I had an email from author R. Mac Wheeler yesterday. I didn’t know him, he was not in my circle of author friends. He wrote to say he enjoyed Along Came a Demon so much, he was going to give it a shout-out on his blog. I was thrilled. Ecstatic. Over the moon.
Why did his email and subsequent post mean so much to me?
Because I don’t put myself out there. I’m useless at planting myself in the public eye. The most effort I’ve put into promotion this year was to contact sites on a list of who to notify when a book goes free on Select. If you find my books, it’s not because they have been featured on hundreds of book blogs or review sites, and if you did find them on one, it’s not because I submitted my books for review. I have paid for only one ad on a website and it didn’t do anything for sales as far as I could see, do I didn’t bother again. I have – if I remember rightly – sent Along Came a Demon to only three reviewers during the three years since I published it on Amazon. I don’t do that anymore, either.
I don’t do blog hops, because I’m not an active blogger. Sometimes I wonder why the heck I have a blog anyway. How many times have I actually posted here? Not many. I rarely come up with anything I feel will be of interest to anyone, not on national or world events or trends, or issues important in the world of publishing, because a hundred other bloggers have already said it. I’m always too late off the mark, it’s already been done.
You won’t notice me because I review books. I don’t review books because I don’t want readers to think I reviewed a buddy’s book as a favor. Sometimes, I regret that decision, because I’ve read some very good Indie published books.
I only “like” Amazon author pages for authors I know and like, and I’ll “like” a book on the Amazon product page only if I actually like it.
I get email notification of an interesting post on Facebook, but there are already a score of replies by the time I get there, and many have covered what I intended to say. I would rather write or do things with my family than hang out on Facebook on the offchance I can get a word in before everyone else says it for me.
I’m not active in author circles. I don’t post on Amazon reader forums.
I’m not happy about asking for reviews. I notice many Indie authors (in their books) suggest the reader write a review if they liked the book. “It works,” I was told. I finally added a similar request at the end of Demon Demon Burning Bright, but I still feel uncomfortable about doing that.
Sometimes I receive personal messages or emails or comments on this blog, or on my Facebook pages, from people who say they love my books. I KNOW I should ask them to leave a review, but it seems like too much of an imposition. They took the time to tell me they like the books, I shouldn’t shove a review request down their throats.
I know I should do whatever it takes to be more in the public eye. Look at Amanda Hocking – before she got her deal with a traditional publisher, she (said she) spent more time promoting than writing, and we all know how successful she became. But she also said she was exhausted, she would rather write than promote, and cited this as one of the reasons she accepted a publishing contract. If I have time to spare, I’d rather spend it writing.
Any praise I receive for my books – both privately and publicly – is unsolicited, so it means a LOT to me. Thank you, Mac. Thank you, readers and reviewers who give my books nice reviews or mentions. You are the reason I keep writing.