Friday, 3 August 2012

Slipping on My Promo Heels

I’ve blogged before about how much I detest promoting my work. Most of my online correspondence is via Facebook and Twitter. I have blogs on my websites, but it’s difficult to blog about something interesting on a regular basis, especially on three different sites; that’s why we do it here on Four Strong Women and leave links. It’s much simpler and less time-consuming.

I hate promotion, and when I post on loops and even take the time to comment on some threads, I still stumble across posts where authors grumble about their peers who they feel are promo whores. Well, the only time Author XYZ appears online is to promote h/her book!

I see their point, but publishing is a business. Sure, we make friends with editors, publishers, and fellow authors, but business is business and friendship is friendship. Over the 25+ years I've been in magazine, e-zine, and indie publishing, few people can truly mix friendship and business. In all that time, I've only been able to do this with two people.

I try to rub elbows with other authors. Yanno, the support-your-fellow-co-workers thing. However, most of my loop posting is on my publishers’ groups, and even then it’s a rare occurrence for me. I just don’t have time to constantly type something thoughtful so that I’m considered a regular poster. I reserve most of my “chatting” with readers (that’s not to say authors don’t read, because they do, but we’ll get to that in a moment). I must write to submit material. I must submit to score contracts. And then once the title is published, I must promote that work to put food on my table.
 An afternoon viewing an apartment
becomes more than Simon expected.
More info HERE
Every writer is forced to do this.

I enjoy talking with other authors, but they’re doing the same thing I am. Again, this is a business.

If you’re an author, have you ever stopped to consider how many writers are on the loops compared to dedicated readers? Sure writers read, yes, but they often have less time to read (which is a conundrum when one of the top tips for writers is read, read, read!). As a result, I feel like I'm mostly promoting my work to other authors if I hang on the loops and forums all the time.
And don’t even get me started about ads! How do you get your ad to stand out from the rest on the sites that are economically feasible? Every other author is looking for more bang for their buck, too, especially in our current economy.

The bigger sites are lovely, but who can afford the astronomical ad prices unless they’re a huge-success author, and those are few and far between, yanno?

Authors imagine, they write, they sell their work, and then they promote while they write the next story. Add a day job and managing a household and family into an author's life and any extra time is precious.

But let me return to the topic of blogging. What to blog about? When to blog? How often to blog? Will readers respond to this post better or that post better? Is my blog topic something that will urge the net surfer to click on it? And how often should I post the link to gain interest?

I blog here at Four Strong Women once a month. Each of us try to blog at least twice during our designated weeks, but I also blog at Decadent's Elatia blog on the first and third Mondays of each month. It's tough promoting a new blog so that readers *follow* it, and again, the touting a new blog is time-consuming, too.

So then I wonder...are readers even paying attention when I post my blog links?


But it all boils down to one ultimate question: does all of this make me a promo whore when I do appear on the loops? If it does, allow me a moment to slip on my bright red stilettos. Here’s a picture, lol. And yes, they really are mine.

Now let me get back to writing those damn promo posts! Bwahaha!


Anonymous said...

I'm terrible at promotion! For one, I just can't find the time. Second, I don't have the money to invest. I guess I'm lucky to have a small core of readers left over from my fanfiction days, and a few more who have become fans of my original work. But if I ever wanted to take it up a notch, I better learn to spread myself a little thinner!

Faith said...

Don't feel bad. I think most authors have that outlook. I do what I can, but I think promotion is a major pita, lol.

Ivy Bateman said...

Oh I hear you. I'm fairly new to the ebook world and I get completely overwhelmed by not just what I SHOULD be doing, but also by what I COULD be doing. I never know if I'm hitting my target audience or if anyone, besides a few dedicated followers, read anything I post on my blog, or if my tweets, no matter how witty, are even noticed...

But, in the end...if you want to write and sell...get down to business.

Great post. I really enjoy this blog!

Faith said...

Ahhhh, another kindred spirit in the Promo Realm! It's good to know we're not alone.

And I am so pleased you enjoy our blog so much, Ivy! :-D

Janice Seagraves said...


That's a problem all right. You post too few times and your not promoting your book enough. Post too often and your called a promo whore.

There's got to be a balance between writing, posting, reading and your life.


Mary Corrales said...

Promo work is definitely a major pita. I'd much rather spend my time writing. That said, I think the live chats on certain sites are the one promo type that I love best. It's exciting and usually lasts anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour.

Love the promo-whore shoes. Gorgeous! Mine are a pair of black stilletto boots. lol

Faith said...

If there is a balance, Janice, I have yet to find it.

Mary, I always struggle to keep up with the live chats, lol.

Fiona McGier said...

Hey Faith, you hit it right on the head! There aren't enough hours in the day and night! I work 2 p/t jobs because we still have 2 in college this year, and we'll be spending quite a few years paying off the student loans we took out for the one who is newly-graduate and working full-time. So I can't quit any of my jobs unless I can find full-time work, but looking for that is time-consuming also!

I read someone once said the best way to promote is to keep on getting more books published, because readers who do find your stuff will want to read everything you've written. I haven't had anything debut since last October, so I'm excited I have a new book with a new publisher coming out Nov. 1! But the school year is beginning again, so I'll have even less time again, subbing days and selling over-priced clothing at night. ARGH!

Oh, how I envy those who are retired, whose blogs start off, "Today I took my after-breakfast coffee out onto the porch and admired the mountain-view before I sat down to do a little promoting, then I spent the day writing." Sigh...

Fiona McGier said...

And live chats don't work for me because I'm almost never home when they are scheduled! I don't twitter because our phone plan charges us for every text!

Faith said...

I'm one who says things Like that, but then my kids won't leave me alone when I write. I guess they don't think writing is real work. Add the grand babies to the mix and I don't even touch my laptop on those days.

I'm getting a Straight TalK system soon and not dealing with contracts and cell phone companies that are nothing but greedy jerks.

Anthology Authors said...

You know, the only time you see famous actors is when they have a new movie out or something they are working on they want the media and public to know about. Otherwise, they try to hide from the public. (Can you blame them?)

Yeah, promotion is hard. Very few of us like it, but without it, books rarely sell. There are so many out there now, so much "noise", that you either promote it, or it languishes in obscurity. My books, which I think are decent (not biased at all LOL), languish because I don't promote them very often. Who has the time?

Faith said...

Having multi pen names to promote when an author wants to keep their identity quiet is even more of a challenge. I have an m/m pen that I've kept quiet but that may change soon too. It's easier to promote all names at once.