If you like going to conventions and being on panels, go ahead. If you like doing book signings, do it. If you like blogging, being on social networks or twittering, then enjoy it. But doing these things do take time when you might otherwise be writing the next book, so keep that in mind.
Mr Hines explained that he has kept his eyes on his sales figures, looking for a rise in numbers that he could attribute to some type of marketing. But sales of his books, he said, follow the same pattern; they rise to a peak shortly after the book hits the stands, then trail off to a particular number, where they plateau for a long time. Attending conventions, having book signings, blogging (except for one particular episode of blog that proved extremely popular) – none of these produced any noticable rise in sales. The only thing that did make a difference was to have his next book hit the stands. So, to his thinking, these other forms of marketing were okay, but unnecessary.
It solved one dilemma for me. One newsletter I read has been preaching that you need to market yourself in every way imaginable, and today that means twittering. "Great!" I thought, "One more thing to eat up my time." With a full-time job and housework, and two groups I belong to, I have too little time to write, in my estimation.
Blogging is one thing – I can make it as long or as short as I want. But from what I understand, twittering is 160 characters. Typing used to consider 5 characters to be 1 word, so 160 characters is 32 words. Write something in 32 words? Heck, that's hardly enough to put my mind in gear. I've often said I have a tendency to 'run off at the keyboard', after all.
So, read my blog. Become my friend on MySpace. Look for me at midwest sf conventions. And once I have a book published, then yes, I will do book signings. But don't expect to see me twitter any time soon. 160 characters? It would take me too long to pare anything I wrote down to that size to make it worth my time.
And that's basically what I came away from Icon with. That pearl of wisdom and a small print from the Art Show by Sarah Clemens. A quiet little convention, as far as I was concerned, to help me wind down for the cold winter months.
See you next week. Trudy