Come Blow My Own Horn

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2023-11-02 08:00:00-04:00 No comments

As life has gone on, one of the things I've found myself doing whenever I fail at something is to assume the mistake lies with me first, and not with others. If I can't get attention around my work, for instance, I must assume the fault lies with my inability to promote it, and not because other people have no taste. I have to ask myself: what can I do to draw attention to my work, in the venues that matter, without being a jerk about it?

I haven't been able to give this problem the attention it deserved for entirely too long. In all fairness to myself, the last three years or so of my life have been busy enough that I've barely made the time to write at all. Thoughts of how to promote my work not only went into the backseat, but the trunk. Now most of that whirling nonsense has settled to the floor of my little snowglobe, and I am able to discern a few strategies which are not likely to be major drains on my time, or brand me as That Guy.

One is something I did try out before, but let fall by the wayside, and that's periodically offer discounted digital editions of my work. Amazon makes it fairly easy to schedule such things in advance, so I'm going to get back on that wagon sometime in the next couple of weeks — just in time for the holidays.

Another thing I explored, but did not have much luck with, is venues like NetGalley, Edelweiss, or Booktasters. Again, I blame myself for not exploring those as rigorously as I ought to have. They seem to be useful ways to get one's work into the hands of people who have followings on reading-related social media outlets (e.g., Goodreads), and that might be the most frictionless way for me to draw attention without making an ass of myself.

If I sound like I'm over-compensating for something, it's only because I've seen and heard way too many self-publishing horror stories about people who become total jerks while trying to promote their products. I've already humiliated myself in public enough times over other things to not want to compound the humiliation further. But unless someone else decides to take a chance on something I've done (and I have plans about that), I have to cultivate my audience on my own.

Tags: promotion self-publishing