It's been nearly one year since I received my first contract. I now have two full length novels out with a small press. Being new, I cringed at having to "promote" myself and my books. How would I--an unknown--be able to do that?
Then I discovered the world of Yahoo Groups. I didn't realize how many reader and writer loops there were. So I jumped on the bandwagon and joined in every single chat and promotion available. It was easy. Being shy, I didn't have to worry about seeing faces that might look at me as if I were crazy. I could let my hair down and use my creative energy. What a wonderful way to promote!
What I've learned since those early days of being so gung-ho is that the same people appear on all the loops. Oh, sure, there may be a few new ones here and there, but for the most part you will be talking to other authors. How disappointing to "talk to yourself" for an hour or two, and then hope someone actually reads the posts at a later time. Me? I don't. I can't take time to read all the promotional chats on each loop. If I did, I'd never get any writing done.
So what to do? For myself, I've made the decision to create some flyers, put together promo packages, and start hitting the local independent booksellers. Since my books are POD, it becomes a trial to get them into store, but I'll never know unless I try. I must now become a salesperson...something I've never wanted to do. But I'll paste on a smile, put on my protective shield and go beat the pavements.
Why? Because I'm an author.