Is it a disadvantage to be an introvert if you are an author?

I am a writer. I love to make up characters, delve into their psyches, spin out intriguing plots and meaningful dialogue. I lose myself in the worlds I make. Sometimes, the characters almost feel as real to me as people I actually know. That makes me a writer. But that’s not what makes an author.

If you’ve made any forays into the world of publishing, you know what I mean. Writers can’t “just” write anymore. They have to build a platform. They have to interact with their followers on social media. They have to promote themselves. They have to promote their books. And here is my problem; I’m an introvert.

Sure, it’s easier to be outgoing on social media. You aren’t face to face. You can take your time to think up replies. But for us introverts, it’s still hard. My mind just doesn’t work like that. I don’t naturally or easily think up ways to engage my readers. On top of that, all of these things use time, time that I could be using to, oh, I don’t know, actually be writing.

If you want to have a career as an author, however, you don’t really have a choice. That’s just the way publishing is now. And there is no denying that authors who engage in social media and self-marketing do have better sales than authors that don’t. But for me, at least, it’s a love/hate relationship. What about you? Do you think engaging readers is a good idea? Do you enjoy it? Is it hard for you? I’d love to hear what you think!


9 thoughts on “Is it a disadvantage to be an introvert if you are an author?

  1. Does social media put you in touch with your actual readers? I would expect that depends on a lot of factors–from market savvy to timing. There’s no doubt agents and publishers expect a writer to have an online presence these days. I personally support fellow authors by connecting with them online and buying their books. But when I’m looking for a fresh read from a new author, I generally rely on book reviews on Amazon or Goodreads, rather than happening upon an agent/author tweet or blog post. I imagine that’s probably the case with most non-writer consumers.

    I dunno, maybe I’m just saying all this because I’m SMAD too (Social Media Anxiety Disorder, I just made it up!). Maybe someone will put a book out for us–Social Media for Introverts. Put me on the waitlist!

    Great post.

  2. The only one that really stresses me out is Twitter. I just can’t get into it enough to tweet regularly, so it languishes. I’m not published yet, so I don’t have readers, but I’d imagine Twitter might be more fun if I did!

  3. Amy I so relate. I even have to push myself to comment on my favourite blogs. Every time I publish a blog post of my own it feels as though I am exposed to the world, but I do it anyway. It took me years to follow FB regularly and Twitter, well not so much, too fast and impersonal or something. One would think social media would be perfect for introverts but it is still putting yourself out there. But when all is said and done if I want to sell books I have to be seen.

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