I got an email from my editor last week. At times I find it surreal seeing her name in my inbox because part of me still can’t wrap my head around that I’ve actually sold a book. When I was querying there were times when I thought it was never going to happen.The Doubt Monster had me by the throat, but it is actually happening. I’ve got a book coming out sometime next year. And it was that email from my editor that made me come to terms with that. I thought it would feel real when my edits were accepted, or when they finally decided on a title but it didn’t. It was the two author questionnaires from my publisher that made me realize I’ve got work to do. One of the questionnaires was a fun one that Macmillan will use on my author page for their website. The other was a serious one for the marketing department.
Here are some of the questions…
Please list periodicals that you think should receive a copy of your book.
Hmm. That’s something I had never thought about. I wonder if I can get the New York Times to review my book?
What is your Website URL and what are your traffic numbers?
Phew. I had just created a simple website a few days before I got the email. But I really don’t have much to put on it yet. If any body wants to check it out… http://www.sugarjamison.com/
Do you have a blog? If so, what is the URL?
Blog? Check! Go Scribes.
Are you on Facebook? If so, what is the URL and how many Likes do you have?
Nope. Not on Facebook. I should probably get on that.
Are you on Twitter? If so, what is the URL and how many Followers?
Yes to Twitter. @sugarjamison But only a piddly 437 followers.
Do you have an RSS feed? If so, how many subscribers?
I don’t even know what an RSS feed is. So that’s a no.
Do you have an email list? If so, how many subscribers?
No again. I’m not exactly sure what people would be subscribing to.
Do you have a profile on Goodreads, LibraryThing, LinkedIn and Amazon? If so, what are the URLs?
No. No and no. I’ve never even considered doing any of these things.
If you have ever been a guest on a U.S. TV or radio talk show, please give the name of the show, host, date, and topic of interview, to the best of your recollection.
Ha! No talk shows for me. I wish I would have got in before Oprah decided to stop doing her show.
There were a bunch of other questions that I’m sure I gave sub par answers to, but I’m glad they sent this to me because it made me realize that I’m behind the eight ball. I know writers who haven’t even finished a book yet who could have answered these questions better than I could. Writers with beautiful websites, and thousands of Twitter followers and Facebook pages that they update every day.
I know these things are important but I know there are many people who think that writers should be focused more on writing good books than social media. A sort of If You Write It They Will Come Theory.
But then there are others who swear by Facebook and Goodreads and Twitter as a way of collecting massive amounts readers.
Personally I have only been to my favorite author’s website once, just to see when her next book would be out. I don’t follow her on Facebook or on Twitter and yet I have read every single one of her books. I started reading her because a friend handed me her book and told me it was good.
But how do most readers think? Is there any proven formula? What do you all think about it?
So which side are you on?