Promoting Causes Me Stress

I don’t like the idea of having to sell people on the idea of buying my books and as much as I want to feel otherwise, it doesn’t matter all that much to me if they are purchased or not. I write because I love it and despite my best efforts, my apathy toward doing more for them other than to put out the word that they are on Amazon knows few limits.

But Wallace, you may ask, how do you expect to make a living with writing if you don’t sell your work?

When I look at my writing ability in terms of moneymaking potential, something inside me shuts down. I never decided to pursue a writing career with dollar signs in mind. Yes, I have to consider the practicals and being a full-time author with writing that pays for itself is definitely my dream job. But I have had a longstanding philosophy that I never do anything purely for the money. I have to enjoy what I do or my best efforts will never show themselves.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

“I’m a writer, not a salesman. I’ll never be a failure so long as I never stop.”

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7 thoughts on “Promoting Causes Me Stress

  1. It’s interesting to see the dichotomy between writer and salesperson. Most self publishing “success stories” say that if you want to sell books, you need to get over the “I just want to write” thing, and they’re probably right. But that depends on how important selling books is to you in the first place. I think there’s some liberation in putting your work out there, but not obsessing over how much it sells.

    I’m self publishing short works now, and basically doing no promotion, but I’ve picked up decent royalties due to picking good keywords and ranking high in them. That’s about as much effort as I’m willing to put into it, and in comparison, the amount of small-but-passive income I’m generating is a pretty sweet deal for basically no “work”.

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    • Honestly, it’s more important to me to create a body of quality work than to rake in the dough. I know promoting is important, but I don’t want to take the thing that I love most and turn it into a marriage of convenience. I have a confusing mindset where this subject is concerned. Also, I mistrust those “success stories” because when they put out advice, that advice tends to be followed up by “for only $XX.XX, you too can be a success like me.”

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      • Haha yea, the old “make me rich my telling you how I can be rich” scheme. I do personally know people who make a stable income off their SP careers but they always ALWAYS are in promotion mode. They’re almost irritating to talk to because they always find a way to plug their book in any conversation.

        I prefer John Hartness’s adage of “people buy stuff from people they like.” Make friends and they’ll want to buy from you soon because they actually value you and your work!

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      • I’ve found it to be true about people buying from people they like. Sales is about creating relationships, but as in all relationships, coming on like gangbusters right out of the gate can backfire and put people off. The central issue that I have with promoting is that I often run out of things to say about what I write. Writing in general I can talk about all day…hehe.

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