Saturday, March 10, 2018

Random Thoughts: Self Promotion

So many authors make self promotion look easy, but for me it's probably the most difficult aspect of
being a writer. I've always found "selling stuff" difficult, and it started a long time before I was a writer.

Think back to your school days--elementary, junior high, or even high school. Remembering those days is a scary thought all by itself.

Do you remember all the various fundraisers you participated in? There was always something being sold--candy, cards, wrapping paper, t-shirts, fruit. The list was endless. But one thing all the fundraisers had in common was the prizes. If you sold so many items, you could earn a really cool prize, and the more you sold, the better the prize. And then there was the prize for the top seller.

I hated the fundraisers.
The lure of the prizes was great but I really hated asking people to buy the stuff. I hated the "pressure" that was put on me to sell a certain amount so that the fundraising goal would be achieved.

These days, instead of fundraisers, I'm promoting my books. But it's not just me. There are thousands of other authors who are doing the same thing. We are all trying to get the readers' attentions so that they will hopefully buy our books, love them, and come back for more.

But what works when it comes to promoting books?
There's a ton of advise on the subject. Type "self promotion" into a search engine and you will find articles talking about the art of self promotion, what's effective and what's not, and a whole host of tips among everything else you ever wanted to know about self promotion. I've even come across information on "tip jars" for authors. I'm not sure how I feel about this new trend. I keep picturing the tip jars you see at bars and diners.

So, what works?
Honestly, I think everything and nothing. What worked a year ago may not work today, but a few months from now it could work again. I think the biggest thing is to keep writing...

And to keep posting about my books.