I never meant to be a gambler, I’ve never understood the language of numbers. The best way I know to take care of money is not to spend it.

So what am I doing checking in at the race course several times a day, squinting to read the line-up?  Amazon, that’s my race track. Night Must Wait‘s my horse. When you publish a book and put it on Amazon they start immediately to tell you what its ranking in paid sales is, and my publisher tells me there are about two million books out there on the racetrack. How can you ever break out of a crowd like that?

Social media, build your base, build your profile, make it personal. Connect. All my fellow writers out there, do it. Learn Twitter and Linked-in, Facebook and web pages like languages. I’m watching my numbers. Clearly Amazon has some sliding scale where it plots your recency of publication against your current sales; so far my best number has been around 21,000 (the lower your number the better.) But the number bounces all over, depending on who sold what in the last minute. See why I feel like a gambler watching the horses, straining to spot where my colors are out in the field?

I thought I had a good start but I’m realizing now how much more I might do. Some of you may make faces at me for pushing Twitter, but just have a gander at books like my publisher Cheryl Tardiff’s on web marketing.   Or all the uses of Facebook and Amazon outlined in Phyllis Zimbler Miller’s book. The world of publishing is changing? Heard that before? I think we’re all behind the times. It changed, and we’re catching up.

Yes, I have had trouble figuring out the Twitterverse. Eric Van Lowe has some great discussions on his blog on that subject…

I’m finally beginning to understand Twitter, thanks to a lot of help from my friends. But do you know what the single best trick was that I played on myself to make it all sink in? I put Twitter on my bookmarks bar, so it’s up there every time I start up my internet connection, merely one click away. Simple but remarkably effective.

Feeling at some risk of re-tweeting too much I’m trying to make a point of taking a little time to add some personal words to anything political or informational that I tweet. So there’s hope for this Robin yet.


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