As this month comes to an end, I wanted to add some final thoughts about self-publishing, promoting yourself and the entire process.
Wouldn't it be nice if writers could just write their books and someone else could take care of the rest? It doesn't matter if you are a writer with a publishing company or an indie writer - either way, in today's world we all have to do something to get our books out there.
But how much do you have to do, and how much time should you spend doing it?
I've talked to fellow writers who are so fed up with promoting themselves that they have stopped completely. Just today I read a post on a forum where the writer said she'd "had it". And I empathize with that - I really do. But, as taxing as it might seem sometimes, it's a part of our job and not to work at it, well - that's giving up in my opinion.
I do think there are some things that should be considered though, such as how much time you are spending each day promoting yourself versus how much it seems to be boosting your sales. And also, are you spending so much time worrying about your sales that you aren't finding the time to write?
When my first novel got published I was completely stressed out about how many sales I was generating, and I was checking my dashboard constantly and spending my days thinking up ways to promote myself. Some positive came out of that (I had 100 sales right out of the gate), but some negative too. I started spending less time on my writing, and one day I realized if I want to continue to sell books, I need to keep writing them. It was a hard lesson for me to learn, but I finally realized I needed to set some boundaries so I could get back to doing what I love the most, writing.
And to that end, I offer a few pearls of wisdom that work for me:
1. SET A GOAL
Set a number as to how many things you would like to do to promote yourself in a day. I would say somewhere in the 5-10 range is good. Each item doesn't have to take long. I have about four things I do that take less than five minutes each. And anything counts as one thing. This blog for one would be an item I count for myself. Posting on a board would be another.
2. CHANGE IT UP
Don't always do the same things each day to promote yourself. It's easy to get on a roll and go through the motions doing the same thing day after day, but I find that changing it up a little and trying different and new things really helps. You never know when you will try that one new thing and it will be just what you needed. I am always looking for new ideas and open to them.
3. SET ASIDE TIME
It's easy to get swept away with the internet. So many sites, so many possibilities, but you must set aside time for your writing each day. Carve out your time period if you have to and then stick to it.
It's been a great month, and I've learned a lot writing these posts. I am combining all the wonderful ideas of how to promote yourself into one blog post and will be putting that up soon.