Friday, 4 January 2013

The sickness of self promotion

Yeah, it's a picture of one of my stories. Wanna fight about it?


Well, I decided to release two bits of work: Sark (the second novella in my Cuts of Flesh series, a risky decision as the pacing is a little off but I want to keep people engaged, if anyone reads them), and Just One Day (no feedback yet, self proofed, so there will be errors).
The reason for this knee jerk (or just jerk) reaction was that I hadn't had a sale on any of my books for a few days, and I got the fear, I got it bad.
I've written about it before but getting sales on my books are addictive, which is unfortunate because I have to get over a huge hurdle to get any of them... and that hurdle is self promotion.
I loathe having to pimp myself out, reminding the same people time and time again of the stuff that I've written in my little study. The recommended frequency of tweeting about your free books is every hour... every hour! I don't do things I actually enjoy with such frequency! (Oh snap!)
I was talking to a friend of mine recently who shall remain nameless as I don't wish to undermine their success (he's a real, bonafide published author and narrative genius) and he was saying how much he hated it as well, and I was wondering if the emotion behind the words ever comes across during promotion. When I tell people that my book is free is it with an obvious air of desperation, or does it smack of self belief? If the latter, is this sickening? If feels sickening. Is it the same with all self published and self promoting jabronis?
I stumbled across an author's website after he started following me on Twitter and checked it out (as I sometimes do to gauge the competition... well, I say competition but most are doing a hell of a lot better than me, so it's really to see if I can nab any ideas) and I almost laughed out loud (the kids say lol? Someone actually said that in a shop once, as if it were a word... I wanted to smack the text out of their lips, but you get arrested for that.). He came across as such an arrogant, self masturbatory pin head that I almost couldn't believe the site was real. This got me thinking... do I come across in such a way on my little freebie site (still too stingy and clueless to buy a domain) whenever I talk about 'what my readers are saying' or any of the other little bits of news I dole out? Is it a necessary evil? Or is he just touching himself in public, and everyone knows it?
I have no answer to this, I'm genuinely puzzled.
Either way, I still hate self promotion, and always will.
To read more words of wisdom, subscribe to my blog! And buy my books. And mow my lawn.

EDIT: The irony that this blog post itself is self promotion is not lost on me...

1 comment:

  1. I just did a blog on the same-or similar-issue. My mother (my MOTHER!!) nagged me into blogging which I have resisted because--sheesh--aren't there enough bloody blogs out there already? Who has time to read them all? It just seems rude to add to the volume, like driving on the day before Thanksgiving--I feel guilty adding to the crush.
    Plus talking about myself--I have to lie a lot to make it interesting. (that is a lie; technically, I am only a raging hyperbolic).
    Wish I could assure you that there is nothing shameful about self-promotion; I'm sure it is vulgar and unworthy of decent people, but that is what we are reduced to when we want to someday be able to buy fancy stuff like petrol (you Brits still call it petrol, right?) and food.
    Good luck with the whole pimping thing. I love both sci-fi and horror--especially occult horror. I just did a rigorous rewrite and reprint of one of my early SF novels Symbiont (man, don't you hate when you publish something and then realize ten years later than you are way, way better now and you would just die if anybody read that earlier version?), and I am working on a Lovecraftian Dark Fantasy tentatively entitled "Red Queen does something vaguely eldritch or possibly ruggose but I haven't figured out what yet".