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Monday, October 6, 2014

Why authors' careers are becoming a lot like those of politicians

When I started writing, I honestly thought that most of my time would be spent researching and penning my stories with an occasional book signing or interview thrown in.

Wow, was I dumb.

Every year - hell, every day brings a new social media platform that authors flock to, engage in and use to promo their work.

People, we're fast becoming like politicians. The DC crowd governs 1% of the time - excuse me, make that .01% of the time. They spend the rest of their hours schmoozing with donors, attending fundraisers, looking for cold, hard cash to get reelected and voting themselves pay raises. 

Poor overworked babies.

For us, it's not so pretty. There's FB, Twitter, Triberr, Google+, Pinterest, various blogs and countless other places we must visit each day for exposure to build our brands and engage potential readers. Add to that web parties to introduce new titles, never-ending contests, updating a website daily, doing edits on contracted manuscripts, putting together proposals then submitting them, begging for reviews and you have 26 hours of work for one day.

Then, it's time to write. For maybe 10, 15, 20 minutes in between all the other stuff.

(Banging head against desk).

I wish it was the other way around. Lots of time to write with little to no marketing. Maybe in my next life.

Often, interviewers have asked me what advice I'd give to newbies.

Here goes:

1. Get a marketing degree so you know exactly what to do to sell your novel before you write one word of it.
2. Marry someone who knows marketing inside-out and has awesome contacts in the publishing, film and TV industry. Trust me, that makes life super easy.
3. Own your own publishing house, TV station or film studio. Ditto the 'making things easy' part
4. Resign yourself to the fact that you'll be pushing your books more than you'll be writing them. Will this ever get better? Damned if I know. With the Internet, I'm beginning to doubt it.

At least I'm truly happy and satisfied during those 20 minutes a day when I can write uninterrupted, live in a world where guys are hot, honorable, and kind, and where the heroine gets her HEA in the end as she damn well should.

****

My newest release Intimate Details (menage) is releasing November 4. Don't have a cover as yet but here's the blurb:

As a computer hacker, she demands justice.
As a woman, she craves two powerful and commanding men.

Shana’s been hacking one of Manhattan’s most corrupt executives, making him pay for what he’s done to his victims. Using her skills, she convinces Mike and Cody to hire her at their intelligence-gathering firm, where intimate details help their clients.
Never has Mike met a woman as delicious as Shana. Smart as hell, curvy and assured, she’d be a delightful challenge in bed. Cody’s carnal hunger is equally intense. He and Mike want to know everything about her.
She won’t divulge the secrets of her past. All she can offer is unquenchable desire and her heart.
During weeks of shameless lust and pleasure, Mike and Cody peel away the layers of Shana’s life. The stunning truth changes everything. They’ll do all that they can to keep her safe…and in their arms.

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17 comments:

Rose Anderson said...

Oh so true! I didn't know any of that stuff when I started. Like you I had a very different version of this life in my head. Love the post, Tina. Your newest sounds quite juicy too! :)

Tina Donahue said...

Thanks, Rose! Wish I could afford to hire a publicist/marketing company. Maybe someday. :)

vicki batman said...

Hi, Tina! When I began writing there was email and yahoo loops. Boy, how life has changed. You got it right about getting a marketing degree. So disappointing.

Lynda Bailey said...

Great post, Tina - and so sadly true... :( But it is the way of things, at least for now. Best of luck with your newest release - looks super yummy. ;)

Polly McCrillis said...

Now there's some bitter humor! Marketing responsibilities can eat up hours, something I wholly resent. I have two full days a week to write and I'm not going to spend a minute marketing on those days so I schedule it: Marketing Monday and Facebook Friday. I switch up what I do on Mondays but always include visits to a couple blogs.

With all that I've learned about marketing in the past decade, I figure I've earned a marketing degree without spending money for college credits!

Tina Donahue said...

So true, Vicki - I shudder to think what we'll have to do next to gain visibility.

Tina Donahue said...

Thanks, Lynda! I'm still wishing things would get easier.

Tina Donahue said...

I hear you, Polly. I never thought I'd be doing as much marketing as I have. And it keeps getting more and more involved.

jean hart stewart said...

Frankly, I'm so disgusted with the way a writer needs to push herself, I'm about to give up and write and see what happens. Probably nothing good....

Cara Marsi said...

Everything you've said is so true. To your list of advice to new writers. They should marry men who are millionaires so they don't have to hold an outside job and they can hire people to cook, clean, etc. Try doing all you've said and still work an outside job, care for kids and a house. I wish I had a marketing degree. I know writers who do and they are a whiz at promo and make lots of money to boot.

Congratulations on your new release!

Paris said...

Great post, Tina! When I started out I didn't have any idea how much time would be spent promoting. I thought I was supposed to be a write. Reality intruded and I think I reached a point where I spent so much time schmoozing that I didn't get anything written. I've taken several workshops lately and they all say that your next book is your best promotion but I tried that route and from my perspective, the new books benefit that first month or so, after that socializing on the media sites will be just that. I'm choosing a couple of social media sites to be active with the new stuff and writing the rest of the time.

Tina Donahue said...

I feel the same way, Jean. I'm not tired until I have to do all the promoing, then I'm ready for a nap.

Tina Donahue said...

Thanks, Cara!

I used to think that if you wrote a really good book, you'd have a chance.

Not entirely true.

If you know how to market a book it can be pure crap and it will sell.

Tina Donahue said...

I've heard what you have, Paris.

Now, the key seems to be having a book out every month, week, day.

Who has time to write that much and even if you did, how could you write something remotely good in so short a period of time?

I've always had multiple books out yearly, but never one a month.

Melissa Keir said...

I thought it would be different too, although I also had a jaded ideal of payment. That's the first thing I'm working to correct with people, authors aren't getting rich off of writing. They are doing it for fun. Or insanity...okay...for that few minutes of knowing you gave someone (characters, reader, yourself)...a happily ever after. They are so hard to find.

Tina Donahue said...

So true, Melissa. I write because I have to, not because I want to. Frankly, I wish I had become a scientist instead because I was damn good at science. :)

Barbara Bayley Herrin said...

Love the interview. I used to belong to GRW and Dianna has always been an idol to me. She has a fabulous ability to grabs a reader right away and hang on for the long ride!

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