One thing I’ve noticed while marketing my book(s): we live in an information deluge. We swim in a sea of facts and details to process. Despite our attempts to categorize every single person and lump them into groups that notice and care about this or that, at the end of the day, it’s individuals who are doing the swimming in this vast and restless sea. Human beings aren’t widgets, and their individual tastes and cost-benefit analyses are real things
I do not think this is new to our digital era or social media use. It just increases the information flow as it is easier to put info out there. The real challenge lies in the human ability to process information and care about it. That’s been around a long time.
How to stand out in this wild sea? I don’t know really. Even outrageousness and sex don’t stand our, frankly, so going out if your way there is no guarantee. I don’t recommend selling your soul to gain influencer status; it won’t last and even the money is not remotely a guarantee, to say nothing of the eternal consequences to yourself and others.
The old days are gone where you could be Jim Butcher, where you have an experiment catch the eye of a publisher and have them do the leg work. Publishers are no longer willing to do the leg work of finding such works very often or promote them on the rare occasions they do, for a variety of reasons, one of which is that they, too, are getting lost in the vast sea people now navigate. Not that their egos will allow them to admit that outright.
Mind, in Butcher’s case, that was a double-edged sword: he didn’t really want to be writing urban fantasy in the first place, let alone forever and ever, but now he is stuck with it, and you can tell some part of the man hates Harry Dresden. The only real benefit to fame for many of us is the money.
My current approach is just committing to trying. I am perpetually disheartened in this endeavor. It’s not fun to see badly made things get attention and money because of the connections of their creators, but them’s the breaks. I write trash, frankly, stuff you read for fun, not intellectual or spiritual growth, but damn it, it’s decently well-done trash, certainly better than a lot of the trash with big backing that is able to stand out for at least a brief, profitable moment- leading to many other such moments.
I won’t say I write for money, but it’s a dream to make money while writing, to get some kind of real acknowledgment for my skill as a writer and storyteller. Kudos on fanfiction feel great, yeah, but money means people are willing to give you something they really value in return for your hard work. It’s another level entirely.
So I shall throw stuff and the wall and attempt to see what sticks. Like so: I’m giving Vocal a go for some short bits. You can find me and my work on Amazon. I’m publishing a weekly updated work on Vella, a platform I’m taking notes on to assess once it’s been out for a month, which might be a postmortem. I’m fairly confident all of these works will provide you with entertainment.
Sometimes, I wonder what is even the point of me. I guess that’s reassuring in a way because that means I intuit that there must be a point to me.