Clearing Out Information Overload

The other night, I was browsing through one of my bookmarked file folders on publishing and marketing. It was a shock to find nearly 200 articles going back to 2013 and I wound up deleting plenty. Some links no longer worked. Some of the information had been saved more than once at different time periods, and some was simply irrelevant now.

A number of how-to articles bragged about how easy it is to self-publish. Hmm. While writing and producing a book might not be rocket science for some, it’s incredibly challenging for others. For me, production is a months-long process that requires a lot of attention to detail.

I was also struck by the contradiction in marketing strategies. Again, many of the articles and blogs made their ‘5 steps to successful marketing’ sound simple. Some articles recommended getting on as many platforms as possible. Others said don’t bother with social media at all, just create a website and a mail list. As I write this, I’m still trying to sort through the articles which resonate with my current needs.

One thing is clear. The number of how-to articles on self-publishing and marketing articles is mind boggling. If authors are confused and overwhelmed, I get it. Because I have a clear understanding of my objectives, my budget, and the time it takes me to write, produce and market a book, I’ve also become more realistic and less patient with the ‘5 easy steps to self-publishing’ guides.

I imagine many of you are inundated with information on social media or blogs popping into your inbox. I’d love to know if you find any publishing or marketing articles that have been especially useful for you. Or are you paring down like I am?

Thank You

Photo by Raj Vaishnaw on Pexels

It’s been a remarkably busy pre-Christmas week, but not for the usual reasons. My shopping, wrapping, and charitable donations are all done (about two weeks earlier than usual), which is just as well. My daughter’s been suffering from back pain, which reached an excruciating level on Monday, so I’ve been looking after baby Ellie this week while she recovers. Physiotherapy seems to be helping, but we’ll see how she does over the coming days.

This week, I simply want to say thank you to followers of this blog for sticking with me these past couple of years, and give a special welcome to those who have joined this fall. I’m especially grateful for those who’ve taken the time to comment or respond to my questions. I love the interaction I’ve received since joining WordPress and hope it will continue to grow.

Meanwhile, are you on a countdown to 2021 yet? Something tells me that many of us aren’t waiting for December 31st to get the countdown started.

The Fun and Challenges of Guest Blogging

KEEP-CALM-BLOG-ON[1]After releasing a new novel, one of my ongoing promotion tasks is to write guest blogs and find bloggers who are willing to host me. I remember asking you all for advice about whether to try a blog tour and the majority of responses advised against it. The reasoning was that the amount of time it takes to write twenty to thirty blogs doesn’t pay off in subsequent sales, especially when you factor in the cost of hiring someone to arrange a tour. Sure, you could organize a big tour yourself, but it takes a great deal of effort to find willing hosts, keep track of posting deadlines, and stay engaged in the process.

So, I’m preparing just a few blogs, at my own pace. I thought it would be challenging, but once I started thinking about topics, ideas began to flow. Some of the blogs are specific to The Blade Man and others are about writing in general. It’s actually been fun to reflect back on my career, the things I’ve learned, and acknowledging the people who inspired me.

To date I have three lined up for June, which I’ll repost when the time comes, and I’ll be searching for more opportunities as we move into July. I’m not planning to appear more than once a week, which is plenty for me.

All in all, I’m off to a good start, but I’m looking for more hosts, so if you’re interesting in hosting me, please let me know at debra_kong@telus.net.

And I’m always open to hosting authors in all genres, as we can all learn something from one another.

Great Blogs to Follow This Year

love bloggingLate last year, I began promoting my blog on new platforms and following the blogs of others. It’s been great fun, but also time consuming, I have to admit. Still, just when I think I’ve followed as many people as I can, along comes a terrific Facebook post about the top 100 Canadian book bloggers.

I’m Canadian, so this is exciting stuff for me, but as I scrolled down the list it became clear that many of these blogs will appeal to bloggers everywhere. The list includes publishers, magazines, book reviewers, and writers that includes a wide array of angles and viewpoints.

Go ahead, give it a try. I know I’m going to follow a few, although I’m quite sure I won’t be able to manage all 100. You can find the list HERE

Happy blogging and reading!

#amblogging: Too Much Info in Your Life? Probably

About three years ago, I came across a number of blogs and FB posts from people who were feeling increasingly overwhelmed with the numerous newsletters, emails, and blogs bombarding them. Some of those people were unsubscribing while others were simply deleting whatever appeared in their inbox. Based on a recent article in MEDIUM, there was a good reason for this. It’s called information fatigue.

The piece says that humans aren’t equipped to handle the huge amount of information coming at them from all directions. It’s one of the reasons I’ve never started a newsletter. Between my weekly blogs, daily Tweets, and intermittent FB announcements, I figure I’m saying enough. Marketing experts will likely disagree, but that’s how it is right now.

The blog also says that all this information is adding to our stress, exhausting us, and even making us dumber. I have no idea if that’s true, but the blog serves as a great reminder that we can control how much information we tune into and where we choose to seek it, whether for entertainment, research, or just staying aware of world events.mainstream-media[1]The piece offers some commonsense tips like taking breaks from technology, going for walks, and shutting off the news. As a news junkie, I’m not sure I can do that especially in these exciting times, but I’ll try. It might just keep my blood pressure low.