Writing, Self-Publishing, Indie authors and the Power of Social Media

For some reason, I felt a compulsion to Google the following phrase: Is there a difference between a self-published author and an Indie author? I’m still not sure that I got the answer that I was looking for, but I did come across a lot of material that I have not come across before, and I got that overwhelming feeling of being swamped by too much information. My interior sirens went absolutely berserk. The problem is that you can spend too much time trying to figure out what to do with your “potential best-seller”, rather than spending time editing, or writing new material. I want to be a writer, not a publisher or a marketing genius. Deep sigh. Then the realisation kicks in that you have to be able to do them all, if you want to be a successful author. Most traditional authors don’t have to find their own editor, or book cover designer, but they do have to get involved in the marketing. You have to be out there to get noticed, but the self-publishing world is getting very crowded. Why on earth would someone choose your book over the other thousands, especially when some of the others are free? It’s not a question that I can answer, but what I have realised, in a short space of time, is that blogging and tweeting are probably the most powerful social media tools out there. I’ve not been here for long, but I can feel the potential power. I don’t have the perfect site, yet, but at the moment, what I write is more important than how I present my blog. But I do know that I will have to give my blog a facelift in the future. I am getting better with Twitter, too.

I have kept my website, http://www.defendersofknowledge.com/, up and running because I have had over 1000 visits to it, without any publicising, but if I had discovered WordPress first, then I think I would have done it all through WordPress. I know I still have the option to pay and upgrade my WordPress account, but it’s on the backburner, for now. What I love about my blog is the fact that I have set it up to automatically publish to Facebook and Twitter. I think this is a fantastic feature, and I would recommend this to my fellow bloggers. Since discovering the acquaintance list on Facebook, I have started sending and accepting more friend requests, as I know it is essential for successful marketing via my Facebook Book page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Defenders-of-Knowledge/206456832744827 If I am being completely honest with you, I will say that I never saw the point of Twitter, until very recently. I did sign up for an account, a couple of years back, but I never used it. But because that little voice in my head keeps whispering marketing, I knew I had to take the plunge and get to grips with Twitter. Hint, you can follow me on “Ashia Mirza @ AshPrinceWriter”. Though I was sceptical, I am already seeing the benefits of Twitter – I have already been directed to articles I found interesting, and the school Twitter account keeps me updated with everything my children have forgotten to tell me (no more hidden school reports!). I find it amazing that some bloggers, tweeters and facebook users have thousands of followers (I’m only slightly jealous!). I’m guessing it takes time to build up a social media presence. The key is to keep blogging, tweeting and posting articles that people will find useful, interesting and even amusing. I really wish I could dedicate more time to blogging!

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Self-publishing writing schedule and commas

This year, I am aiming to write for half an hour every day. With work and family to look after, it’s extremely difficult to fit in time to write, but I think scheduling it into your routine makes you at least think about it. Today was a bonus, because my half an hour turned into two hours, and I felt very smug by the end of it. This evening, I also spent some time reading up on commas, yet again. Have you noticed that even though there are “rules” for commas, well-known authors don’t seem to abide by them? This makes life very difficult for us “would-bes”, but the advice seems to be unanimous: stick to the rules. This is very unfair as sometimes you feel like sticking it to the rules! I still find myself taking out commas, replacing them, taking them out … you get the drift! (Yes, I know I could take them out  and add them to this paragraph too!)

If you have been following my blog, you may be wondering what I am writing about. Is it the re-write of The Book of Thoth? Unfortunately not; it will be February/March time before I underdo that task, and it’s not down to procrastination! Now, time for the fanfare – I have started writing the second book!! End of fanfare. Yes, I have the second book more or less plotted in my head, and hope to finish writing it by the end of the year. Needless to say, it will be put on hold whilst I rewrite the first. All I can be sure of, is that this year involves a lot of writing, and I believe that’s what any would-be author should be aiming for 🙂