First, the news: My novel The White Tree is currently featured at Spalding’s Racket.

Next, a digression: Over the last six weeks, I’ve added a new dimension to my writing career: indie publishing. Self-publishing, if you want to be more direct. Some talented but behind-the-times authors are still calling it “vanity publishing,” which.. well, I liked Hyperion an awful lot, Mr. Simmons. You write great AI. Let’s leave it at that.

Back on course: When you’re going it by yourself, you don’t have anyone advertising your work for you. Unless you’re one of those “guys with money” who can “hire publicists” and “eat dinner inside the restaurants instead of behind them.” But most of us, if we want people to know about our books, we have to tell them ourselves.

There are numerous ways to approach this, which I should probably explore in another post re: their relative shame index. For instance, I find interviews to be pretty painless: I’m not talking about why readers should buy a specific book, so the chance of sounding like a deluded used-car salesman is dramatically decreased. But in cases like this, where you’re basically saying “Hey, here’s my book, here’s why you might like to buy it”? I’m simultaneously excited by the opportunity and ashamed that I took it. I don’t think you have to feel that way. But I do.

Self-promotion has a definite learning curve. Here’s what I’ve learned so far: focus on the types of promotion you’re comfortable doing, be it interviews, tweets, forum involvement, guest blogs, describing your book on blogs that provide space for such things, etc. And even if you think your book is especially funny, poignant, action-packed, whatever, maybe you, as the author, are not the one to be promoting it as such. It’s one thing to reply to an interview question with “I try to write funny because funny things are funny.” It’s another to blurb your book somewhere with “A hilarious, can’t-put-downable read, My Immortal Masterpiece That Will Outlast Mankind Itself will touch your heart in ways that are illegal in 72 countries.”

I think I could have approached some of my blurb appearances a little better. But I’m sure my first agent queries were far from perfect, too, and I know my earlier stories would make me implode with shame. If there’s one thing about the process of becoming a writer, it’s that it teaches you to shrug it off, move forward, and vow to do better next time. To less failure ahoy!

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About Me

I am a Science Fiction and Fantasy author, based in LA. Read More.
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