Saturday, January 20, 2007

MySpace - not yet

I've been hearing that a lot of authors are getting MySpace pages. I gather they're getting lots more hits on their blogs and sites.

So the other day, I went to MySpace and... Oh. My. Word.

I am not ready for that. It's all just too much -- too much information, too much noise and too many graphics.

I (now fondly) recall the olden days, when I was first published. Then, there were basically two ways to promote yourself and your work: print and personal appearances. You could take out ads in Romantic Times and Affaire de Coeur and the Romance Writers Report. You could get free PR by writing articles for newsletters.

In terms of personal appearances, you could go to conferences and do workshops, and you could do booksignings. Those also involved getting some PR materials made, like flyers or bookmarks.

If you really wanted to go to town, you could do a mailing.

The thing was, PR was something that you could do weekly, monthly or bi-annually, or just when your book was about to come out.

Now, with blogs and MySpace, PR is becoming a daily

Not that this is all bad. It's good to be able to keep your name out there during the time between books. And it's fun to hear from readers.

However, this can also seem another burden, and if you're strapped for time as it is... Well, decisions must be made. I don't take on every PR opportunity that comes my way. I base my decisions on two main factors: time and stress vs. enjoyment factor. Right now, that means updating my website (fast and enjoyable), blogging (more time-consuming, but still more fun than stressful), and a few personal appearances a year. That's a system that works for me in terms of allowing me to get my work done, and to feel that I'm promoting my books without taking too much time away from the writing.

I think that if I were to take on a MySpace page now, the balance would go too far from writing the books I'm contracted to write, to writing to promote myself. Which is kinda backwards. If I don't concentrate on the books I'm contracted to write, I've got no reason to promote myself on the web, or anywhere else.

So MySpace will just have to wait.


Christine said...

My Space scares me a bit. I don't know if/when I'll be ready to take that one on. I do love my blog though. :)

Amy Ruttan said...

My Space is scary. I joined and it was only to leave comments on my author friend from Ohio's blog, and now Ive been sucked into the whirlwind that is My Space. Although, I don't bother with it too much. I seem to focus on my website and blog. I guess when my call comes (fingers crossed), I put a little more effort into it ... but I won't let it interrupt my writing time.

Christine said...

After I posted this I went over to My Space to see what it's all about. I set one up, but I'm not sure I'll do much with it. Too many other things going right now. :)

Linda Sole said...

You don't have to have it like that, Margaret. I have recently joined up to myspace and I have some of the graphics but keeping it fairly low key. It is great fun making the slides and videos to put up for visitors. I like to feature books from friends here. I also feature them on my blogspot
I particularly like to feature historical writers, but like to get their permission first - so how about you?
Linda/Anne Herries

Shari Anton said...

Oh, it's not so bad, Margaret. Come join the fun. :)