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.