Sunday, November 9, 2014

Accepting I am a Lone Wolf by @KarynGerrard #Opinion #Writing

First off, let me state there is no right way or wrong way to be a romance author. There is only your way. So I am going to talk about mine. (Of course, it's my blog!)

I have been doing this since March 2011 (A few years earlier if you count my Sims2 Fic). During that time I wondered if I should be doing this or that with regards to publicity, reviews, social media interaction, etc...and I have ultimately decided I can't force myself to do something simply because others are doing it. It's hard-wired in my DNA, I guess.

The RWA and other writing organizations. I'm not a joiner. The only thing I managed was Brownies/Guides when I was a kid. Since then? Nope. I thought about it, looked at the pros and cons and its a no-go. Don't like meetings either, online or otherwise.

Which brings me to everything tied in with the RWA like conventions and contests. Not interested in those either. I find contests, especially those people can vote on online to be not an accurate reading at all. Anyone can get their twenty cousins to vote for them, or ask fellow writers in a group to 'vote for me'. Conventions? First, I live too far away in northern Ontario (that's in Canada!) to attend anything. Next, I can't bring myself to sit at a table at a flea market to sell my junk items, let alone at a convention to sell myself and my books. Though running my trembling hands over a cover model's biceps hold a certain appeal. ;)

Holy shit, I'm a hermit!

Well, maybe a wee bit. Certainly since I've grown older.

Beta readers. Nope. I've never felt the need to use beta readers. (at least since I've been pubbed) I figure if a publisher likes the story enough to offer a contract, it can't suck that bad. In most cases, I bounce ideas off the hubs and read aloud to him to get his input. Hasn't steered me wrong yet.There is also a fellow writer I've known since the Sims 2 days that I will get to read something now and then as well. Other than that, I sit, I write and I type 'the end'.

Street teams. Interesting concept. But...nah. First off, I don't believe I would have any people interested. Though I do receive an occasional email from a reader, (and I love it, thank you!) I don't think I could gather enough to form a 'team.' I thought about it. Not sure I could bring much to the table. Not even cookies.

NaNoWriMo: Nope. I don't like putting word count restrictions and goals on myself. Since I no longer work (thank the Gods) I can pretty much sit and write whenever the mood strikes me, so this helpful exercise to others is not needed for me.

Social Media. This is the elephant in the room and ties in with so many aspects like joining critique and writers groups and the aforementioned street teams. I no longer work, but I still can't find the time to interact with my 3000 Twitter followers and 3100 Facebook friends. It's an exercise in futility. How many people actually see a random tweet? And thanks to Facebook algorithms. who sees anything you post? (Lets not talk about Facebook pages. Total waste. 1993 likes, only 20 people saw my last post)
Also to channel my inner hermit, I am not one to share everything on the internet. Oh look, I stubbed my toe! Look how its swelled up! (attach gory picture) Again, maybe my age has a lot to do with it. If you feel comfortable sharing and interacting on social media, good for you! But not everyone is. Yet, it is a given if you're a writer. (J.D. Salinger must be spinning in his grave) Read most publishers submission guidelines they "expect" you to have a social media presence.

Reviews. I believe reviews should happen organically and I'm aware that is extremely naive of me. A review site just followed me on Twitter. "Five dollars will get you a positive review!" For a split second I considered it. Its no different than being involved in author-exchanged reviews or getting Aunt Sally to post a review on your book, right? To me, all of it is sketchy, but that's me. Everyone has their own opinion. But when you have publishers whispering in your ear to 'get more reviews on Amazon' so the book can be seen in Amazon's super secret algorithms, it can become a little stressful.

And it can be exhausting. With a recent release, I actually contacted a couple of blogs I've dealt with in the past. *crickets* No response at all. Sorry, I don't want to spend my day sending out emails trying to get 4 reviews out of 60 blogs. I know bloggers/reviewers are backlogged with requests. So I am setting up a couple of blog tours instead. This should be a hoot. I will leave the results for another post. How paying for a blog tour (to hopefully get reviews) or paying for a review is different, again, is for another post.

So after much soul searching I realized I like the way I do things. I know it may not garner me much in the way of exposure or sales, but I can't be something I'm not. I prefer to stay in my little den listening to classic rock with my cup of Earl Grey tea and—write.

I am not strange, or different, or out of step. I am also not as much as a hermit as J.D. Salinger was. I. Am. Me.

Lone Wolf. *aarrrrooooo*

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