So here’s the deal. It’s very late, I’m just home from a ball game, and I JUST remembered today is my day. (Obvioiusly I’m writing this on Tuesday night…and don’t even ask about the crazy late baseball All-star games!) So forgive me if this seems not quite as polished, but here I go anyway.
I’m tired of promo. There. I said it.
I’m tired of trying to find ways to slip my book into an online conversation. I’m tired of trying to be witty on Twitter and butting my big nose into someone elses’ conversation (and being ignored). I’m tired of posting links to my books, give aways, etc on FB. And I’m really, really tired of everytime I check my email, having someone ask me to an online book launch…or to comment on their blog….or to like their page. I know, I know. We all do it. But, by jimney, I don’t have to like it. But here’s the ol’ rub…I feel like if I don’t spend X amount of time online hawking, participating, and, yes, even blogging that I won’t be doing my job. And, really, is that my job?
I guess it is, but I sure as H-E-double hockey sticks never wanted it.
I wanted to be a writer.
Not a publicist. Not a cover designer. An editor. A marketing executive. A bookmark maker. A clever, witty online personality who leads the multitudes to her fabulous, witty Southern romance books.
I mean, really? Really?
After reading a post on Dear Author about authors correcting their work to suit readers, giving apologies, explaining themselves, I wonder…has it really come to this?
Natalie’s post and the responses yesterday really made me think about the world we live in and the consumers we try to seduce with our words. We live in a please-me-now society that doesn’t really value art in many forms. Gone is the appreciation of the aesthetics in favor of the cheapest, give-it-to-me fast music, books and television. No one wants to wait for anything. The public wants it yesterday. And there’s something to be said for having to sell your work so hard and have it valued so little. Have we come to whoring ourselves out to readers, asking for their approval, changing our books to suit them? If so, I want no part of it. I’m not a whore. I’m a writer. I’m not begging people to read my work. I’m happy if they do, but I’m not going to go on every social media known to man and sell myself. It takes too much out of me for such little result.
I’d like to enjoy blogging because I get to connect with cool people…not just so I can sell them my books, but so I can learn from them and share in their world. I want to go on Twitter to learn the scores on my favorite teams, to enjoy the comraderie of being with other writers, to spy on movies stars. I want to go on Facebook and communicate with my old high school friends, and, sure, share information about what’s going on in my life, including my books. But I don’t want to guilt them into buying them, make them uncomfortable about me being an author.
Somehow, sometime, I have to draw the line. I have to do the job I set out to do…you know, writing.
I’ve treasured the communities I’m in, but more and more, I feel the pressure to claw my way to the top by constantly tweeting about my books, my writing, my covers and anything else that might help me make yet another sale. For those of you who bought my book(s), I thank you. I really, sincerely appreciate your support. But I don’t want my presence online to be defined by how many books I can sell to the people reading my posts or tweets because I’m pretty sure my time would be better served by reading good books and doing my best to write the same.
What about you? If you’re a writer, do you feel like you are plugging up cracks in the vase of promotion. If you’re a reader, what suggestions do you have for writers looking to climb out of the enormous mountain of books offered?