In order to drive people here I am obliged to Twitter/Facebook/comment on all my loops– which takes up another hour or so of my writing time. So each blog post can use three hours of my writing time – I can produce 3000 words in three hours if things are going well.
Publishers have been known to turn down debut writers because they don't have sufficient online presence. All writers are expected to have Facebook and Twitter accounts/author pages on Amazon and smash once/and all the fan page on Facebook/actively participate in several forums/put interesting pictures on pinterest/maintain an interesting and up-to-date website plus write a regular blog.
Although I try and limit the time I spend on social media I know that I write far less than I did before I got involved in indie publishing. Three years ago I was writing five books a year; now I am lucky to write one. Of course, I am also editing my backlist and publishing that on a regular basis, and this is certainly time-consuming.
I have a close friend who can write a full-length historical novel in three weeks – and often does so. This is impressive but must leave her very little time for a life outside her writing. I make sure I go out with my husband two or three times a week, see my new grandson twice a week, visit the gym twice a week, and still spend four or five hours at my desk working seven days a week.
If all this time was devoted to writing and not social media I would definitely be writing three books a year.
The big question is, has all the time devoted to blogging et cetera increased my sales?
The answer is a definite no; sales of individual ebooks have dropped dramatically in the US and even sales of my box sets are not as good as they were a few weeks ago. My two mainstream historical novels, Barbara's War and Hannah's War, are the only books that are showing an increase in sales. I believe that this is because word-of-mouth is kicking in and not because of any promotion that I have been doing.
Why do I continue to spend (waste) valuable writing time when there is no demonstrable increase in my sales? I enjoy participating in my writing loops so would not give those up – but like many other writers I am seriously considering abandoning this blog.