A lengthy discussion with savvy science fiction writer Kay Kenyon (www.kaykenyon.com) has reminded me just how hard it is to stay ahead of the game these days. If there ever was a day when an author could keep her head down and just write her books, I greatly fear me it has passed! Kay is a whiz at keeping up with what's new and what's working, and I was practically taking notes as she threw out buzzwords like SEOs and pinging and backtracking.
Then I happened across this apt quote from writer Sue Guiney: "We are witnessing an industry running for its life." When I read that, I realized it's absolutely true. Her excellent blog post on the new uses of technology and the possibilities for writers is here: http://redroom.com/blog/sue-guiney/writers-unite-or-why-im-tired-worryin...
While I still stand against self-publishing in most instances, I do recognize that our industry is in turmoil. The challenge has always been for writers to find their readers. I'm quite sure in olden times it was hard, too. It's simply compounded, in these newer times, by the sheer volume of words available, in every format, searching out consumers.
In recent days I've studied reports on booksignings: moderately ineffective; newsletters: appealing, numbers low; blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking, and so forth: good for networking and for chatting with fans who have already found you; and now, thanks to Kay Kenyon, new developments for websites: circular links, the aforementioned SEOs, and other obscurities. I'm a fulltime writer, hopeful of making each book more successful than the last, so I'll explore any and all of these things I haven't yet used.
I just want someone to tell me that it still works to keep my head down and write the best book I can. Surely, in the end, and through all the noise, it's the work that matters?