You pretty much know that this is my last year for writing. In fact all I’m doing this year is editing and polishing two manuscripts. At the rate I’m going the publishing process will stretch into the beginning of next year. Drats. But once I get them into print I shall declare myself FREE of the literary disease. Unless the bestseller fairy comes along and whacks my books with her wand, but we know what the odds are for that ever happening.
Anyway, there’s an article by writer Sean Beaudoin in Salon that makes me feel relieved about getting off the publishing treadmill. It’s wisely titled Hell is self-promotion
OMG, I can so relate to the painful stuff Beaudoin talks about, and I don’t even do a fraction of the social networking and marketing he subjects himself to. Also unlike me, Beaudoin is traditionally published by a major company, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Yet he still has to go out and spend so much time flogging his books that, as he says: “If I could have back every minute I’ve spent on social media and apply it to churning out actual prose, I would probably have finished at least one bestselling swords-and-incest fantasy trilogy instead. Maybe even two.”
And then there’s this: “The great white hope of writing is to reach the point where you no longer have to pimp yourself at all, where you tap into a weird alchemy in which you suddenly have enough name recognition and sales that word-of-mouth and momentum do all the work for you.”
Of course my problem is (and I have so many problems) that I really don’t promote myself or market my books. I am not only the all-time worst author when it comes to marketing, but when I even think about self-promotion I want to run away from my own brain. I mean, I write LONG novels that wear me out, and I have the nasty habit of stuffing them full of history. My two current manuscripts, Charity MacCay and the Almighty Dollar and Charity MacCay and Holy Relations are set in America of 1867-1869, and they required so much back-breaking research that the very idea of now turning myself into a whirligig of advertising just makes me want to… Well, give up.
That said, I cannot express how much I admire the way so many of you write your novels, get them out there by traditional or indie publishing, network and promote your books and other writers’ books, and make gobs of online friends and readers. Really truly, you are all gifted in more ways than you know. More power and success to you.
Me, I may start a blog called The Fun Wild Stuff I Have Time to Do Now ‘Cause I Gave Up Writing.