In a previous post, written nine months ago, I lamented the fact that we writers didn’t have a Writer’s Dashboard that would enable us, through some “algorithmic magic,” to find out where our readers were on the web. At the time I was writing my first novel, which I intended to self-publish, and thus I was reading up on the various marketing strategies. After reading several books and numerous blogs, I realized that there was really only one strategy: get on Twitter, create a blog and/or web site, a Facebook page, and then start shouting at the top of your lungs. Let me tell you, there’s a lot of noise out there!
Frankly, I was a little surprised that there weren’t any tools that enabled one to identify web sites whose users might be “predisposed” to like one’s work. More to the point, how could one identify said predisposition?
I let the idea swim around in my nether region for a number of months, talked to some smart folks about it, tried to move on with life, but the idea kept popping up, especially as I looked, with a fair measure of dread, at my burgeoning Twitter stream, replete with random quotes, e-book freebies, author interviews, and the like. Quite simply, I just haven’t been motivated to compete with my fellow writers to grab someone’s attention via Twitter or any other social media channel. I wanted the whole process to be easier. At least more elegant. Go figure.
So, I reached out to a number of guys I know, all incredibly bright and technically gifted, and – a rarity: they were also writers, or artists, or musicians – so they got it.
So, after a few Indian buffets, we’ve decided to build the Writer’s Dashboard. For us. And for you. But we need your help. Obviously we would like to roll out a version one that has all the bells and whistles in place, but that’s going to have to wait. Instead, we will take a scaffolding approach, building one functional element at a time.
And we need you to tell us what would work best for you. Think of it this way: you’ve woken up to beautifully radiant morning, you grab your cup of coffee and amble over to your computer, pull up the Writer’s Dashboard to see where your readers are, and you see – what? What’s the first thing you see?
Please leave a comment and let us know. We’re moving forward.