Léna's Lit.Life

Léna (me): Lit, as in literature, Lit, as in light, Lit, as in a little kooky: Life.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Author Page: Do You "Like" Me? and Other Marketing Insanities

facebook
It's been a couple of weeks of in and out illness. A real doozy. Have you been there? Five of us smashed in a house, infecting and reinfecting each other, no matter how many times we wash our hands. In fact, right now I'm home with two sick boys watching reruns of MONK and PSYCH.

What does this have to do with the insanity of marketing? Well, I'll tell ya.

Saturday night I went to bed early with my feverish daughter, and was toolin' around Facebook when I decided to throw caution to the wind and create a more official "author" Facebook page. I already have a page for Edges, created over a year ago in the lead up to publication, watching way too closely for my mental health at the rate it's "likes" were ticking upward. I naively hoped that my book would take the world by storm - instead it's been a slow build.

Just the way our careers should be. Yet publication, and the need to be "liked" has been a challenge to my maturity. It makes me uncomfortable because I feel both needy and tacky. Dirty.

Although Facebook and other social media has been a good time and an incredible tool for creating community, I have often felt like a fifteen-year-old all over again - who doesn't experience a flush of excitement when a comment or a post garners fun or thoughtful interaction? And then the opposite - it's even easier on Facebook to compare our insides to other people's outsides and judge ourselves based on who "likes" us. Sometimes I just want to delete my accounts just so I can focus on my writing.

Yet I am an author, and need to use the tools at my disposal. I have to treat myself like a business, and the fact is that I wrote EDGES years ago. I have written two (as yet to be published) novels since then. I run an after-school creative writing program, I live and breathe writing. I need to have another page where I can post things that are not necessarily related to Edges. And Facebook makes it so darn easy!

My author page. I had 40 "likes" in the first half hour, 80 "likes" in the next half hour. All friends full of love and support. Phew!

The goal? To increase business, to reach more potential readers of my blog and my book(s).

So. The next few sentences are not going to be pretty - they're going to highlight an insecurity that I need to keep in check: I have to admit that I've been obsessively checking my page for new "likes". 145, 146, 147 . . . I have to seriously get over it. After all, I've been blogging regularly for two years now (oh! I missed my anniversary?!) and I "only" have 158 followers, yet I still write.

How many "likes" do I need? Will it ever be "enough"?

It's foolish to focus on that.

Writing is the way I process the world, and if I stop because I'm uncomfortable, because I'm not popular "enough" then I will be denying myself the key to my personal freedom.

Marketing is a tool to use and not be used by, but I like that my imperfections remind me of my vulnerability and my need for humility. It keeps me authentic. Don't you agree?

And yes, go "like" my page! And follow my blog! ;-)
Enhanced by Zemanta

19 comments:

  1. I try not to think about the "likes". They're nice but I don't obsess over it, nor the amount of blog followers. I just write what I want and tweet to get the word out. I know I have some regulars but thanks to twitter I can hit a bunch of people who might not know me. About once a month or so I get a comment that tells me someone enjoys reading my posts and they get a lot out of them. That's worth more than all the likes, isn't it? :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, much more, MBee! And that's wonderful that you have such an even keel about these things. Writing about when my sanity gets skewed helps to right itself - it's the way I understand everything!

      Delete
  2. I agree, the insatiable need for FB validation takes its toll. If I wasn't meeting some great virtual writing folk, I'd delete my FB account and slip back into the real world!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Cathy, there are so many checks and balances, aren't there? But I embrace it all, and hopefully come out a little wiser for it!

      Delete
  3. I love this post, and can very much relate (which shouldn't surprise you). But can I say? As I was reading this, my heart started beating quicker and my anxiety was rising. I was thinking about getting more likes for my pages and are they enough. This business is crazy hard, and not because of the writing, which is such a shocker to me. When I thought about being a published writer, the other stuff never crossed my mind, nor its importance. I'm going to like your page right away, if I haven't yet. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Margie - yes, we are so sympatico! I could never have imagined this kind of insanity. I was so naive! Thank you also, for re-posting this on your FB page!

      Delete
  4. First off, I love love love LOVE Psych and Monk (so much I had to use the word "love" to many times).

    Secondly, don't forget. For every "like" there are at least 2 others who saw it, so think of your "likes" as a fraction. You only get to know a portion of your true reach.

    Have fun being popular!

    A little vanity is good for the soul, don't you think? (:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ian! I love seeing your name in the comments. I'm so glad that Monk and Psych are another thing we have in common! And thanks for your kind words and support!

      Delete
  5. "Marketing is a tool to be used, not to be used by." I love that.
    And, frankly, I appreciate knowing how hooked you can get on the numbers, because I'm that way, too.

    It's amazing to me how well we can know ourselves, and STILL not stop these insecurities.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm glad you do marketing and social media. It's been fun to feel like I'm on the journey with you.
    And get your kids--and yourself--healthy in the next 35 days! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :-) And we will get better! Also: for the first time this morning, I participated in Karmic Friday with Novel Publicity. It's been wild! We'll see if I make any "real" connections . . .

      Delete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Lena, great post. I'm a little insane about the numbers too, until they stalled out a bit. Then I got over it, somewhat. Although, if I don't get any response to my posts, that still bothers me.
    I've been doing Karmic Friday off and on and I have made some fun connections through it. I don't know if anyone actually checked out my books but it is nice to find kindred writer spirits, all trying to promote the heck out of ourselves. Do other professionals have to do this like we do? It gets crazy.
    Hope you're all healthy. There's been a lot of sickness in my house as well. I'm ready for spring. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah! (Or should I say, Marian Librarian!) Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. It's great to know I'm not alone in this craziness. There are so many wonderful books and wonderful people out there!

      And we are all feeling much better today - thanks! xo

      Delete
  9. And then the opposite - it's even easier on Facebook to compare our insides to other people's outsides and judge ourselves based on who "likes" us. Sometimes I just want to delete my accounts just so I can focus on my writing. Generic Viagra

    ReplyDelete