Hands up everyone who finds it really easy to brag about your own brilliance.
No one? I thought as much.
It’s a true fact that very few of us are comfortable singing our own praises to the world. For a start, we are taught from a young age not to be boastful. I know my parents always drilled into me the importance of being modest.
But the day you become an Indie author, a lot of those rules seem to go out of the window. When you are in charge of your own marketing, the ability to tell the world how brilliant you are suddenly becomes vital. You have to be out there every day, trying to make the world pay attention to you.
Sure, it would be nice to think that a great book speaks for itself, but sadly, it just doesn’t work like that. With literally thousands of books out there on the Indie market, a book can be utterly brilliant and still languish at the bottom of the rankings with barely one sale.
Unfortunately, it is also a sad fact that the best writers, the ones who’ve written the best books, are the ones who find it hardest to do self-promotion. It’s part of being a writer.
I’m going to be a little judgmental here and admit that it seems to me that the ones who are able to shout the loudest are the ones whose books don’t necessarily stand up on their own. And I think this is partly because the best writers are the ones who are always convinced that perhaps they could do better. They are the ones who edit and edit and edit and when they do finally send their baby out into the world, it is with a certain amount of trepidation, because they are sure that one more edit could make it even better. And they are the ones who are most scared that their book won’t be well received, because they have put so much heart and soul into it, and they feel that it should stand up on its own.
They are the ones who feel that self-promotion is like selling their soul.
So I have a message for those authors: I know self-promotion is hard. I know it feels like you are giving everything to it and not necessarily getting something in return. But I swear it’s worth it. Because your book can stand alone – but first you have to push it out there.
Keep the faith. Because I have faith in you. You will make it. Because you’re not selling your soul to the devil – you’re selling your soul to your book. And if you’re honest with yourself, you did that a long time ago!