If you read my blog posts on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads (Hi, y’all!), you may not be aware of my actual website. Now I have no kind of fame, no matter how modest, but the website does contain more than my blog posts. I’ve been working on it lately to try to update the place a little. There are separate pages for all my books, for example. And links to the various interviews I’ve had, as well as links to my YouTube videos (thank you to my original 14 followers!). If you know me personally you know that I’m not the self-promoting type. I have a monster-sized inferiority complex (so it’s good that I don’t run for political office), and I’m a champion introvert. I spend a lot of time by myself. So why do I do all this web-based stuff?
Good question. You see, I work in publishing and one of the things I hear constantly is marketing and publicity folks talking about an author’s platform (or lack thereof). Believe it or not, my humble efforts here outstrip many authors—I do have a website and I tweet and book-face, no matter how infrequently. In other words I do this to write. Call it being a modern writer. The days are long gone when you wrote a manuscript and mailed it in and let the publisher do their thing. To be a writer is to have to promote yourself, no matter how inferior or introverted you may feel or be. If you’re a regular reader you know I miss the old way of doing things.
We learn lessons when we’re young. Those lessons are difficult to unlearn. I didn’t really know what it meant to be a writer—I grew up among laborers in a blue collar family—but I knew whatever my job might be it would involve writing. As it turns out I’ve had more success (such as it is) in getting published as a nonfiction writer. A great deal of that is due to learning how the system works—being in publishing helps—and figuring out how to place a book. I wasn’t an English or even publishing major. It didn’t seem to be rocket science back then, but it has become a more technological industry today. Of course, time for doing this extra stuff is limited. Indeed, if you work 925 you know that time to do anything outside of work is already rare enough. If all of this looks like an amateur built it, it’s because that’s true. The urge to write is, however, elemental. Some of us are willing to work for words.