Friday, February 18, 2011

To Promote or Self-Promote? Which is Easier?

After all these years as an author and blogger, self-promotion still doesn't come naturally to me. I find it much easier to promote other people, books and places rather than to extol my own virtues.

You may find this strange, since I'm in so many social media groups, and I seem to be all over the place. Yes, I am, but once the basics are down, you don't find out much more. Once in a while I'll slip in a reference to one of my books, but I have a feeling I could have done so a lot more often, but haven't bothered.

I've passed over many opportunities for promotion because it seems so much more difficult to convince others of my own capabilities than to convince them how wonderful my friends, fellow bloggers, or even strangers are.

One of the reasons is something I learned long ago, which is nobody likes a braggart. Another reason, I'm afraid, is laziness. It's a lot simpler to let others answer my questions, than to be the one on the receiving end and have to think up what to say about myself. Another reason is probably disorganizaition. I need to keep a FAQ list with answers to frequent questions handy, so I can answer them easily.

As part of my new disciplined attitude toward being an author, part of which involves my setting the 1,000 word goal each day, I've decided to be more aggressive toward self-promotion. I've already set up a new Facebook page specifically to detail my progress on my work in progress, Forever Young, to keep me on the right path to finishing my goal in that respect. I've also accepted requests for interviews by two bloggers, April Pohren and Mike Manno, and will be appearing on their blogs. First, I have to finish their interview questions. Then I'll let you know when I'll be there.(G)

What about you? Is it easier for you to promote or self-promote? You don't have to be an author to answer this question. It can apply to other areas of your life as well.



Morgan Mandel
http://facebook.com/foreveryoungbook
Killer Career now 99 cents on
Kindle and Smashwords

20 comments:

  1. LOL, boy this is easy. Easier to promote. I'm thinking of this new book I'll have out at the end of the year and I'm trying to think of what I've been preaching to the authors to do so I make sure I do it, too, lol.

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  2. I would be surprised if anyone chimes in to say it is easier to self-promote than to promote someone else. I used to do PR work and it was always a breeze, and a thrill, to promote a business or an arts venue or another author. To apply the same PR to myself. ARGH!!!!

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  3. Oh promoting other people for sure. When you're promoting yourself it's a fine line between objective promotion and either boasting how awesome you are or begging people to like you. LOL

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  4. I find it to be about the same. I'm not a shy author, but I'm not obnoxious about it either. What I like about promoting other writers' books, however, is that it makes me feel great to do it.

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  5. I don't have a book to promote. I do however, like promoting authors books as a tour coordinator.

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  6. Since I've always had a self-esteem problem, it's much easier to promote the works of my friends and peers. I find it especially hard to promote my trade paperbacks because of the inflated prices. This question keeps racing through my head: "Why would people pay $10.95 for an unknown when they can get two of Nora's books for the same or less at Wal-Mart?" I wouldn't, so why should I expect other people to? Now that Kindle prices are reduced, I have purchased a few because the blurb caught my attention. I like that you can order a sample before deciding.

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  7. Ditto to much of what everyone else says. Most of us find it easier to promote someone else, because (1) we might lack self-esteen, as Ginger says. (2) we don't want to be pushy and bore everyone, (3) or--the biggest--we don't have an emotional interest in someone else's book.

    We're very tied to our works, like our children, and fear someone will say something bad. I often find myself thinking, "I'm just happy this got published, because the reader base for this one is so narrow, promoting is not worth the trouble." But I' written about and preached about--Love your book, whether anyone else does ot not.
    Actually, I know---and you might, too--authors who chant the mantra, "It's all about me, me, me. Not talking about you, you, you, but I, I, I, Me, me, me!" Actually there's a country-western song that goes like that!
    Great topic, Morgan.

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  8. All of the above. Every spring I have to psyche myself up for the annual "aren't I wonderful" fest - and it's not that easy. Sometimes it's embarassing, but unfortunately it's required. If you're not out there flogging your book, your publisher is likely to think you aren't trying. But it's much more fun to praise someone else than to simply say "Wow! I'm guest-blogging at so-and-so's today" Sue Ann Jaffarian - a very funny lady and a fine writer - calls that Blatant Self-Poisoning which I think is hysterical.

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  9. The best is promotion that self-promotes too.

    When I am part of an anthology, I find it really easy to promote the whole anthology -- and mention yeah, I have a story in it ,too.

    I also do that with the other authors associated with the publishers who have published me. I'll slip in a mention that I'm also published with X, when promoting an author with a new book published by X.

    Besides, I don't produce 5 books a year. Two books in 3 years. And 5 anthology contributions in the same 5 years. My work is not always the latest thing that has come out, but promoting other authors with the same publisher allows me to continue to mention my work, as an aside.

    It's managed to keep sales steady over the years. I just paid for two conferences (registration, lodging, and travel) in 2011 up front, from the royalties of one quarter.

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  10. I've found a balance of both and it's working for me. Especially when I learn a specific method is working for myself I apply it to other authors.

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  11. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one!

    Morgan Mandel

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  12. I'm a debut novelist and am finding the promotion aspect hell, no other word for it. How I wish I lived in the time when publishers did it all and left the writer to do what he/she knows best - write.
    Like you, I hate saying, "me, me, me" and don't mind saying, "read so-and-so because he's good". But does that help me? I don't think so.

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  13. I do both. You have to promote yourself nowadays, but I love promoting others too.

    Marilyn

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  14. Great post, Morgan. I agree! It's so much harder to self promote.

    By the way, I'm your new follower. I hope you'll follow back at www.mayrassecretbookcase.blogspot.com

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  15. I agree with you and the other commenters--it's just easiest to see what's good about others' work, and frankly it's easier to say, Read this book--it's really good. Versus Read my book, same thing. The reason why lies deep in human nature, I suppose. Anyway if you bite the bullet and do a little self-promoting, I have no doubt it will be done in your helpful, graceful way. And I hope you know you have an open invitation to appear on Suspense Your Disbelief in whatever way would be helpful!

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  16. It IS hard to toot your own horn! But ya gotta do it :) Think like an actor--when I'm out there at signings or craft fairs, selling, I put on a different persona than when I'm home writing. It's actually kind of fun!

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  17. Thanks for those who have offered to host me on your blogs. I'll be taking you up on your offers as soon as I get the interview answers to the first two finished.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://facebook.com/morgan.mandel
    http://facebook.com/foreveryoungbook

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  18. I find it tough to promote myself and am still surprised when folks ask me to talk about my writing. Once I realize they are truly interested in what I have to say, I have a good time sharing my experiences with them. It just never gets any easier!
    DL Larson

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  19. Hi, I just chose you as one of the recipients of Seven Facts Award. Hope you will accept it. http://tributebooksmama.blogspot.com/2011/02/seven-facts-award.html

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  20. I think self-promoting would be hard for me. I always feel so self-conscience. However, if one shows confidence in themselves and their work, it really shows through as well.

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