By Sarah Reichert
What is that strange banging sound? Oh, that’s my knees, knocking together.
You see, tomorrow is my very first book signing. (Old Firehouse Books in Downtown Fort Collins, 2:00 until 3:00 in the afternoon, be there or…be someplace else). People who have read my book, but don’t know me, will have a face to connect with the writing. Or a face to connect with the rotten tomatoes they smuggle in.
It can be hard to stand up for our art. Let me rephrase; it’s hard for me to stand up for my art. Because I know there are far better writers out there. Because, when I read my stuff, the errors glare at me from the page. And because I often forget that no one else is privy to the constant barrage of self-doubt and ego-knocking that goes on in my own mind.
Self-promotion is selling yourself, and years of work, to the masses. It’s taking time, every day, to remind the public of what you’ve created. It’s my least favorite part of being an independently published author. I always feel like a shady, snake-oil salesman, parking my gypsy wagon on the side of the road. “It will change your life kid, and the first one is (sort of) free!”
Self-promotion is running your own business. You are proving your investment in yourself and your product, by throwing it out into the world in as many different ways as you can imagine. (Have you purchased your own Fixing Destiny coffee mug? The ghost appears when you fill it).
How do you convince others to want to read your work, when you know it pales in comparison to the great writers of our time? The answer is simple.
Stop comparing yourself to the great writers of our time.
The world’s already had a Steinbeck. Lord knows we don’t need another Hemingway. People want a story that they can read and enjoy, that takes them away from the scuffle of life. And don’t sell short that your story could affect someone’s life in a positive way.
If you’re a writer, and you love what you do, then you should sit at a table with copies of your book, tell people why it’s a story worth reading, and then put your name on it. Then, you should go out to Elliot’s for a filthy martini and enjoy the weight lifted from your shoulders…until the next book signing, at least.
What do you love about self-promotion? What do you hate?