Thursday, February 25, 2016

My personal relationship with self promotion

I read this blog post on self promotion with great interest. And then its follow up. I felt like the author and I were kindred spirits.

My greatest joy as a writer has been discovering that a complete stranger has selected my book from amongst a shop's curated wares, read it and enjoyed it. When someone I don't know says 'this is my child's favourite book,' about something I have written, I want to cry tears of happiness. I thought my heart would burst when one young reader told me she identified with the central character in one of my novels and said reading about him had made her feel better about her own situation. This is what I want for my books. It's why I write.

And it's why I am rubbish at the direct kind of 'self promotion.' I do blog, and have a presence on facebook and twitter and instagram. But I find it eye-poppingly difficult to actually tell you to buy my book. The moment we build a connection on social media or in real life, you can no longer be the unbiased reader. And I struggle mightily to believe any nice things you might say about my books, no matter how sincere you are (strangely I will believe you if you say something negative about my stories - my brain is a weird place). And that connection might also make you say 'yes' when you were actually thinking 'no'. And it might mean you can no longer just see me as a creative person who writes books, because you might wonder if I am also just seeing you as a potential purchaser. That's just awkward. I want us to be friends.

I also know the direct sell approach doesn't work on me. It's involuntary. I glaze over. No matter how good the product might be. This is how my nature is wired. I blame my genes, and possibly also coffee and olives and organic peanut butter. We may never know.

What I do know is that I want to pour my heart and soul in to my books and then let them speak for themselves. I want them calling to readers with their own voice that I carefully crafted with love and hard work. That is the job I want to do. Not self promotion. Not selling. Writing.

1 comment:

Maureen said...

Delilah Rocks!
Today I deleted a Twitter follow because my feed was being spammed constantly with retweets to buy loads of authors books. The fiirst delete I've done in 6 years on Twitter. I don't follow many people... because I can't. Its not my style. If you are genuine... authentic... and helpful I reckon you will get further. By the way... Mellinda is as amazing in person as her books... she is genuine, authentic and helpful... you should buy her books!