Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Lighter Side of Promotion

Here on this blog, and elsewhere in publishing, writers are told about the importance of self-promotion in today's competitive industry. Though most writers (being creatures of a solitary nature, for the most part) would be thrilled to just keep churning out stories and send them off into some faceless void that spits out checks and fan mail in return, publishers from the indies to the mega-conglomerates now expect their authors to self-promote in some way. The image of the author as a recluse has vanished into the wilderness with J.D. Salinger.

The good news is that self-promotion works. J.A. Konrath, author of the Jack Daniels mystery series, has extensive information on his successful self-promotion efforts on his blog, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing. The Chicken Soup for the Soul series was launched into stratospheric success thanks to extreme self-promotion efforts. Many a writer has discovered the benefits of even the smallest bit of self-promotion.

We'll do it . . . but that doesn't mean we have to like it. :-)

This YouTube video presents one frustrated, bewildered author's efforts to steer the vast waters of self-promotion. Anyone who's ever tried to get the word out about their books should have no trouble relating. Enjoy!


Marta Stephens said...

OMG, that video says it all, doesn't it? LOL Let's put a warning out there in great big letters that reads, "WRITERS, DON'T FOLLOW THIS GUY'S LEAD!"

Lighter side or not, your post makes an excellent point.

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Oh, SW, where did you find this? I laughed myself silly through the whole thing! And you know - it's so damned overwhelming. How sick is it that I am so tired of promoting my Nov. 07 release and not writing fresh stuff that I'm THRILLED that my two new 08 releases will (hopefully) be delayed a little so I can... try to breathe? Write a few chapters???? It's too much!

Julie Ann Shapiro said...

I can so relate to this. I think marketing can take the fun out of writing. I say that and I laugh and sigh at the same time. I actually write marketing copy for a living but that's way different than marketing a book.

Along the journey of marketing my novel, Jen-Zen and the One Shoe Diaries...I've felt like I've been agressive, proactive, creative and reactive. What I've learned is that it's hard to get people to buy a book. Heck, I have a free book scavenger hunt going on at Gather. I've noticed it's even hard to get people to play for a chance to read it for free.

Julie Ann Shapiro said...

I hear you on being sick of promoting. I feel the same way. My publisher wants to release my story collection and I'm thinking the fall or sometime next year sounds fine. I'm also burnt out on writing novels. I don't feel very enthusiastic querying for my seconb book.

But what is fun is the writing. I'm still having a ball writing stories mostly flash fiction and some poetry.


Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Julie - I relate so well to what you're saying. When I picture the "writing," though, I don't picture all the extranneous and now obligatory stuff that comes with publishing. I picture sitting at my friend's cabin on Honeoye Lake, with the quiet, my laptop, and a hot story that I can't stop thinking about pouring out of my fingers. Oh yeah, that's where the fun still is... Thanks for reminding me! And SW, thanks for starting a great thread!

Kim Smith said...

Oh my Soul. This is priceless. Thank you SW for the best laugh of the week. No, I wasn't laughing JUST at the guy... I was laughing at me -- cuz well, you know. That's all of us right?

Marta Stephens said...

I can see where both of you, Aaron and Julie are coming from on the battle between writing and marketing. I've been there too. It's easy to burn out if you don't stop to breathe. I have to admit though, I enjoy the marketing as well as the writing, but I quickly learned that I couldn't force either. And forget doing them simultaneously. Nothing, is fun when you're racing against the clock. Unfortunately, you can't stop time, but you can divide it into manageable portions.

s.w. vaughn said...

Thanks, guys - glad you enjoyed the video! I found it on the Smart Bitches blog (they review novels, mostly romance, and comment on the publishing industry).

It's crazy all the things that aren't writing, that we writers have to do, isn't it?