30 Days of Balance #17: Self-promotion vs. The Internet

A day late, but I just had to leave that sample up 48 hours…

One of the most immediately awkward things of getting a publishing deal is you go from pimping yourself to publishers to pimping yourself to the public. Instead of focusing exclusively on mastering the impossible craft of query letters and the dreaded synopsis, you now have to wade into a sea of screaming writers all trying to sell each other debut novels while scanning for people who just like to read. It can be a little daunting. As soon as it was suddenly my job to promote Imbalance to the internet, it felt like I was flicking the myriad switches and toggles essential to busting the Millennium Falcon into hyperspace.

Twitter especially. The vast majority of people who have added me are wishing to promote their novels while I accept them with the plan of promoting my novels. I, meanwhile, add most anyone who has the word fantasy in their bio, which is principally fantasy authors who are keen to promote their novels. See the challenge?

Self-promotion is a sticky thing. It is uncomfortable in real life, a contest only conquered by the most grandiose egos. Yet by the same token, it is essential to the life blood of any fandom you wish to accrue. It is an interesting question to ask whether heavy hitters like Martin and Sanderson could have ever found popularity without some form of promotion. Had they published with no fanfare would someone have taken a chance on the novels and shouted loudly enough?

The hardest part of it all is separating your work. Yes, only the work itself can do that, but there is a certain critical mass necessary for people to rally around your banner. Given the choice between being a fan alongside 100,000 people or 10 people, which would you choose if the books were of equal import? The 100,000 for your own personal joy of discussion, debate, etc. The 10 for your own support for a black horse. While supporting David is all cool, clearly the majority prefer to hang with Goliath.

JM

Final note today – the cover release will be dropping back to March 31st at the latest, as will pre-orders. Also, a big sorry to everyone who can’t make the upcoming Release Party in Toronto. It’s going to be cosmic.

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