A Writing Life: Tricks Of The Trade Are Mostly Tricks

Monday, October 10, 2016

Tricks Of The Trade Are Mostly Tricks

There are tricks to every trade. I believe for authors, lots of those tricks involve how to market our books. But I'm learning that...

Many tricks of the trade are mostly tricks. 

Now, before you get ruffled, hear me out. There's a lot of good advice out there. A lot. But I feel that the more I read about how to hashtag correctly on Instagram or what Facebook ads are worth the money versus ones that aren't, there really is no bottom line way to do this. In a nutshell, there are no guarantees.

My husband is a numbers guy. And numbers are black and white. It drives him insane the lack of ways to track sales for my books. I can run certain things on social media and see if they coincide with better book sales, but there really isn't a hard and fast, black and white way to see if those things are making a difference. Not enough to justify the money spent anyway. It can be frustrating.

I'm no expert here. Far from it. And I know that many of the articles and blogs I read on marketing say that social media is social. Period. End of sentence. You can talk about your books and let people know when they're being released, but in the end, it's a way to chat with readers, connect.

And I love that part of social media - connecting with readers.

There are some truly nice, wonderful people out there. They're kind and more than willing to tell you they love your writing and can't wait for your next book to come out. God bless them on every level.

A review from a reader... 

But I know that for me, when I get wrapped up thinking the tricks of the trade will bring me huge sales, I end up feeling nothing but discouraged. I've heard multiple authors say recently that the most important thing is the story. Stay focused on the stories you are writing. That's the heart of the matter. If we don't write great stories, no will want to read them anyway and the social media tricks will really be a moot point.

And I have to agree. When I'm character sketching or daydreaming the What Ifs of my story, life is good. There's no tricks to that. Just story. Writing. Creating. And that's what this is really all about.

Have you found tricks of the trades that work? Ones that don't? What has been your experience?

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