How far should we promote our own books?


Perennial question, this. I confess that it is not something which comes easily or naturally to me. Actually, I rather dread it. As a result, my promotional activities have been decidedly jerky and strained in nature – and, if I could get someone else to do it for me, I would, believe you me! But I lack dosh, contacts and influence!

On the one hand, I am desperately proud of all my babies (books) and so thrilled, still, that I have five published novels up there on Amazon. I am not ashamed to say that, even fourteen months on, my face breaks into a wide beam of joy when I pick up one of the copies I have at home.

On the other hand, I feel uneasy about wittering on endlessly about the merits, plots, reasons why others should read, special offers and all the other bits and bobs we writers learn to handle as part of the process.

Because what, when you get right down to it, does all this frenetic promotional stuff have to do with creativity and inspiration?

You see, I think they are two very separate skills – and, while some people genuinely do possess both the creative ability and a wonderful way with marketing, I am not of their number!

And yet – I want my books to be read, by as many people as possible. I want to see them all high up on the Kindle Store charts. Of course I do. We all want our real children to shine one way or another: To do well at school; to excel musically or artistically; to be super people. We don’t want them to do badly in life, do we? We want wealth and health and happiness for them. Same for the babies of our imaginations.

I have allowed all my books to slide into the Forgotten List in recent weeks. Their statuses on Amazon have plummeted as a result. I am embarrassed even to tell you the low numbers.

And yet – here’s the rub: The thought of engaging in all that Free Download, endless posts about each novel, hoping and praying and forwarding fifty-nine million dreary promotional attempts onto the social sites fills me with complete horror and anxiety and fear.

I cannot do it well. I struggle to do it at all. It is so not me!

There! I have written yet another post about my books. Cringe, cringe. Now I shall go and lie down in a darkened room until the feeling of acute shame and embarrassment has passed.

I think I may just have to leave the successful book promotion to those lucky mortals who were born with the silver spoon of marketing in their mouths.

Because, between you and me, I am the original Cock-Up Queen at such things! Most people’s efforts make potential readers froth at the gash (as it were) to read their offerings! My pathetic attempts cause immediate wilt (to continue the bawdy imagery) – and a strong desire to get as far away from said tomes as possible without leaving Earth altogether!

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14 thoughts on “How far should we promote our own books?

  1. Julie

    It comes back to the same thing: challenging oneself, forcing oneself out of one’s comfort zone, being self- confident, being determined, being independent, being Strong!
    Since you know you are good at writing, there’s less credit to be gained from it than from promoting your books. You alone know where you are ‘lacking’ and this is where any credit will be truly deserved.
    So persevere and, step by step,, you’ll succeed at last! πŸ™‚

    P.s: money is a necessity of course. But it can be earned in many different ways!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG! Can’t breathe…
    Have you considered copy writing for Canesten? In my mind’s ear I can even hear the tune to the ad based on the last paragraph… (No. It’s NOT a copyright infringement, officer, it is only loosely based on the one you think it is… Abba? Never heard of them… )
    As to the main point… erm… you can never really go too far… πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. alienorajt

      There’s a part of me – quite a big part at times! – that totally agrees with you, Simon. My problem is that I lack the confidence and the practical skills to make my promotions have a big impact.

      Liked by 1 person

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