|Are you a little shutter shy?|
How reclusive are you?
Today, any aspiring author is told that in order for her work to sell, she must have a built-in audience already in place for that big day when her book hits the shelf. Anymore, there seems to be an endless list of what aspiring authors should be doing and not really focusing on what's most important to a writing career -- the writing. I've heard more than one agent or editor stress that those time-consuming things we do on the side (i.e. blogging, tweeting, etc.) are almost more important than what's written on the page. How have we gotten so off-track in the publishing world, to the point that the writing has been placed on the back burner?
I'd like to take a look at a few of the authors many of us have come to know and love and, yet, they shunned the public eye. They pretty much thumbed their noses at it and told everyone to leave them alone. But we love them to this day, and not because of their "platform" or how many "followers" they have tagging along behind them. No, we love them for . . . you guessed it, their writing.
|J.D. Salinger -- 1950|
|Marcel Proust -- 1900|
|Thomas Pynchon on The Simpsons|
|Harper Lee -- 1960|
After seeing how some notable authors have been able to retain their privacy to this day, my question is, why is the social network so important when it comes to selling fiction? I recently attended a writers' meeting where the guest speaker spoke about the imbalance between those who follow him on Facebook and Twitter and how many books he sells on average. Basically, what he said is that followers on those sites don't translate into sales, something he's worked long and hard to attain through social networking.
Do you believe the online community has helped or harmed your writing career? Do you waste time connecting to others, or do you use your time wisely and learn to balance your writing with your online social life? Do you believe a writing career today would be harmed by adopting such a reclusive lifestyle?