The Gurus Lie

The author gurus (the people whose advice novice writers seek out to help our fledgling literary careers) have been telling us that we need to build our book platform at the same time as we write our book, or we will fall tragically behind in our marketing efforts, and as a result, our book sales will be scarce to none. I bought that bologna, and I got lousy results.

I have been studying writing and marketing for over three years now. That sounds like a short time, but believe me, I have put in the hours. Until recently I spent 4-10 hours per day, 7 days a week studying and writing and building blogs and websites.

I have a few blog followers, around 20 twitter followers, and  a couple dozen Facebook friends for the book.

Two years worth of work? That’s all?

Yes, I’m sure it’s a wise idea to start blogging while writing your book, but let’s face it, you can only do one of them at a time, and as long as the book is not finished, there’s really not much to talk about. You certainly can’t sell a book that’s not finished. When you add in the time spent at work and with your family, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do a decent job at everything concurrently.

Something has to give.

My book “platform” is going to have to be put on the back burner until I have something to shout about. It takes time to create a blog, make it SEO friendly, come up with posts, edit them, create an engaging Facebook fan page, tweet and engage an audience. . .

Creating a platform, that audience of fans that propels your books early sales, is not a small thing. It takes time to create. It takes time to learn what needs to be done and to make it successful. There’s research to be done in technologies, software, marketing, copywriting, graphics, back-end sales systems, email marketing programs. . . the list just keeps going.

If you are one of the people who can juggle work, family, studying marketing, the writing craft and write your book all at the same time, you are a far better man than me. If, on the other hand, you too feel the pressure of all the things necessary to launch a successful book in todays rapidly changing book market, along with all the time and energy requirements that make up our normal day-to-day lives, then perhaps you too should just forget about all the BS that the author gurus tell us about author platforms, and just get on with learning about writing, and write the best book you can.

Trying to do everything at the same time has only gotten me tired and frustrated, neither of which will help me complete my book, and nothing will happen if I don’t at least do that.

Speaking of not finishing the book, I’m sure you have heard on many occasions how many people never even finish their books.  I find it quite contradictory that these same gurus that tell us to build our platform while writing our book also tell us that most people never finish writing their book in the first place. Perhaps if I already knew how to write well enough to sell thousands of copies of whatever I chose to put forth, and I was making a living doing just that, then I too would have time to create a book platform at the same time as the book itself and still have a family that remembers what I look like.

Do you think if new authors studied the craft of writing and focused on completing the book, more people would finish writing them? Do you think they’d get better results?



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