Monday, November 26, 2012

I'M NOT GONNA GIVE IT TO YOU (or, the evolution of the blogger-author)

Over the years, I've posted several times about the evolving relationship between blogger and blog. I started blogging before I even had an agent and was anxious about discussing the writing process (it just felt so personal). However I'd been working for years on the marketing side of children's publishing. So I blogged about what to charge for author visits, how to schedule a book tour, stuff like that. Then, I sold my first novel and the blog focus shifted toward the debut-author experience.

Now working on my sophomore novel for Viking, I see that my postings have again become unfocused. I am not posting my weekly Bookanista reviews, have not featured "Back to Business" on Mondays. I've proposed some topics and themes to explore and never explored them. And, I've gotten behind on my prize, etc., correspondence.

Besides work overload, a big reason for my failures is that I have become uncertain about the blogosphere.  While I adore the online reader-writer community in many ways, I am tired of the "rat race" to glean followers.  The insanity that is arc collecting was achingly illuminated when I attended BEA and saw staff handing out tickets to teen attendees so they wouldn't just grab as many arcs as they could. I've stopped signing up for arcs myself as I feel guilty warehousing books I won't read for (at best) months. Via FB, Twitter, and the blogosphere, I am eternally reading about give-aways and prizes, being invited to events thousands of miles away, and being informed that this-or-that title is now on shelves or available for order. It's overwhelming.

Don't get me wrong. I continue to read articles and reviews at some of my favorite blogs (websites?), including Stacked, Good Books and Good Wine, Adventures in Children's Publishing, YA Fresh and The Bookshelf Muse. But, visiting publisher sites? Who has the time? Reading individual author blogs like my own? Hardly ever. Signing up for contests that require anything more than a single click? Nope.

So, I have made a "policy decision." For 2013, there'll be no book prizes. No more trying to glean followers.  What I'll be diligently trying to share are industry and craft insights AND will HAPPILY email a personal response to anyone interested in communicating with me directly via the "contact me" link above or HERE.

I am going to spend December figuring out a MANAGEABLE BLOGGING SCHEDULE that involves Business, Craft, and the Author Experience, including a serious exploration of the most effective, efficient, NON-INVASIVE ways to create buzz for my next book. I'll let you know what I learn.

Meanwhile, if I've owed your something via mail or email, please CONTACT ME as I'd really like to get all caught up!


storyqueen said...

Struggling with the same issues myself. I want my blog to be kind of an online journal where I write about writing and books and life--but time has gotten away from me this fall. I love to read true, honest blog posts, but I've had no time to search them out.

I need to wrap my head around this, but it will have to wait until the holidays. Sigh.

I'll be interested to see your schedule!


Caroline Starr Rose said...

Good for you. I've felt a definite shift this year in what I want to be doing publicly. My blog has been more of a place for me to talk aloud about things I'm learning. I occasionally stop by other blogs, but really not often anymore. We're at a different phase now, and that's just how it is.

For me, the biggest public change next year is to forgo sharing what I'm reading on Goodreads and keeping a currently reading list on my blog. While I'll occasionally talk about what I'm reading, I'm craving privacy on that front.

Dawn Simon said...

Interesting post, Stasia. I totally get it.

I'm in a different phase as well. I've been itching to write in a bit of a hidey-hole, and I think it's what I need right now.

Best of luck to you, as always, and I look forward to the next time we can hang out at a conference, a meeting, or somewhere. I'm still poking around the Internet, but a lot less. :)