Wednesday, November 4, 2015

#IWSG: Promotion Commotion


I have a love hate relationship with promotion.

It can be thrilling. It can make you feel successful and famous. Like that time I was on Carolina Book Beat, talking to Mur Lafferty and Samuel Montgomery-Blinn. They were both so gracious and asked the right kind of questions to let me shine, and keep my inner klutz under control. I almost didn't say anything stupid the whole time!

It can be painful, like the time I did a signing at a Barnes and Noble and only signed one book the whole time (HINT: big box stores are maybe not so great when no one has ever heard of you).

It can be fun, but exhausting, like writing some fifty odd guest posts in the past few months, or "womaning" a table at a book fair for hours on end. I'm getting ready to go Atomacon, my first con as an author guest, and I'm excited, and already exhausted just thinking about it.

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It can really pay off, and cause ripples that lead to other opportunities, but boy can promotion be a time suck, too!

I'm not lucky enough to be only a writer so far, so time is at a premium. I'm a middle school teacher by day, which is not the kind of job that gives you any breathing room. From 7:50 a.m. when I arrive at school, until 5:00 or so when I (usually) leave, it's jam-packed. I struggle to eat lunch and take bathroom breaks, so I don't think I'll be tweeting about my books during that time.

And I have kids, a dog, a husband, and a home and responsibilities to and for all of them, besides just enjoying their company.

It comes down to about one hour a day for writing. And there are days when I lose most of that to promotion.

How about you IWSG folks? How do you balance promotion with actual writing, in whatever time you have in your day for all these things?

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This posting is part of the Insecure Writers Support Group blog hop. To check out other posts by writers in a variety of places in their careers, check out the participant list. This group is one of the most open and supportive groups of people I have ever been associated with. If you write, you should check them out!



10 comments:

  1. Hi Samantha. I'm one of the co-hosts this month - nice to "meet" you. I just published my debut novel so I feel your pain about promotion. I did one book signing at a local bookstore and mostly my friends purchased the book. I wish you luck on this writing journey - it's not for the faint of heart that's for sure.

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    1. Part of me really wishes that I could just write books and publish them and that people would find, read, and enjoy them without my further involvement.

      Luckily, part of me also likes going to writing events and meeting other writers and talking to readers.

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  2. I have yet to do a book signing, or anything live and interactive like your interview. You're already my hero. :-D

    My promos are light, but that's because I truly suck at shining a light upon myself. I stick to one-on-one promos with bloggers/book reviewers. I truly wish I had that social-media-alter-ego, but I don't. :-1

    But, I really love the process of writing, and that's why I'm still doing it.

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    1. Sounds like you're in it for all the right reasons :-)

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  3. Social media is the only "promotion" I do, and even that feels like it steals too much time from other things. It's even worse when no one comments, retweets, etc. because... why bother?

    Guest author, huh? Sounds thrilling!

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    Replies
    1. I am pretty jazzed about the guest author spot. :-) And, yes, time is always the problem. I don't like giving up writing time for networking and promotion, but they didn't add more hours to my day so far, and I can't afford to give up the day job yet.

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  4. I struggle with the same things, Sam. I'm not sure how to balance it all - I'm not sure you really can. You can only juggle things so that the areas of your life that suffer are in rotation.

    Marketing is important, and sometimes, sadly, it has to come before writing.

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    1. That's what I'm finding. Which "top priority" actually gets on top today is a daily decision.

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  5. To tell the truth, I stopped doing promotion, kind of resigned to not being able to sell my writing. I write because I want to. Selling is a different kettle of fish altogether.

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    1. Selling is a different kettle of fish for sure. And doing it well is a very different skill set than writing well.

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