks ago. I don't know who they were, or why they swung by. About 50 hit on MY BOOKS. But I haven't seen 50 sales. Since beginning of the month I've found about 30 sales, but that's because of my PUBLISHER. I don't think I'm getting sales because of the blog or anything I do on social media.


Do you see the point that I'm making, where I'm going with this? Do you really want to go to all the trouble of setting up the email lists of people who you really don't know if they are other writers, reviewers, or readers, and go to all that trouble to write your lovely newsletters about when such-n-such book is coming out or when one is on sale? And then wait and wait to see sales that don't come. Or aren't really attributed to that newsletter?

Well, I'm not going to bother with it. It's just another THING to work on. I'd rather be writing. At this date, I've worked on 3 WIP, this year (summer). I hope to publish these next year. I want to work on a brand new series, and a new stand-alone book, next year. Plus, I work outside the home. I don't carry around a techno gadget to keep connected with the world. I don't really like doing that. I want to enjoy life--the life around me--listen to the birds, discover the plants, birds, insects (life around me), I've never seen before--enjoy LIFE--not wasting my time with some little gizmo that's held in the hand. Yeah. I don't do POKE'MON.


I'll watch from the sidelines and when that all fails, and everyone says, 
"No, we've gotta go back to blogging again." 

I'll be here.


  1. Exactly that, Malcolm.
    Welcome aboard!

  2. Replies
    1. Glad a few of you agree with me. I just learned that it costs $5 to do this.

  3. I'm going to go curl up in a ball and sob now. Not about the newsletter specifically, but about my increasing conviction that there's nothing I can do online to increase my sales, except keep releasing books and hoping they somehow feed off each other.

  4. Mark, I'm crying with you. If you wanted to spend the money to advertise, or get a newsletter (I've seen someone post it costs $5/mo.), then if it's important to you,and you can afford it. Go for it.
    Me, I have never wanted to be an "Indie". I don't know how to do any of the things other people seem to have no problem with. It's why I got a publisher. He is doing a lot more than the last one did for me. I couldn't make it as an Indie.

    1. I also never wanted to be an Indie -- I just want to write books, and have someone else handle the rest. Of my 8 books 4 are self-published, but they tend be books that wouldn't have found a publisher. (Local history, humor, and so on.) Luckily my wife is very good at some of the things I can't do, but I'd much rather be traditionally published.

    2. It's good to have someone able to do those things.
      It's difficult to get a trad publisher (esp. one of the 5), but there might be some who don't need an agent. I'll try and get something to you so that you can find what might fit. See you on WMD!


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