The Other Side of Writing: Promoting

I’ve made no secret that self-promotion isn’t exactly my cup of tea. Yes, I know that getting your name and work out there requires a certain level of interacting with your audience and that audience in turn generates a buzz for potential readers.

I still find it a chore.

However, I recently came to the realization that I wasn’t promoting my books. I was actually promoting myself and anyone who has ever worked in Sales will tell you, getting people to like you is an important first step in getting them to buy what you’re selling.

So, why does it feel kind of skeevy?

Because as Writers, we don’t generally look at our work in terms of dollars and cents. We put a lot of work and love into the stories that we publish and if we are true to ourselves and our craft, we don’t mind sharing our work with the world. Every story carries with it a little piece of ourselves. We’re entertainers.

I suppose that this sort of internal conflict is normal when you are independently publishing, but I don’t want to give the impression that it’s necessarily a bad thing. It’s just part and parcel of the path that I’ve chosen. When I’m deluged by book ads on Twitter and Facebook, I frequently shake my head because I find them annoying because there has to be a better way to do it that doesn’t make me want to take a shower after I’ve logged off for the night.

How do I promote myself?

By writing these articles, throwing out quips on social media, and running the odd promotion on Amazon. I probably should emphasize my books more but I’d rather make friends and have a few laughs in between paragraphs and lines of dialog.

I’m not going to tell anyone how they should write or how to put their work out there. I’m still learning myself and it would be the height of Ego for me to suggest that what I do works for everyone. Thanks for allowing me to bare my soul today. 🙂

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37 thoughts on “The Other Side of Writing: Promoting

  1. You’re not looking to get rich quickly. You are eager, thirsting to have someone share your thoughts/imagination. You don’t mind interaction but would rather do it on a smaller scale than a big “signing” session with cameras and agents, right?

    Labeling oneself as an entertainer sounds a bit “skeevy.” That sounds like a dollars and cents label. I am not sure how to label myself. Yes, I like to entertain…and be entertained. I am not a social person, not much of an extrovert. But, I like a good chat with people that make me comfortable.

    So many sources say, “Sell yourself.” I prefer to let my output do that than think of ways that acquire the approval of others like dogs jumping through hoops. I am not Ooboo. I am me. What am I? I’ll get back to you on that. It changes from time to time.

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    • I couldn’t agree more. I don’t write in hopes of fame and fortune. I do it because I love it. I didn’t intend the “entertainer” thing to be anything other than entertaining others. You definitely gave me something to think about. Thanks. 🙂

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      • Well, fame and fortune would be nice if they 1) didn’t go to my head, 2) make the world a more greedy/impoverished place and 3) got me in the history books as something more than an award winning author…like someone who made a positive difference in society. Not just another technological trend.

        But, whatever reason you write, you write because it burns in your chest.

        Yet, if you want to be “published,” what do you do? You are not fully doing this alone, even if you “self-publish.” Publishing requires machinery and other people unless you own your own printing press and do the work.

        I’m good for food for thought. 😀 It was just a perspective that came to me. It might change/look better in a different light.

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      • Oh, I forgot the fortune part. The fortune would be nice if I could, at least, travel the world as I guess you have? with some of it. I’d feel compelled to do something charitable with some, too. But, I’m not slapping my name on a random charity and then talking about it on some talk show, either. I’d probably go to the source of the problem and pay for some help or pitch in at my expense if it mattered to me.

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      • There’s no scarcity in U.S. war other than what you fail to get when you return from duty. There seems to be some false promising and crappy advertising going on. And, as smart as people may be, so many still fall for it.

        Ah, a Navy or Marine then. You was Popeye short on yer spinach.

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      • I take it you didn’t make it to Top Gun. 😛

        No? I like spinach, actually. It’s broccoli I am sick of…only because too many meals have contained it.

        At least you had a sort of supportive family history in the matter. I can see my folks just saying it’s something to do to get me out of the house (back when). I considered enlisting after high school, but the sales pitch I got on the phone made it sound like brainwashing. And, I had enough of that IN high school to say no. But, there is part of me that likes the service aspect…I am just not sure I trust the people in charge…no, I know I don’t.

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      • Heh, no no Top Gun. Broccoli I’m okay with. The Navy was pretty much the family business. I was probably the only one who didn’t do 20 years and then retire. I don’t regret my time in.

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      • So, your dad was Tom Skerrit or Mr. Mitchell…or maybe the bald guy who couldn’t get enough of his cigar. 🙂

        I suppose Stan Lee doesn’t regret his time in, either. Luckily he probably never saw combat. Which is really lucky when you think about it. And, I’d call him a bastard if I had to serve and fight while he sat back and drew comics for diseases you could catch with Dr. Seuss.

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      • Nah, my Dad was a Working Class guy from Massachusetts who served first as a Marine in Korea and then went over to the Navy through Vietnam. I learned the value of money very early on in Life. I don’t worry about what other people do. My Life is a full-time job. Best wishes. 🙂

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  3. There was a time in my younger life that desired fame played a part in my life as a musician ( keyboardist), singer, songwriter. The fame didn’t happen, but fame has nothing to do with creative ability. I actually write much better music now that I’m not trying so hard. I also enjoyed the written word ( and other creative outlets) and started things that didn’t get finished – until something came into my life that needed to be written. This time it wasn’t for me or my ego. This would affect other lives if I do it right. So I study – researesearch – determined to find a way to put it together so others would want to read it. I do think about the what would be the best way of promoting it or me because I think you shouldn’t wait until you’re done to do that. I think it rarely works if all you want is fame and fortune. In the end greed has a way of turning on you and taking it away from you.

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