I’ve seen it online time and time again — authors who feel conflicted about the promotional aspects of their job as authors.
“But wait!” you say. (Because I know you would.) “Authors write books! Promotional stuff isn’t part of the job!”
Siddown, Skippy. Welcome to 2016. Like it or not, marketing and promotions are absolutely part of the job, whether or not you want to do it or like doing it. Traditional publishers are stretched thin, and publicists are fantastic people who are overworked and underpaid. So you have to shoulder some of that.
I think we all have a natural reticence when it comes to marketing our work. It feels like bragging, and most of us are self-aware enough, most of the time, to recognize that bragging is poor form, Donald Trump notwithstanding. Also, outright bragging about yourself isn’t going to win you support, also Donald Trump notwithstanding. (That man is a dumpster fire in a human suit. And he’s doing well in spite of, not because of, his incessant bragging and frighteningly needy shtick. But I digress.)
Anyway, you know what? You wrote a book. That’s a pretty impressive achievement! Even counting the surge of self-published authors, those who have written and published books still represent far less than 1% of the general population. You did a cool thing there! And you should feel good about it. You beat the odds! It’s on a shelf! Heck, I’m still excited to see my book on a shelf in a store. And because of my name, it’s shelved next to George R.R. Martin’s stuff, which is always a nice plus. Talk about discoverability.
Look, the fact remains that, even if you’re published by a traditional publisher, you still have to do the publicity stuff. That means you’ll write up a heap of blog posts for various sites, answer interview questions via e-mail, do a bunch of podcasts and generally talk a lot about yourself and your book.
So what do you say? Continue reading