If you’ve come here in search of advice on what to do, you’re in the wrong place. But if you’ve come here for a sympathetic ear, as one introvert to another, then pull up a chair and let’s discuss.

Promotion is hard. Period, full stop.

But what’s even harder is when the very idea of selling yourself to others is a must, otherwise whatever you’re hoping to sell can lose traction, fast. And in the world of fiction, whatever the genre, it seems like everyone else is promoting themselves constantly. Does that mean I should be, too?

From the traditionally published to the indie published, doesn’t matter where you come from or how you got to the end result, if you have a book that is ready for the public to read you must take it to the public and sell it! You can make the argument for why traditionally published authors have a leg-up on this business model but as that isn’t me, I’m not going to comment one way or the other.

Instead, I’d like to talk about me. And in talking in “me” terms I can say with great authority that I haven’t the first clue on how to market and sell myself. However, I do know what I am good at, and that is studying what other people do and how they do it and basically copying it as best I can. I don’t fancy myself as witty or a great conversationalist so doing things in a more social, face-to-face, setting is out! I used to be somewhat of a social media geek and was on Twitter and Facebook all the time. But that was back when they were the hip and trendy thing. I’m still a milennial but even I’m having a hard time keeping up with the behemoths that these (and others like Instagram) have grown into. Don’t get me started on hashtags and how I ALWAYS forget to include them in my social media messages so I have to set-up reminders to myself not to leave them out!

So, how do I combat my inability to speak about myself and my writing? How do I circumvent the murky waters of Twitter and Facebook (cause they are what I use the most these days) just enough to “get by”? I suppose you can say I’m a quick study.

I started by composing a list of all my favorite authors, regardless of the indie or traditional label they wear, and then I followed them. I studied how often they share their thoughts about their currently released work, their WIP and their personal life. Everyone is different, of course, but there is this one thing that unifies them all; sell, sell, sell. But not everything they sell costs money. Like their newsletter; join it now and get updates regularly. Others sell their KU deals, patreon pages. The list goes on and on.

After I made this list and did the research, I sat down with my own work. I made a list of what I wanted to “sell” about myself and my work. My writing, of course, is at the forefront and basically all I have. Then I made a list of what I knew I could share and how often I could share it in realistic terms. What does this mean?

Well, I’m absent-minded and just very pre-occupied with my writing to the point of finding things like tweeting to be a distraction. First, I had to see it differently. Tweeting only bridges the gap between me and the stranger who will potentially read my work, whatever work that may be, once I release it. If I hope to bridge that gap I must continue to tweet and Facebook and email, but on a schedule that I can live with and not feel like my life is being taken over by it.

I’ve hit my stride lately, and things like tweeting or updating my email list have become something I look forward to and not something I dread, wondering if I have something worth sharing. If you look at my twitter feed I might tweet (or RT) once or twice a day. Trust me that is a vast improvement on what it used to be. And my email list has been consistently once a month with a mid-month newsletter if I have a pre-order to share.

I know sometimes it can feel like you’re shouting into a void and no one is truly listening, but you’ll be surprised how quickly that can change and you’ve gone from having less than a hundred followers to thousands. The moment that happens can be so fast you’ll hardly remember the slow and quiet times. Cherish them now and know it won’t be forever. Heck, this is where I am right now, shouting into the void.

CAN YOU HEAR ME OUT THERE? No? That’s okay, you will soon enough. Cause I’ve got many stories to tell and not all of them are within Stonehaven. I’m just gonna keep on shouting about it till dozens become hundreds and hundreds become thousands and thousands become dreams!

Isn’t that why we do this after all?

From the desk of an introverted self-promo writer,

E.L. Drayton