One of the hardest things about being a self-employed, self-published, self-starting author is the marketing of your books. Guess who has to do that? Yes: yourself. And although I have run my own (non-writing) business for many years, and of course that has involved marketing to a certain extent, it turns out that authors and marketers need radically different skills. In short, authors have to like their own company and be able to shut off from the world around them, while marketers have to be people people, friends with everyone and full of sociable beans. Tricky. So once a quarter – I know it should be more often, but that’s all I can face – I dedicate one of my Sam days to marketing rather than to writing, and today was one of those days.
For some time now, it has been bothering me that my Twitter profile serves both my work persona (anti-money laundering consultant) and my author persona. And although there is some overlap – financial crime – they do tend to clutter each other, and I think it would be both more professional and more authorly to split them. And it turns out that you can have as many Twitter-beings as you like, as long as each has its own email address. So today I have set up a new Twitter account in the name “ConstablePlank”, and I intend to drive all Sam interest in that direction – so please do come along and follow him (well, me – and no doubt Martha will get involved too). Alongside Twitter I also have blogs (one for work, one for Sam) and Facebook pages (one personal, one used very rarely for work, and one for Sam), as well as an Amazon Author Central profile and a GoodReads one, and so I have had to write a long list to make sure that they are all pointing at the right versions of each other. Makes you long for the days when people simply wrote rather elegant letters to each other – or indeed to fictional detectives.