Monday, March 25, 2013

Author Maintenance, the Millstone 'Round My Neck

I speak to lots of wanna-be authors who have a book ready to go. "Ready" is a relative term, but let's say that's true. It's easier now than ever to become a "published author". There are dozens of sites ready to help.
What people often don't recognize is the maintenance needed after that publishing takes place. There simply aren't many people out there holding their breath until you publish a book. When it's up there, on Amazon or Nook or Smashwords or whatever; when it's available in hardcover, paperback or e-format, you have to let people know.
And that's really, really hard.
Publishers do what they can. Both my publishers get me reviews and praise my books on their websites and FB and wherever else they're allowed to. The problem is they have lots of writers on their list, and there are oceans of other publishers trying just as hard to get their authors noticed. Each mention of my name is a drop in that ocean, hardly noticeable to most readers.
So the author is left to establish and maintain a presence in the reading world. That can be done on-line or in person, but neither way is easy.
Recently I got an email from a site called Authorsden, which lists books in categories so readers can easily find what they'd like to buy/read. They asked that I check to make sure my entries were current.
How about not??? I'd  listed the first two books and then forgotten about the site, since there are always new and different ones popping up on my radar.
I added two books, but it took about an hour to plug in the information they asked for: reviews, links, etc.
Now I have four listings there, but I'll be up to a dozen books once the two in the pipeline are up this spring.
Anyone can publish a book, but are you willing to maintain your presence as an author? It isn't like setting out a sugar cube and watching the flies gather. It's more like trying to fill a well with stones: it can be done, but it will take more time and work than you planned on.

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