This post is a continuation, after my guest post here on Strictly Writing.
It's the "look at me" thing again, and how it relates to being a writer.
I used to rather enjoy saying "Look at me," but it has become less enjoyable since I've been trying to get published. The main thrust of my guest blog was that I like it less because I'm not successful at it. I said "Look at me," and nobody did.
It's not just that though. This brilliant piece here is by Liane Spicer, and is about how readers can help writers. But she has inadvertently highlighted the other reason I don't enjoy look-at-me so much any more. The main way readers can help writers is by spreading the word about their work, and there are a gazillion ways of doing this. These days they mostly involve online tools such as Facebook, Twitter and book recommendation / review sites like Amazon. But none of that will work unless the writer or their publisher has opened up those avenues in the first place. Sadly the main effect Liane's article had on me was to have me fretting about how my book isn't listed on Amazon. It's technically possible, as I do have an ISBN. But I'm not planning on holding books in stock, which would make it hard for the Amazon thing to work. And I can't afford the kind of cut Amazon would demand on sales. And anyway I'm probably too small an outfit, and and and...
The main reason is that I find it all so exhausting. Each little bit of online tomfoolery takes up even more time and adds even more soul-destroyingness to the number of places you have to check for feedback, and then sigh at when there is nothing there.
There is a distinct "Oh, sod it" element to the way I'm publishing this book. There's a part of me that wants to make it deliberately hard for people to get hold of it. And then I can cite that as the reason, when sales are inevitably low. I can also throw my hands up when people say, "But haven't you tried..." and I can reply, "No, I haven't, because this is a necessarily small enterprise and can never be anything else."
And although I keep being pulled in the direction of Sales Maximisation, Publicity Saturation and all that jazz... even though I secretly dream of my book suddenly Going Large... there's a large part of me that thinks, "Sod it. Only a handful of people will ever know my book exists, and it's worth it for the peace."
Still. Ahem. [cough] The only way my book will ever sell is as a result of word of mouth. So, er. You know. The power is in your hands. If you've ordered a copy... if you enjoy it when it arrives... if you happen to hang out in any of those online places and you have a moment to spare... feel free to do my publicity for me. But if, like me, you get a pain in your left ankle at the very thought of it, then hide the book under your pillow and keep it as a very special secret, which is for you and nobody else. I really won't mind.
...and I also promise to stop moaning and whingeing, starting here.
5 days ago