Writer, Promote Thyself!
I did not have any witty words of promotion following my own posts!
For cryin’ out loud, I thought, writer, promote thyself. But that directive was immediately followed by an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach. Followed by a couple of equally uncomfortable thoughts:
But I don’t like to brag about myself.
And really, I don’t have anything special to say about myself.
Besides, nobody likes a writer who goes on and on and on about herself.
Maybe you, like me, struggle with promoting yourself and your writing, even when you have perfectly good opportunities to do so. Why is it so hard for us to market?
Well, I don’t know about you, but for me, I think it’s growing up with family and teachers who applauded success but only up to a point. A hearty “Congratulations!” was fine. A nice certificate was good. Possibly a small—very small—piece in a local paper if a scholarship was given or an athlete won an award. But there were no status updates about achievements plastered across social media, no huge celebratory parties, no group texts, alerting every contact in the cell phone.
Boasting of achievements just wasn’t allowed; humility was drummed into my head. And I’m pretty sure that’s why I squirm now, talking about myself. Even though I know it’s an important part of the writing business. So how to combat this natural reticence at promotion for me, and perhaps you, too?
First, accept that times have changed. It’s okay to promote your writer achievements; most people expect you to promote. And by people, I mean publishers, editors, or agents. They want to make money, and to make money, readers have to know about the writers and their work. Because let's face it. There are an awful lot of writers now!
Second, promote wisely. It’s still not okay to go on and on and on about yourself. If your Twitter feed is nothing but promotion about your latest book, you will drive readers away instead of attracting them. Everything in moderation is still a good rule.
Third, your writer friends can be your best allies with promotion. Share interviews on blogs, do group book signings, exchange reviews. Reciprocity is always a good idea (and more fun, too)!
And finally, believe in yourself. I’ll bet you’re the first to congratulate a friend, give ‘em a push or a bit of encouragement. Isn’t it time that you did the same for yourself?
So, I’m taking my own advice today. Even though I’ve got this huge knot in the pit of my stomach. It gets easier, right?
(How about you? Do you struggle with promoting yourself? How do you deal with it? And tell me the truth, y’all. Is this Muffin bio any good?)
If you’re a friend or family, or even if you’ve just
waved to her in the grocery store, you’ll end up in
something she writes. So better go see if you’re in
her latest here.