It dawned on me this afternoon that I haven't yet dished out my usual annual bit of advice to new writers who are wondering how they might succeed at penning their first novel this year and making a killing off of it. Especially in E-Book format.
Three years ago I might have told one of these persons to jump on the social media bandwagon. To make their presence known on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Linkedin and more. I would have told them to invest in virtual book tours and to spend a couple of hours each day marketing their work on-line. I would have told them to start a blog and use it to offer advice on the writing process, and to present essays that show off the human side of the writer writing them...Or something like that.
Times have changed.
Social media isn't nearly as effective as it used to be. Virtual tours have most definitely taken over from the dreaded traditional book signing tour, which is a great thing, but they no longer help propel much in the way of sales. That is, you want to make a living at this gig. Blog writing is still a popular form of journalism, but it has become more of an outlet, writer-to-writer, reader-to-reader. A way to share information for free. And frankly, there are too many bloggers out there who can't even write a proper sentence much less a novel.
So, you ask yourself, if none of the old tried and true methods of promoting your work in the digital age no longer work, than how in the world am I to sell my books?
The answer is simple: Write as well as you can, and then write some more. The only thing that will truly sell your work year in and year out is to write great books.