Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Insecure Writer: Me, Me, Me

When I first starting writing, I thought all I had to do was sit down at my keyboard and spew out my creativity for all the world to read.  Then I joined a writer's group and learned how much I didn't know about editing, submitting, and the publishing world in general.

The glorious day came when a publisher offered me a contract for one of my manuscripts, and I thought the fame and royalty checks would soon be flying my way.  Little did I know how much work I had yet to do. That awful nine letter word, promotion. 

Promotion is time consuming, frustrating and difficult.  I know some people who do a great job of promoting their work, getting their name out there and building a reader audience.  I've tried to absorb the advice they offer so freely and generously and apply it to my own promotional efforts. I admit, except for blogging, I don't much enjoy promotion.  Appearances in person are usually fun but I find facebook, twitter and most everything else a chore. I'd rather be writing.

I've noticed some authors appear all over the web when they have a new release, but I have to push myself to even promote on my own blog. This I must get over and do more to make sure my books are seen, lots of places and lots of times.

One of the places I'm doing this is a new blog, called TBR.  TBR was started by Cate Masters, my heroine for promotional genius, as a place for a few authors each week to talk about writing and their latest works.  We all have 'To Be Read' stacks of books, and after you check out the lineup on the TBR blog for the next few months you're going to add a few more.

Today I'm appearing at TBR promoting my latest release, Beyond the Gate, the second book in my epic fantasy series.  Beyond the Gate follows The Keepers of Sulbreth, book #1.  To help celebrate, I'm giving away a print copy of Keepers to one commenter over at TBR and for those of you who prefer digital, I've reduced the price of Keepers to only $1.99 on Kindle and Smashwords. 

So for today, I've managed to do promotion for my books here and over at TBR, as well as helping other authors by directing my readers to TBR. 

So how do you feel about promotion? Are you confident in your commitment to it or do you think you could do more?

22 comments:

Cate Masters said...

The more you know, the more you realize you don't know... :)
I know I'm lacking in promotion, but I'm struggling with how to stand out over the ocean of authors on the loops and blogs and everywhere. I still don't know what works and what doesn't. Very frustrating.

Cate Masters said...

Oh, and thanks for the shoutout for TBR. :) See you there!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't like doing it - feels selfish. I just hope others like me enough to buy my book.

Jarmara Falconer said...

I'm afraid today's writers need to be all singing and dancing if you want your work to be well-known into market. Yesterday, even my dentist said he would like to have a book published. He asked me if I found plenty to keep me busy during the day... I felt like saying hey you try being a woman before trying to becoming a writer then you'll know what it like to be busy. Didn't he know women were born muiltitasking!

Good luck with your promoting in 2012, Susan.

L.G.Smith said...

It's funny, I've noticed a lot of authors really don't like talking about themselves or their work. They are much more comfortable promoting other people's novels. I think it's just part of our introverted personalities. It's uncomfortable having the spotlight on us, even though we crave success and attention as much as anyone else.

Good luck with your newest release!

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I don't have a book published yet, but I like meeting people, getting to know them and letting them get to know me a little. Then *when* publication comes my way, maybe people who like me will help some with that. Interesting post - thanks for sharing! New follower :)

LD Masterson said...

I'm just looking forward to the day when I have something out there to promote.

M.J. Fifield said...

I have nothing to promote yet (although I do hope to change that this year) but I have a sinking feeling that I'm going to be terrible at it. I hope to surprise myself.

Emma said...

I like your post. I understand how you feel about it because I feel the same. I have a wonderful loving partner who "believes" in me and is more "Modern". He does all the sordid promo stuff really.In the teeming hordes, the whole business of just shouting louder and louder wearies me.I've always felt that are a few words in the world out there somewhere that I could join up in the right order and say something. It hasn't happened yet. I've glimpsed them darting behind pillars and into taxis I couldn't follow. You saw them too didn't you? When we catch them none of this huff and puff will matter.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

When I started, book signings were still a big thing, and I loved them. Then the economy changed and ebooks arose. I rarely do signings anymore because it's no longer fun.
Speaking - now that IS fun!

The Golden Eagle said...

I don't have anything to promote at this point, but I don't think I'd be very good at promotion, of books or anything else.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Wow, you guys say all the right things. I agree, L. Diane, about how fun speaking is.
Emma, I envy you. I love my husband but I'm not sure he knows how to turn on my computer.
LG, you might have the right of it.
Alex, I know you don't talk about your books much. I'm going to do a blog later about my thoughts on that and how successful you are anyway.
Those of you without something to promote yet are building that online presence and are so far ahead of where I was before I sold my first book.

Anne K. Albert said...

Promotion can suck the life out of an author, but I can't see any way around it.

Some days I feel as small and insignificant as a grain of sand on a beach. I'm here, but no one sees or notices me. That said, I also believe I'm as unique as a snowflake and so, I keep promoting my books.

Happy writing!

Sherri said...

I stink at promotion. Here's how my promotion of my books usually goes: (mumbling) Yeah, I wrote a couple of books...science fiction...um uh (thinking to myself - you probably aren't interested in science fiction...I know, I'm weird...how can I change the subject)
I could do better at promotion, but will I ever? The question remains.

Rachel said...

I don't have anything to promote . . yet, but I started blogging, because I want to learn from other writers, connect with like-minded people, and share my love of books. It surprised me when I began to read and infer that I may already be doing the right thing by "building an online presence" since it seems like so much fun. So I imagine that promotion may come naturally to me, but I'll never be one of those authors who writes only about "me, me, my book." A combination of positivity, genuine enthusiasm and conversation about writing in general, promotion of the work and efforts of others, and the occasional bit about me and my book should suffice.

Jamie (Mithril Wisdom) said...

I quite like the idea of promotion, mainly because it could give me the chance to meet other people in the process of plugging my work. I lack the organisational skills to plan a full blog tour though, so I'd need some practice,

fairbetty said...

I'm with @LD... looking forward to the day when I actually have to worry about promoting.... sigh...

New follower! Hi!

Julie said...

I'm not at the stage of promoting a book, but I'm fairly sure I will feel the same about it if/when the time comes. I hate talking about myself, and it really doesn't come naturally at all. But I know it is necessary, so I'm trying to learn from others I see around the blogosphere.

TBR sounds like a great place, I'll be heading over to check that out. Congratulations on your books, it's great to meet you through the IWSG and I'm looking forward to catching up with your work!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Ugh promotion. It's so hard to know what works. I know what I did last year wasn't nearly as good as the year before. I didn't sell nearly as many books this past year. Although I don't really know why I had such a huge spike of sales at the end of the previous last year. It's so hard to figure out what works and what doesn't. And what works for one author won't necessarily work for you. It's so aggravating! But necessary.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Sometimes I feel like that starlet with the movie producer : "Enough about me. What do you think about me?" LOL.

Promoting my books comes a bit easier now when I am giving 100% of the royalties through January to The Salvation Army. Now, a purchase of one of my books helps the hungry. A win even if the readers hate my book, right?

You have a great blog. I wish you success with your novels! Roland

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Thanks for visiting me on this insecure writer tour. All your comments have helped me feel a little better about the insecurity since so many of us share it.

Arlee Bird said...

I enjoy a certain amount of promotional activities, but it can be a lot of work. I wish I had a book to promote, but I've been pretty busy promoting the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge of late.

Lee
Blogging from A to Z