During the last few weeks, I have been testing the water of the PR world. I have a couple of authors who I have interviewed and arranged things for. Guest posts, blog tours and the like, and to be honest with you, I have thoroughly enjoyed the process. It has been busy, Skype calls, Facebook chats with the writers organizing things, and of course at the same time, thinking ahead of what we are doing now and towards what we are going to do next, to capitalize on everything. This has left me with minimal time to get my own writing done, but I have written close to 500 words a day, and that is something at least. It is vaguely consistent and steady enough for me not to worry. I am sure there will be days where I get in the groove and churn out several thousand. It is all part of the way things swing.
However, the act of writing is not part of this post. What is bothering me at the moment is the whole PR side of things. As authors, promoting out work is the largest, and often hardest battle. It is a war we wage against ourselves and against the market. What I want to ask you is this:
Why can I (we) help other authors sell their work, but fail at doing it for ourselves.
Having watched myself from the shadows of my mind, I have seen not only the technique I need to set up PR campaigns, albeit basic campaigns at this point in time. I have seen how easy it actually is to do, just be bold, approach people and off you go. Most of all, I have had a ball doing it. It has actually been good fun! So why the fuck can I not do this for myself also. Every time I try to plan some sort of PR event for myself, I fail, or worse still, do not even trying.
To tell you the truth, I already have an answer… or two, and I want to share them with you. I am interested to hear your side to the questions however, because maybe, deep there within lies the one true answer, the key to the puzzle that will solve it all for us.
Two things that stop us from selling our own book.
Fear is the first answer that comes to mind. Not even conscious fear, but rather that subconscious fear that lays in wait deep inside our minds, and grabs us without warning. Promoting someone else’s work does not pull much attention to you. Ok, it does but in a directly indirect way. Are you with me?
I guess it stems back to that old adage “It is easier to talk to a group of strangers than your peers.” If you twist the meanings around a little bit, it is easy to apply the same logic to writing promotion.By standing up and helping another author, we are promoting ourselves as people, but we are not the main focus of attention. The other writer is. It is they who is coming under scrutiny, and their own which is being offered around. As crazy as that sounds, because the only writers I would take on a tour and stand up to promote would be good writers. I would feel as positive about their own work as I do my own, but still, the fact that the attention is not on me, goes a long way to answer part of the question.
The second thing is control. While I am contacting other bloggers, and setting up the tour in the same way you would for yourself, the other aspect of it, the posts themselves are completely within my control. Sure, guest posts and extracts are mine to create, but interviews… that is a different story. I can interview the writer in question, ask the questions I want to ask and then approach other blogs with the questions (and answers) in hand. Whereas if I were organizing a tour for myself, I would have no interviews at hand, but would rather be asking other people to interview me, and in my head it just sounds whiny and attention seeking.
I know, I know, it isn’t, but that is part of the problem. I need to readjust my way of thinking. My sales have been disastrously low and it is because I have done little or no promo work. I need to push myself out there and get myself interviewed and touted around the same way I am doing for others.
I have ten pieces of writing published… TEN. That is no small feat, and it gives me plenty of promotional scope, so why do I not just stand up and do something with it? I am proud of my work, in fact, I think it is damned good, and the reviews I have would be inclined to back that statement up. So what is stopping me?
There is something innate in most people I think that stops us from ‘tooting our own horn’. Some part of our psyche that makes us feel uncomfortable doing it, and in most walks of life it is good, because nobody likes a big ego.. unless you have the skills to back it up. Do I? However, in the world of promotion, you need to adopt a different mindset, and that is just what I intend to do.