Platform overreach?

Even if the dire Facebook predictions are correct and only 10% of my followers see my feed, that’s about standard for any mass-distribution effort. If each of my outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, G+, an Amazon author page, LinkedIn, my blog) each garners 10%, I’m doing pretty well. And I may maintain a modicum of sanity in the process.

Social media mavens claim the best way to reach your audience is through email newsletters and the like; I’m not convinced, and I haven’t yet taken that step. I may do so eventually <shudder>, but to me, it’s closer to spam than any of the other must-do platform builders.

In response to a discussion on this topic on one of the many writing groups I belong to on Facebook, when I commented in the above manner, a fellow writer said, “I respectfully disagree – strongly! People who have signed up for your newsletter want to hear from you. They want to know about that next book, about how your new WIP is coming along, etc.”

Yes and no. From a personal perspective, I often end up on those email lists because I’m being kind, because of perceived need for reciprocity, or because of interest in a specific topic or contest I may have entered. And quite honestly, I have a secondary email address I use for those sign-ups whenever possible; it goes to an account I rarely read. I’d wager I’m not alone in using these throw-away accounts.

Thankfully (in my mind), a growing backlash against constant platform building recognizes and espouses, “Do what’s comfortable for you.” I can deal with Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, G+, an Amazon author page, LinkedIn, and my website/blog – most of the time, but I won’t be making the leap to Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram, Tsu (?), any of the endless number of library/bookshelf sites, et al. I need time to actually…you know…write.

And even though I have started compiling an email list, I can’t see myself going that route, either.

Of course, I’ve also learned to never say never.

Where do you draw the line?

20 responses to “Platform overreach?”

  1. Well you are doing better than me. Just the prospect of signing up to any of the social media platforms makes me start to lose the will to live. And, yes, you need to have the time to actually research, and do, the writing! Evangeline


  2. I haven’t done the newsletter yet, but I DO believe it is a good thing if you can have regular content. I follow quite a few authors via their newsletters, but I haven’t felt I have enough to say to do my own. Procrastination and fear of failure keep me from it.


  3. The good thing about e-newsletters is that those of us who take long and necessary breaks from FB, while we might be in the 90% not seeing your feed, we would get the newsletters. And I’m also with you, lost in the sea of “musts” which don’t always acknowledge the biggest “must” which is “must write.” 🙂 Thanks for this post, Cyndi!


  4. I try not to worry about readership at this stage of the game. I started a new blog earlier this week, and I’ve been posting responses to daily prompts and I have a short story in my blog feed. It would be different if I was doing this for a year and not getting anywhere as far as readership. Everyone has a different meaning for success. Maybe it is that ten percent. Maybe it’s more. I don’t know what that would mean to me. Right now, all I’m concerned with is getting my work out there.


  5. Hi would you mind letting me know which web host you’re
    working with? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most.
    Can you suggest a good hosting provider at a reasonable price?

    Thanks, I appreciate it!


  6. As for mailing lists, I think it depends on what you send out to people, and how you try to build the list. I have my list segmented into different options, so in theory, there are those that might only get an email once for every book I publish. And if you target building your mailing list only to those people who are actually interested in your writing, the success numbers go way up.

    I read a blog where the author detailed how he tended to grow his mailing list. He would run giveaways and one of the options would be signing up for his mailing list. If you signed up for the mailing list, you got a free ebook. He removed everyone from the list who never downloaded the book (i.e. were not interested in his writing but in the giveaway). For him 15% of his mailing list bought his book each time he had a new release.


  7. I’d be way better at the platform thing if my clone would step up. It feels overwhelming some days, but it’s a trade off. I’ve met some terrific writers and supporters via the various sites.


  8. When it comes to social media, one size does not fit all! I seem to naturally gravitate towards some tools, such as Instagram and Twitter, and shy away from others, like LinkedIn and G+. As you said, it’s important to make sure that we actually spend time writing!
    Although… speaking of Twitter, I hope to see you at the next #Storydam chat. 🙂


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