Tuesday, 31 January 2012
Self Publicity - Hard Work and No Room for Shyness
The hardest thing I find about being a writer is the business side of it. And while it’s an exciting revolutionary time for us authors, change happening all over the place, it does involve a great deal more work than just writing stories these days.
The only kind of research I enjoy is when it’s for one of my books, and while I’ve long since known that when it comes to being your own publicist and that I need to take advantage of all subject matter on that available, I have largely ignored it, but it’s there niggling at me all the time; telling me that I can’t expect people to find my work in an ocean of Indy authors without knowing what I’m doing.
For me though, it’s like doing my taxes every year, the business side of anything completely tedious; working myself up about it always. I don’t want to have to sit and read tutorials, search for all the places that I’m supposed to list and sell myself, all that boring stuff. But it’s completely necessary.
If I had a resolution this year, or as I prefer to call them, goals, then it’s that, for a sense of panic has set in making me think that I might get left behind if I don’t, for damn sure no one else is going to do it for me. But when I do sit down and do my taxes (usually on the deadline) I think, ‘well that was quite easy, what was all the fuss about?’ So far it’s been the same with ingratiating myself all over the place – something I’ve been working on trying to overcome my erstwhile shyness about thinking I’m bugging people as someone who’d rather largely stay in the background. But that ain’t gonna work. No, for the last few weeks I’ve at least been paying attention to what other people do, listening to what they have to say, or at least sitting there and actually reading it and not skimming over it; in one eye and out the other, or as I used to say, 'one at the shop and the other coming back with the change' (or was that how I described cross-eyed people?). I notice some outrageous claims people make too, sensationalising. The proverbial padding of the resume perhaps, but I guess it works. I might have to get on board with that too.
No, I’m on it now, getting the hang of it, but what I said initially about that whole self-promotion process - about where does one find the time to actually write when there’s so many social media aspects to maintain, so many places to have to list yourself, build yourself a package and constantly maintaining it - is proving to be true; I can’t believe how much time I’ve spent on self promotion, searching for everywhere and anywhere to make myself seen, contributing to discussions on various platforms, listing and linking all of my connections all over the place, building an author’s website, and yes, with yet another blog in there, author's Facebook page, Twitter, nothing new has been written at all – save for little things that I created and joined onto community forums to showcase my skill with a subtly added link to my Amazon author's page, but which are always fun to do. (See what I did there?)
So I’m hoping when its largely done, that it will pay off, and certainly, already I’m being found, especially in the UK, I’ve noticed, with sales of my books increasing there which I enjoy as a British writer. But I’m also hoping that it’ll be less time-consuming when I feel I’ve flooded the internet with who I am and what I offer, for I think I realise it will never end. Not really.
Organisation is the key though; I’ve created a subfolder for my bookmarks of all sites I’ve joined and will dedicate myself at least once a week to making sure that it all gets updated. The interesting thing for me though is how easily I get sidetracked still; joining all kinds of sites and not really getting to the important ones that I started out looking for. But I’m getting there.
So, if anyone knows of any free places that I should be listing my titles, please feel free to leave a link.