I’ve been taking an online class on the subject of blogtours, which means finding blogs to host me as a featured author, introduce me to their audience, and hopefully interest them in my work, thereby generating readers. Most of the work of the class, so far, has been to critically evaluate our own blogs and those of other class members. I’m dizzy from staring at computer screens full of buttons and gadgets and links– instead of working on my novel– all in the name of letting people know about my recently published book. At a certain point I have to ask why.
If you write non-fiction, it makes a lot of sense to do these things, but fiction takes a different set of skills, mind-set, and talent. My audience is probably people like me, people with a similar sensibility and worldview, and the trick is to find where they are and how to reach them. But I suspect it may not be through blogging, because the fact is, I don’t enjoy it.
When my son was very young, he once lamented that none of his friends shared all his interests, and the perfect friend would be a clone. Although a clone-friend might have drawbacks, I need to find my reading clones, the people who nod with understanding when they read my stories, or chuckle at all the right places. The theory of this class is that to find them, I have to present myself to blog hosts who will allow me the space to charm their readers into clicking on my book.
But I still believe that my author-self is someone other than myself. I wanted to use a pen name for that reason, but got no further than S.B. instead of Susan, not much of a leap, but significant in my mind.
The more time I spend thinking about blogging and generating a market, the less time I get into my S.B.’s head and I wonder at the wisdom of it all. The internet holds a vast array of authors, many with interesting writing worthy of being read. Although I believe my work fits that description, if I have to stand on my head and develop a talent for cartwheels in order to be noticed, then I’m no longer a writer, am I? I am a person who can do cartwheels.
I will finish the course and try to find blog hosts, but I fear that this effort will take on a life of its own, and the ‘cure’ for anonymity may destroy the writer in the process.