And it's New Year!

As well as starting to think about my next book, I am hoping that my husband will resume work on type-setting Malarat. He has got about half way through, but he is a perfectionist and wants it to look good as well as being in the right format for epub and the other forms of ebook.

I have been struggling with Twitter. I am not convinced that, once the book is available, my various followers will be enthused by me deluging them with endless Tweets advising them to 'Buy Malarat - only $1.99 etc etc'. I am often in receipt of such promo Tweets. I feel for the people who post them because it is extremely difficult to sell one's work, even with the inclusion of brief teasers about the content of the book. But my first reaction is 'Oh no, spam' and I am sure that other people must react the same way.

What interests me on Twitter (apart from the occasional elliptical or witty comment) are Tweets with a link in them leading to an interesting article or news item. I almost always follow these links and read the article or blog if I can. I also like to re-tweet them because they are genuinely interesting.

I'm happy to re-tweet stuff for people I know - real friends - or people whose work I have read and enjoyed. What really worries me - and let there be a short pause for Mr OCD to enter the room - is re-tweeting and recommending books by people who follow me and whose stuff I have never read.

Where I know, or know of writers, I can be confident that their stuff is something I would be happy to read and therefore something I'm happy to re-tweet.  With complete strangers, who I don't know at all, I feel a certain reluctance. The trouble is, their books may be wonderful, well-written, imaginative - or at the very least, full of potential.

What I don't have is time. I need to write (oh that!) and there are other things I want to read, research to do, and indeed books by struggling writers I know that I want to read. And because of my circumstances there are times when I stop functioning that well. I stop keeping up with Facebook or Twitter and either pursue one of my other interests (Den of Angels, ball-jointed dolls, eBay) or else stop interacting online.

The people I admire most are these writers who manage to hold down a day-job, write and socialise online as well. I suppose that I'm on a different time-schedule to most - late till late - but there never seem to be enough hours in the day for everything!

I have followed various blogs and articles which give advice about how to promote your book using Twitter and other social media. My favourite so far is the following article from Indie Author News Twitter Tips for Authors, which was posted back in July. I think they make a lot of good suggestions. Having said that, I don't tweet using my author name, and I certainly wouldn't tweet as Jessica Rydill, Author (or writer). I've noticed that several friends don't Tweet under their own names either.

These reflections haven't moved me much further on with how to promote my book, as and when it becomes available. At the moment, I'm more pre-occupied with the next book, which rather seems to have taken off on a frolic of its own. There is no question that if you are writing for a mainstream publisher and with an editor to supervise you, he or she will provide a brake on this tendency! Editors, after all, are there to edit, which is what they do best. They do it much better than I ever will, because I cannot stand apart from my writing to the same degree.

I wonder if I should post a promo excerpt from Malarat here. But in the past, when I've done similar things on Live Journal, nobody commented at all. In other words, you need someone to be actually reading your blog in order for it to be a meaningful exercise!

I rather fear they are all too busy blogging themselves, and indeed tweeting.


  1. Depending on Twitter to market your book will ultimately leave you disappointed, as few people follow authors via social media so they can be spammed.

    I thing I've noticed is you're in a tough spot as you're published as Jessica Rydill, your name on Twitter is Jessica Saunders, and your handle is the inscrutable @razumova. Meanwhile, you're Rydill on Google+, Goodreads, and Wikipedia.

    The first step is deciding why you use Twitter (and any other social media platform), and then adjust accordingly, and I'd suggest that you maintain that consistency, with Saunders referenced in your description.

    Both @jessicarydill and @jrydill appear to be available.

    You should also add this blog's URL to your Goodreads and Twitter profiles, too.

    Beyond that, here are two resources I'd recommend you check out:

  2. Thank you, Guy! I really value your advice. I think you're probably right about Twitter. I don't really like spamming people on Twitter and I wonder whether other writers who do it are on a hiding to nothing. I certainly tend to ignore most self-promoting tweets as they tend to more or less say 'Buy my book called X!'

    I have two Facebook accounts, one in my married name, and the other linked to my Goodreads author profile, in my maiden name. As for my Twitter profile - I don't know. Given that, as you say, it's not a good idea to use it to spam people with sales links, I might keep it as razumova. But you are right that I need to think!

    If I did open a Twitter account as @jessicarydill, what would happen to my followers?

    Incidentally, I think this blog posts directly to my Goodreads profile.

    I will definitely check out the links - thank you!

  3. I wouldn't suggest starting a separate Twitter account, simply changing the name to @jessicarydill so fans will immediately recognize you. You don't have to spam sales pitches every day to engage with fans and potential readers; simply be yourself, and when Malarat becomes available, don't be afraid to mention it now and then, including adding it to your bio.

    A few authors you should follow on Twitter as good examples: @suelange, @chuckwendig and @tobiasbuckell

    As for Facebook, I can see having two separate profiles; a personal account for Saunders, and an "author" account for Rydill, though the latter might be overkill until you get more comfortable with social media in general.

    Anything I can do to help, just ask. With the caveat that I'm clearly slow to respond many times! :-)

    1. Thank you, Guy! I've seen your Google+ post too.

  4. Speaking of Guy Le Charles, he just suggested you might be a good candidate for membership in Book View Cafe. I can't find any way to contact you so I'm sending you a post here. If you have been thinking about BVC, you can send a request for membership via their contact link at the website ( The membership coordinator will send you information membership.

    Hang in there and glad to meet you. I'll check out your work. If it's good enough for Guy, it's good enough for me.


    Sue Lange

  5. Thank you very much, Sue - I would love to join. I'll do as you suggest and send a membership request.

    It's really good to meet you too. Hope to be in touch soon. Thank you for the kind words!



  6. ETA: Sue, if you happen to read this, is there any way I can contact you more directly?
    All best


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