Are Authors Feeling Discouraged?

I came across a conversation on LinkedIn today. Just the title of the topic of discussion says it all:

Internet blogging, social networking et al has no effect on sales for 99% of new self published writers well certainly not for this one. Agree?

Sadly enough, most of the people who participated in the conversation do agree. Here are some excerpts of what they had to say:

Most of the time we’re blogging to other people who are trying to sell something to us — books, marketing, web design, etc. Same with Twitter. Has anyone else concluded that that almost no one reads other people’s tweets? I almost never do. I can’t understand 90% of them anyway.
–Peter Pollak

That is true I have almost given up. If you book is not getting shelf space and advetising somewhere it’s not moving.
–George Mavromates

I quite agree. My first book was with amazon/createspace. Zero-zilch-nothing in the way of promotion / marketing / sales…
–William Spencer

I thought maybe I was just being impatient–I just published last week, but it appears my concerns are justified. I do have some ideas that might help my sales, but I’m not encouraged. I’ve chatted on other sites with other authors with same concerns.
–Bracy Ratcliff

Boy, that’s depressing. But here’s my take on things (which will hopefully have you feeling a little more positive).

First of all, becoming a successful author is much like becoming a successful actor. You have to go into it knowing that the likelihood that you’ll be rich and famous is minimal. In fact, you probably won’t even be able to pay your bills on the money you’ll make. Deal with it. If you want more stability than that, go into banking.

That said, if you don’t do the things you need to do to become a successful author, then there’s no chance (none, niet, nil) that you’ll make it as a writer. Even the most talented writer probably won’t be successful unless he or she properly executes the non-writing requirements of being an author: in this case, blogging and social networking.

Thankfully, a few of the authors in this discussion agreed with me. Here are their comments.

It takes time to build a following and to expand your networks. Keep at it and the momentum will build.
–Lucy Adams

If you don’t do any of these things, there’s just no chance you’ll ever get yourself out there. Can’t win if you don’t play.
–Zihong Gorman

You’re right, Zihong. You have to play — and play well — to ever have a chance. So keep your head up and give it your best shot. If you don’t, you’ll regret it later.