Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Online All the Time Blues

I've got a confession to make. I've become an online addict. I'm a jonesing for Twitter feed Facebook status junkie.
      It began with the release of my first book in August. (Inserting shameless plug here- Blueberry Truth, available via Etopia Press and all fine e-book distributors. 5.99. Download instantly!) The brave new world of e-book publishing has been a boon to writers like me, newbies who'd like to be given a chance to break into the wild and wacky world of authorship. Unlike self-publishing, small presses give a writer the support of editors, cover artists and distribution. And some marketing, too.
     But because they are small and have limited budgets, most e-book publishers expect  writers to do a lot of stumping on their own. You've got to get your name out there, you've got to let the reading public know you have a book out (Blueberry Truth, 5.99) and that there will be more books to come (P-town Queen coming in June 2012) and more still in the works. 
     I'm a marketing neophyte. Before this summer, I knew next to nothing about guest blogging and book review sites. I didn't know a blog hop from a sock hop. I'm learning, though. I've got a website, a blog, a Facebook fan page and a growing list of followers on Twitter. I'm on Good Reads, Manic Readers, and Amazon Authors. I check in with the writers at SheWrites and Litopia.
     I like being connected. It's been a joy to meet other writers online and to hear what readers are reading.  I check in as often as I can.
     I'm addicted. I'm worried that if I don't slow down, I may start shouting "hashtag am writing" and "status update" in my sleep. I may start forgetting to brush my teeth. I've heard it's a common malady among first-time authors. The antidote is simple: Don't think you have to be on every social site. Find what works best for you. And for the love of all that's holy, unplug once in while.
     So this is what I'm going to do. For at least a few hours a day, I'm going to shut the laptop down. I'm going to go for a walk in the park. I'm going to pick up my pen and write. Just write. One sentence, then another.
     I'm going to start right now. Right after I check my e-mail and update my Facebook status.


  1. Hi. I'm Brinda, and I'm an online addict. I check my email in the middle of the night from my phone. I haven't spent one (yes one) day without some amount of online time. I hope no one is planning an intervention. I don't want to hurt anybody. But I will.

  2. Hi Ute! I'm not an online addict. I'd much rather be writing, but what can you do? :) As you say, you gotta get your book out there (Blueberry Truth 5.99 instant download). Welcome to the other side.

  3. I admit - I am addict too! I am addicted to all things i - iphone, ipad, imac!

    I can't wait to download your book onto one of my devices though!

  4. Thanks for stopping by! See, I really was off line. For a while. Taking it one day at a time.

  5. I understand exactly where you're coming from, Ute! What a great idea to shut down for a while each day. I'm going to do NaNo for the first time in November (I need to get the next book finished!) and also have a competition to judge, so I'm going to have to curtail the online activity a bit more.

  6. good luck with nano, Rosemary! It's a matter of balance, I think. I'm still learning how.

  7. Too true. Seems like there's an entire universe of internet addicts out there and I propose we start an (online of course) version of AA and call it OA (and no, I don't mean osteoarthritis, though the tendency to stiff, painful joints might just be another side effect of chronic online-itis). OA is the short form for Onliners Anonymous. In fact, Brinda got the ball rolling with her AA-type confession - Hi, I'm Brinda, and I'm an online addict...

    Cathy at While the Dervish Dances: http://cathykozak.com

  8. Brilliant Cathy! We could have a facebook page and a twitter feed. Of course, we'd need a web page. And maybe...tumbler. Would we need to be on tumbler??

  9. Hi Ute,

    I found your blog via Litopia, then... well, a typical online meandering path. Then I posted a comment and lost it because I can't negotiate all the 'comment as' options. BUT

    I guess my own challenge, if & when I overcome and Englishman's diffidence about online broadcasts, will be to differentiate the stuff we do for and with the writing community (the people that help each other write books) and the reading community that might actually buy them.

    I still haven't worked out where to focus the activity.

    Hang in there. When this online neophyte works out how to follow, I will.

    Geoff (aka Robin Goodfellow on Litopia)

  10. Hi Geoff!
    Glad you found the blog. It does seem it's a left turn down a back alley on a crooked street.
    I have the same trouble with marketing my own work and as to where and how to reach an audience, it's an ongoing process.
    Here's hoping that you'll be touting your book ere long. I'll crow for you, it's bound to be a good read.

  11. I love this post, Ute - now get outside and go for that walk. Or.....you could always go to my blog and I'll write about a walk for you :)

  12. Thanks Heidi,
    Be careful what you wish for. A foot of snow caused a power 36 hour power outage here. So I've been offline. Now I'm trying to catch up! So glad you found me.