Simplifying the Author Sprawl

These past few weeks, I’ve been making a lot of lists.  On Twitter, on Facebook, on blog favorite folders, etc., etc.  I’ve been doing this not only because I have some OCD tendencies but also because of this – my author-based collection/database has become paralyzingly vast and in some ways useless.

I’ve been at this author thing for a while now.  Certainly long enough to know what groups, blogs, clubs, and advertising sites work for me and which do not.  In the past few weeks (and probably in the next weeks I’ll sift through more), I’ve finally let myself sever ties with those that are sucking up my time, cluttering my inbox, and in general just aren’t doing me any good.

Some of these sites/clubs I’ve been with long enough to see that our philosophies differ by way of author-to-author support, review policies, etc.  I don’t want to badmouth anyone in particular, but I think this is a point worth making, considering the scores of groups out there:

  • I don’t personally believe in blanket support just because I’m in the same club with someone.  I like to actually READ an author’s work before I tell my followers to hop on the bandwagon.
  • I really don’t see the point in tweets where you just list a bunch of Twitter users and everyone retweets it over and over – I’ve seen very little increase in followers from these, and they just look like spam and annoy me, especially when I don’t actually know anyone involved.  (Oh, you like my writing – great!  Wait, you’ve never read me? Er…)
  • I find it hard to be a part of any club where the majority of the books promoted are the books of club board members.  That seems a little self-serving to me.  Yes, you do a lot of work for the club, but that’s what you signed up for – your club members are not paying for the privilege of serving you.
  • Lastly, If I’m going to be an active member of a group, I like to see that the authors genuinely care about each other, want to build a community, and offer to help each other (be it promos, reviews, or writing advice) without expecting to receive anything in return. (Shout-out to the #Awethors Group on FB – you people are truly awesome and among my favorite authors/readers on the internet)

I try to be supportive to the Indie Author community as much as possible, so I’m hoping that narrowing down my sphere of interaction will give me more time and focus. I’ve already discovered that I have more time to READ books I’ve wanted to read for a long time (but had to keep swinging around in my Kindle carousel due to “having” to read for clubs).  And – shocker – I also seem to have more time to actually WRITE for myself!  Who knew?

So, anyway, by leaving some of these groups/clubs, I’m sure I’ll lose some followers. I might not get sales I’d expect otherwise.  But that’s okay.  “Quality over quantity” has some application here.  I hope to better get to know those of you who stay with me.  My “author life” already feels so much easier, more organized, and enjoyable.

Cheers.

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About Sunshine Somerville

I'm the author of "The Kota Series" and live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where I work as a medical transcriptionist from home. When not staring into a computer screen, I enjoy reading, painting, and being outdoors.
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7 Responses to Simplifying the Author Sprawl

  1. dmcain84 says:

    Reblogged this on D.M.Cain and commented:
    A remarkably astute observation about author life by Sunshine Somerville

  2. dmcain84 says:

    This is a great article Sunshine, and I totally agree with you. I’ve now reached the point where I am receiving up to 250 emails a day – mostly notifications from one group or another, and most of it totally irrelevant for me! Now that our lovely little #awethors group is doing so well I think I’m going to cut ties with the others and concentrate my efforts there, as that’s where my heart lies 🙂

    Hope I can get some time for reading and writing like you said!

  3. Lisa says:

    So recognizable! Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

  4. C.E. Vance says:

    My thinking has been so similar to this lately! I want to help and support other authors, but I want to have time to write and be with my family as well. I’ve actually started avoiding my email as much as possible because it’s so overwhelming to see the constant flood of notifications. There are a couple of great groups full of wonderful people that I will continue to participate in, but some of the others that are just time-suckers will have to go.

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