THE past few weeks have seen a mixture of emotions: self-assuredness, self-consciousness, self-destructiveness, self-loathing and self-awareness, in no particular order.
The operative word here is ‘self’, and defining the essential qualities of a unified being as distinct from any other is not only a mighty philosophical debate but an exhausting effort to find an answer which has, to me, come full circle.
Now I hate the idea of self-promotion. I feel it is demoralising and audacious. Casting caution and pride to the wind, however, I have promoted myself online to the point where I am now sick of seeing myself on blogs, interviews, retweets, Facebook and all the other social media outlets known to man. If I am tired of it, I now imagine how the hapless recipients of yet another piece of content from me hits their computer monitors at full force: content and that awful picture.
Mercifully, a very wonderful writer and friend has just pointed me in the direction of children’s author Nick Green’s guest blog: http://authorselectric.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/nick-green-tells-all-secret-of-online.html. He (who was a traditionally published author before he decided to go it alone) should be awarded a medal for his efforts at self-promotion even if only for preparing that ‘strategy document’ that most of us have never even heard of. Nick, however, has come to the conclusion that paying for promotion, self-marketing and swamping social media with ‘Me Me Me’ has little to no impact on sales. He said: ‘So, which online marketing approaches were the most effective? The surprising answer appeared to be: none of them.’
None of them? All that effort and cost for no benefit? What have I been doing for the past few months? Wasting my time by annoying friends and followers to the point where they want to unfriend me?
I don’t think so. I think I have been building a following as well as a Klout score. Other authors and friends might not buy my book, but they are aware that I’m around; that I am an author; and that my debut novel is called The Sleeping Warrior. That surely serves to pave the way for the next book.
The job’s not entirely done unless you have readers and, to get readers, you need honest reviews from independent people who you have never met and don’t know you. I am delighted to have received four stars from Sun Mountain Reviews: a fantastic, sincere examination of everything I set out to achieve in The Sleeping Warrior.
Now it’s time to whip the sword from its scabbard and start writing again: the job that all this effort is paying for. Word of mouth sells books but so does the next book.
I have found that the common denominator in successful authors is books – lots of them.
I’m over at Rosemary Gemmell’s blogpost today: http://ros-readingandwriting.blogspot.co.uk/