The Self-Promotion Thing
Ah, yes. The Silent but Deadly of the Indie Author’s existence.
If you want to sell books, it must be done, but the line between “marketing” and “annoying/driving others to distraction” is a thin one. One easy to sprawl over in exultation or desperation or, in rare but highly punch-worthy cases, ego.
I suck at self-promotion. I’m terrified of irritating the fuck out of people and quite frankly, I’d rather they not notice I exist anyway. I also want to make my living as a writer someday. Which means I need to sell enough books to accumulate some modest amount of fundage. Even if I did have an agent/publisher, I would, as an unknown, be doing my own marketing (for those of you who aren’t aware, only those who have already Proven themselves money makers get the sort of promotional assist that requires cash flow from a publisher). Thus, to sell books, I needs must jump up and down and wave my arms enough to attract at least a little attention.
One the other end of the spectrum are the folks who social media bomb the shit out of their audience. Said audience may, at first, experience exultation at the thought of a new book. They will, however, quickly become annoyed, progress through rage bees, and proceed into indifference if not downright spite vis a vis the clogging of their various feeds because they have been so incessantly harassed. I say this not only as a research based hypothesis but because I have also been on the receiving end of marketing campaigns that have induced me to turn off notifications and ignore Twitter for days at a time.
Where’s the balance?
I don’t know, what are you looking at me for? I still have a day job.
I’m using the pre-order campaign for Hero Handlers as a fundraiser and, after two weeks, I only have 13 pre-orders. I’ve been posting heavily on Tuesdays (teaser day) and one other time during the week on all of my social media platforms. The low number may mean people aren’t interested. It may also mean they aren’t seeing it because light speed Twitter scroll and FB algorithms and too many blogs to keep up with.
I have no idea which.
So I sit and debate with myself: do I post more in the hopes of snagging more eyeballs? How much more? How many is too many? How many makes me that writer?
I don’t want to be that writer. But, as perviously mentioned, I do want to be only an author sometime before I die.
Gut only gets you so far with these things and mind likes chocolate too much to be entirely trustworthy. It would be most sweet if someone would write up a set of rules but rules never apply to everyone all the time and fiction writers see rule breaking as a challenge rather than a transgression anyway. Besides, if Sad Puppy has taught us anything, it’s “fuck you people who think they’re the rightful arbiters of taste.”
Which leaves me and my chocolate loving gut poking at the underbrush with sticks and hoping nothing slobbery, hungry, and annoyed pops out.