A writer friend told me the other day that nowadays publishing a book is the easiest part of the process of writing because of all the facilities available to writers online, digitally. But the hardest thing is the self-promotion.
As a writer you have written a book or books, you have spent sleepless nights and worked so hard to give it your best. You have approached agents and publishers and for one reason or another all you got was rejection letters. You strongly believe in your work. To top that, you have written stories and articles either for magazines or your own blogs and have built yourself a career. Whatever your focus, you have overcome every hardship in the process of writing your book, and you’ve come out a stronger, more capable writer.
You digitally publish your book on kindle, but you’ve got one big problem. When it comes to self-promotion – that is, making you and your writing more visible to the larger world, how do you go about it? If you are anything like me you may wonder: Do I really have to do this? I mean can’t someone else do it for me? Isn’t my writing self-promotion enough?
But the sad truth is that these days, there’s no excuse for being ignorant of the way the publishing industry works. As M.J. Rose said:
“They (writers) need to understand that they need to promote themselves, and that there’s a way to promote yourself without acting like a used-car salesman. The key to becoming a pro is the same way to get to Carnegie Hall. Practice, practice, practice.”
All the writers out there who have self-published and made it big, like Joe Konrath, tell you that self-promotion isn’t as painful as you think. But it’s not always easy. So if you are anything like me, you feel it is easier to give out your book for free rather than spend hours on the internet trying to convince others to buy your book without feeling that you are being a pest. How do you promote your work then, without selling out compromising your integrity, without feeling humiliated?
As a writer I know that I should share my stories and my books with others. The same way I know that I should be out there playing the game like everyone else. But the truth is I just can’t escape from myself. Besides isn’t it damaging to my career as a writer to spend hours trying to sell my work? In the words of M.J. Rose:
“A writer can do an enormous amount of damage to him-or herself by putting too much emphasis on promotion and buzz. Being a writer is about writing, and, ultimately, you can’t shift that focus.”
So how do you go about it? How do you do it? What do you do?