Whether you’re published with one of the NY houses, a small press, or self-published, promotion is a necessary evil in the writer’s life. There’s no avoiding it. Writing a great book is only the beginning. Now the real work begins.
Bring up the subject of promotion in a room full of writers and you will get mixed reactions. Some love promotion, and some, well, they’d rather have a root canal. But one thing they’ll all agree on, promotion is a must if you want to stand out in this growing industry. The days of writing the book, then slinking back into your writing cave and working on the next one are over. In order to build readership – to build relationships with your readers – we have to be out there in the online world, interacting and talking.
Believe it or not, this can be very uncomfortable. Most writers, though not all, are introverts. We LIKE our caves; the quiet solitude, the days we never get out of our PJs or put on make-up. Don’t get me wrong, we love interacting with readers, but stepping out of our comfort zones, being the one to start the conversation…*Sarah shivers*
Remember, we surround ourselves with fictional characters – converse with them, laugh with them, even cry with them. We writers are a bit nutty and we know it! Conversing with real live people is terrifying. Worse, WE are the topic of conversation. Talk about being self-conscious!
I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time talking about myself. I can talk about my sons or my husband all day long. I can tell you about my dogs, all of them rescues, and how much they make me laugh. But to tell you about my books, my accomplishments and awards…it always feels a bit like patting myself on the back. And that little voice that pops into my head – the voice that tells me it’s not good to be a braggart – yeah, I could do without that. But let’s face it; unless we learn to promote ourselves, we’re never going to get anywhere. So what’s an author to do?
I’ve asked myself this question more times than I can count. Heck, I’ve probably asked it of other authors even more, but no one seemed to have the answer. Then, I stumbled upon a little gem of advice. And if once wasn’t enough, I ran into the same advice about three times in a two week span. Here it is, paraphrased:
You are not trying to draw attention to yourself, but to your product. You are offering something of value to them – your book. Tell people about it, this product that they may like, if it’s not for them, they can ignore you.
I love this! I may type it up and tape it to my keyboard as it is something I am going to strive to remember. And maybe, just maybe it will make hearing the term ‘promotion’ easier for me to take.
What about you? Do you love promotion or would you rather have a root canal?