In 2005 I wrote a memoir. Reading it now, I’m amazed at how childlike and light it is, considering it focused on the period in my life when I was dealing with the loss of my first husband. The memoir, titled From There to Here via Paris, set out to help me understand how I survived that time with an eye to one day, perhaps in some form or another, publishing it for others to read. I’ve written more on the subject under the working title Remembering Paris. Paris saved me when nothing else could and I’ve gone on to write a novel, a novella and numerous short stories set in the City of Light. So it was with one eye on a future as a published author that I created my Facebook page I love Paris. The page started out life named after the title of my memoir, but I changed it when it became obvious that I was going to write more than just a memoir about grief.
The group had 1500 followers when I first released Hotel Deja Vu two years ago (wow – really!!??) and now it has more than 4500 #parislovers. In March 2018 around 40 of my followers bought a copy of the ebook. Then when I re-released more than 90 bought a copy and a further 40 took up the freebie option on Amazon. Not huge numbers but not bad for an unknown author who does very little, poorly thought-out marketing. 😉 I am currently serialising the novel over on the page and have sold another 2 copies in the past week.
My point is –
Build it and they will come!
I didn’t know, back in 2009 when I started the page that I was going to end up writing anything more than a memoir but I started the page anyway. Authors have to do this, like that railroad in the alps… This website is a whole other bag of fish. Two years ago, I wanted to create an author website to promote my future books. I am also passionate about encouraging others to be creative and to *cliche alert* Live their Best Life. So Words about Art and Life was born and I’ve been banging away at it since. The various themes on this blog may one days coalesce into a whole other body of work about meaning and creativity but who knows. Right now I’m just ‘reporting’ what I learn on a daily basis so nothing new here. Following my other patterns the purpose of what i’m working on will probably reveal itself in about 5 years.
My Instagram (1100 followers) and Twitter (250) are mostly for socialising and networking with other writers and creatives. I deleted my Twitter account last year because I was fed up with US politics taking over my feed but I’m back on there now. I follow other writers and many of them are following me back. It’s a nice community if you stay away from the binfire that is world politics. Instagram is mostly harmless, to quote Douglas Adams, and it is harmless in the same way. (If you haven’t read Hitchikers Guide you won’t get this…sorry.)
I am picky about what I post here, there and everywhere because the last thing I want is a controversy. I have no desire to tangle with the cancel police and the trigger-tribe. Oh wait, can I write tribe?
I’m not doing anything amazing here but the fact is we have to get a lot of plates up and spinning if we want to reach our audience in the future. I know famous authors tell us to just write good stuff and our audience will find us the good old fashioned way but I really don’t think it will. The world has changed. Creatives have access to incredible technology that puts us in the hand of readers and buyers all over the world. Why wouldn’t we take advantage of that, even if it takes a little foresight and a lot of work.
What can you start today that might bear fruit in 2, 5 or even 10 years?