This is going to be a hard post to write. I’m not really sure if it is even a good idea to post this, because it is about one of the hardest aspects of writing for me.
Now, for a lot of people one of the difficult aspects of writing is putting yourself out there. Actually letting other people read what you have poured a bit of your soul in is indeed a daunting task. I’d be lying if I said that I was never worried about that. But I’d also be lying if I said this was my main worry.
To be honest, putting myself out there is fairly easy, when it is something I am confident at. I love attention. I love being the focus of good times. And while I know that my writing isn’t for everyone, I am pretty proud of my skill. Sure, I probably have an inflated sense of my own ability, but that almost seems like it is necessary to put a book out there. If I didn’t think you would enjoy my writing, why even speak up about it?
Where I suffer is all in the marketing/patience. I don’t know how to win people over to want to read my book. At least not those that don’t know me personally (and even some of those are hard sells.) This, I feel, goes a bit hand in hand with the cockiness I feel about my own skill level. Part of me thinks it should be this simple:
“Hey. You like books, possibly including fantasy books. That means you should buy mine. Because I am pretty damn awesome, and I’m only going to get better. Get in now and help spread the word.” My follow up would be: “Why haven’t you bought it yet?”
Strangely enough, arrogance and lack of subtlety doesn’t really work.
And then we get to the lack of patience. I suffer from this both on the macro level: “Why aren’t I selling tons of copies NOW?!” And on that smaller level where I feel the need to constantly refresh anything that gives me a number. How many views will this post get? How many people have watched my latest book trailer? And then there is the math angle.
I’ll look at my Indiegogo campaign and work out how many people need to purchase just the single ebook for me to hit my goal. (941) How about the pair of ebooks? (565) Or the paperback? (113) Both paperbacks? (81) And then after that I start running numbers on how many people a day would need to purchase for me to make it on time. It is obsessive and a waste of time. I should be writing, but my cocky, impatient mind can’t let go of its annoyance that I am not hailed from the cliffs as a great writer to stop working on meaningless math to just move along with something else.
Listen, I love writing. I’d love to write more in general as well as more regularly. I want to truly earn that term “writer”. I love it. Unfortunately, I do have bills to pay and a family to do my share to support. Which means I need to learn how to market myself.
And that is not the area I love.
To wrap up, as the legendary Jay Sherman said: “Buy my book! Buy my book!”