Promoting myself, boasting about my successes, really doesn't come easy to me. Believe it or not, every time I schedule or send a tweet/Facebook update etc, I feel like a fraud. I wonder if I am really just a small fish trying hard to stay afloat in a substantially large ocean. As an independent author, I am my own boss. But that doesn't mean I have no one to answer to. People buy my books and I want them to be satisfied with their purchase. Of course, this won't always be the case and some people will wish they hadn't bothered. But on the whole, my latest book, Nightingale Woods, is getting excellent reviews. Even people who didn't enjoy it that much have left a review, and that can only be a good thing because the book provoked a reaction.
As an indie author I wear several hats; researcher, author, editor, publisher, promoter, marketer, the list goes on. I am my own PR consultant and that in itself is hard work. But when I find a little confidence and pop my book on various social media groups, ones I feel are relevant (I mean, after all, there's no point promoting a romantic comedy easy-read on a group that discusses knitting...) and then get told off for advertising, it makes me feel like an idiot. Yes, I got told off like I was a naughty school girl because I pimped my latest book in a Facebook group where we talk about holidays. The book has been described as 'a holiday read' and 'a duvet day read', so I naturally thought "what have I got to lose?" assuming one or two people might be interested - which they were before I was shot down in flames for being so magnificently shameless. Those who know me will know how I lack confidence. In order to promote and market my book I have had to crash through my confidence barrier and get out there like the best of them, making my presence felt. It's not easy. It really isn't. It's hard work, bloody hard work. Marketing your book is almost a full time job in itself, as any indie author with tell you, not to mention many traditionally-published ones, too.
I know I've been tweeting excessively recently, and updating Facebook with reviews and excerpts, but I'm doing that because I've achieved something; I've written a book that I'm extremely proud of. If I hid away and told no one, where would I be? Where would any indie author be? I'll tell you where, at the bottom of the pile whilst all the represented authors got the publicity and the PR and the constant stream of marketing. An indie author has to do that for themselves. Maybe on that occasion I pimped my book in the wrong place. I'm learning as I go along. But I wonder if there were no adverts on TV or social media, what would happen then? I've worked damned hard on my books, and I'm working extremely hard to get it out there and be noticed. Sometimes people just need a break. We all just need a break. Maybe the person who told me off for advertising should think about that next time they knock someone's confidence flying. I've picked myself up again of course, but it's attitudes like this one that stop hard working (and talented) people get on in life.
p.s. My first book, Discovery at Rosehill, is currently on free download on Amazon Kindle, HERE.