Time Management for Authors: Arguing the Case

“Yes, but…” by wolf 359 on flickr

Who do you talk to more on social media, your readers or other authors? Do you spend more time online than you do writing? How much of your online time is devoted to arguing about the “future of publishing”?

At Digital Book World’s Expert Publishing Blog, Bob Mayer writes in his post  The Great Publishing Wars of 2012:

I think there is a tipping point in social media for authors.  Where it begins to detract rather than attract.   Where you are turning more people off than you are being of interest to.  Especially if you are on one side or the other in the indie vs. trad vs. small publisher vs. print vs. eBook vs. the Martians vs. the indie bookstore vs. the chain vs. Amazon vs. Barnes & Noble vs. Kobo, vs. well, whatever the hell one wants to be versus.  When one is versus, then one has alienated a segment of the population. …

I also think the whole author/social media thing has become a little too incestuous.  It’s authors talking to authors. Yes, I know, there are readers out there, but when we take a close look at who is talking to us on most social media sites, it’s other writers.   I look at a lot of the really successful authors and their focus first is on content AND getting that content to readers.  They aren’t too concerned with the publishing wars, except in terms of how to run their own business.

I think Bob Mayer’s points lead to valid questions for self-published authors. How much time do you spend on social media sites? When you are online, do you bother to debate one side or another in the “publishing wars”? Is it seriously worth your time to argue with someone whether “print is dead” or “Amazon is evil”?

If you network with twenty or thirty or a hundred “fellow indie authors,” does that lead to additional book sales for you? On the other hand, are you missing valuable tips and information because you don’t spend time finding out what other self-published authors are doing?

  • I network with “fellow indie authors” not to sell my books to them but to find out what I might be doing better. But I agree the long and tedious “publishing wars” arguments are mostly a waste of time.

  • I think you network with other indie authors to gain insight, and if the relationship you build leads to something positive – for me, that’d be that person providing a review – then all the better, but it’s certainly not expected.

  • I agree with you, RD Meyer. Finding authors who get what you’re doing, even as you get what they’re doing, and having that result in favorable reviews, is heaven. But, as you say, “it’s certainly not expected.”

  • In some ways the debate can be tiresome. For the independent author, to express any opinion at all can alienate both readers with brand loyalties, and traditional markets, where we might submit stories or books. Also, certain posts are meant to be provocative. It’s best not to react in an emotional sense, unless one has something useful and relevant to say.