Promotion Sucks

Okay, so I’m in a crappy mood. I love writing, I love seeing my book up on Amazon, and the biggest awesomeness was seeing my book on, but I hate promoting!

Someday, when I’m rich and famous, I will hire a person just to do it for me so all I have to do is be my wonderful writer self. Oh, how I wish I could just be an ‘artist’ and do nothing but write, but like 99.9% of all writers out there, I have to be a businesswoman too.

So, here goes with my little lecture to everyone else out there that whines about it, or just doesn’t do it.

If you don’t get seen, you won’t get read.

Sure, you will probably pick up a few readers that love you and seek you out every time you have a release, but that’s not going to bring in enough money to live on.

First off, I’m a total introvert. I’m shy, and speaking to a group of more than about 10 makes me stutter and stammer and turn red (I have horrible skin for public speaking) and one time actually came close to a full-blown panic attack. So, the main thing I learned is to do what I’m comfortable with, not what everyone tells me to do.

My dear friend Kate Austin is the biggest extrovert I know. She could, and does, talk to everyone she meets. I actually love being with her because she does all the talking and I can just sit there looking cute. *grin* She used to tell me I should do readings, doing this and that, speak in public. She finally stopped (after years). Not sure if she realized how bad I am at it, or just gave up on me.

I don’t do public speaking if it can be avoided. I’ve sat on panels, and I’m actually pretty good answering Q&A questions, but as for standing up and saying “this is me, this is what I do and why I’m wonderful” that just doesn’t happen.

I’m a writer, so I write! That’s right. 98% of my promotion is done in writing. Newsletter, blogs, emails. If I can sit down at my computer and promote myself, I will, and do. I still hate it, because I could be having way more fun writing. I prefer my imaginary worlds to the real one most of the time. But I can do it, and I force myself to do it because my imaginary worlds won’t become reality in publication if I don’t sell them.

This week has been a pain because I’m promoting two new releases at once, from two separate publishers. While one publisher has very specific guidelines to follow—which really make it much easier!—the other expects the authors to find their own promotional resources.

Grab every opportunity. One publisher sent me an email and asked if I wanted to do a blog on Oct 15 at a site I’d never heard of. I said yes! I’ve completed my newsletter for the month and sent it out. I’ve written three blog posts that will go up this week—besides this one. I’ve posted on my personal blog, and updated my two Web sites. I still need to get over to my Yahoo group and do the stuff over there.

Remember to check links. If you send someone something to post, if the links don’t work, readers most likely won’t pursue.

Basically what I’m saying is, no matter what your comfort level, you MUST promote your publications or they won’t get read, which means they won’t get bought, which means you will forever be a broke, starving artist.

End of rant. Back to writing up promotional material. *sigh*

PS! Always put your tags at the end of every single thing you send out!!! *grin*

3 responses to “Promotion Sucks

  1. Great post, Anna!

    I think a lot of people still suffer from the delusion that writers don’t do anything *but* write. 😀 That the publishing houses take care of all the promo work, which is so not the case in this day and age.

    I would also caution folks to promo smartly. Don’t spam on twitter or via email. facebook, what-have-you. That’s obnoxious and will get you ignored faster than the goofy dancing schmo at a bar. 😀 Build a following, be engaging. Talk about things other than your books so that people are more likely to interact with you. Because word-of-mouth is still one of the best ways to promo a book (and yourself).


  2. Hi Anna,

    Firstly, if you need promotion, I can offer it to you and anyone in this group. I do author promos, guest blogs, author interviews on my blog, so connect with me directly if any of these interest you. Interviews are under the category of “Inside the Author’s Mind.”

    I’m a believer we should “use” each other to help promote our work whenever possible. One of the reasons I promote others is to build a good cross-section of readers to my blog, and it is working, so I’d encourage you to take advantage of me.

    Secondly, please, please get a Twitter account. It truly is the one place where you can shout out about your book in a bite-sized comment, and direct the maximum number of people to where you are. Though it’s wonderful to write posts, do guest blogs, etc, it’s wasted effort if not enough people know about it. With Twitter, all you are really saying is: “Hey, world, I’m over here today, come see me.” When you have your followers knowing this and then retweeting their followers, you can understand the ripple effect. It’s maximum exposure with minimum effort, and I agree with K.B., it should not be spammy or obnoxious, and it never needs to be.

    Thirdly, I’m also an introvert and excruciatingly shy. Promoting is not one of my favourite things to do, but it’s a necessary evil. I put on my fictional, confident, extrovert hat when I’m doing it, and it’s getting a bit easier every day.


  3. Promotion, for me, is a struggle because I always feel like I’m doing nothing more than screaming into the void. Part of it stems from the lingering self-confidence issues — Is anybody listening? Does anybody even care about what I’m saying? Is what I’m saying relevant? Am I bringing something to the table that’s fresh and new?

    The answer I usually give myself is probably not, but I force myself to keep doing it anyway. Even when I’m grumbling about it being a waste of perfectly good writing time. 😉

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