Of Time, Authors and the Common Ground of Promotion…

Scapes for Coorg by Smevin Paul - Thrisookaran !! www.smevin.com
Scapes for Coorg, a photo by Smevin Paul – Thrisookaran !! www.smevin.com on Flickr.

During a recent discussion, Attention Self-Publishers, at Definitive Serious Writers at LinkedIn,  an author lamented the difficult task of finding the time to both write and market their work.

Promoting and marketing one’s work as a writer or novelist, how best and most effectively to do this, and remained focused upon the writing of your books–that which you must to promote if it is to sell–sits at the heart of what authors–both self and traditionally published–presently grapple.

This aspect of writing and selling one’s work forms the common ground on and about which authors on both sides continually gnash our teeth and rub our palms.

All the traditional authors whom I have interviewed on my blog talk radio show, Book Talk, Creativity and Family Matters, express dismay, and challenge not always about the necessity of promoting one’s work and self, but rather, how to find the time to both promotion while one also writes, revises and edits our books.

Time stands as a writer’s most precious commodity. We all know how time spent working on the Internet can devour that not unlike a cancer gone rampant.

Some writers have actually stated that the type of marketing required of 21st century authors that inevitably includes social networking, bastardizes the entire process of writing.

It is a frustrating challenge, that of finding, through the use of social media, one’s reader audience as a writer, particularly of fiction, culling them from the slim myriad of those who possess the time to read and value what books offer, and then nurturing those readers to become evangelists of your work, word of mouth spokespersons who invite and herald others to read what you have to say the stories you craft.

And yet who possesses the time or money to travel to book stores where few readers now cast the nets to purchase books.

In-person gatherings and discussions between authors and readers, once a way of introducing a new literary artist to potential readers eagerly awaiting the next writer to share her or his perceptions of the world to which many of us might, and anticipated finding identification, have now become celebrations of authors whose words possess a loyal following.

Each time I forgo an opportunity to join another social media site, and add it to the potpourri of places where I can spread my wings and perhaps connect with potential readers I lament what seems a free opportunity to promote and market my work.

But here the definition of free comes under close scrutiny. To work most efficiently the writer must not only allows her or himself time to write, but also time to dream and forget.

Time away from writing, but filled with looking at a screen trolling the Internet for new leads to publishing, potential readers, the next on-line promotional opportunity drains us of the creative space of no-mind.

Accomplishing this task, an art unto itself, requires the writer give even more attention to the crafting of our stories and identifying, if not unfolding, and uncovering the essence of what we are trying to say, the story within the narrative we seek to tell.

The Internet is the ultimate mind, a hyper-mind, if you will, that connects us with the minds of all of those logged on and into the web.

A powerful and use worth tool, artists, particularly those of us for whom our media is that of the written word need use the Internet with care.

We must remain vigilant about how much we give over to logging on and tuning in. For in each moment we spend connected with what some might term the great mind of the world, we lose a minutia of connection and interaction with our self and the playful and frolic-filled mind that plays within us, the well-spring from which we draw, our stories–narratives that in our crafting and refining of them, they make and transform us.

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