Saturday, October 24, 2015

Open For Business: Promotion and You

Welcome to another edition of "Where is the toilet paper?" This week I really want to talk about promotion. I see a lot of advice for authors trying to promote their books, and a lot of authors making mistakes over and over again. The definition of insanity is stabbing a block of cheese and screaming "Daddy never loved me!" Actually I think the quote goes "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." POTAYTO POTAHTO. Again there is a ton of advice on this subject, and I am totally going to not add to that at all.

What I want to talk about is the way promotion can be a soul crushing endeavor. I used to hate it with a passion. Running around in a pink tutu with neon sign over my head that says "LOOK AT ME!", then wondering why no one says anything in my padded room. Why can't I just make my awesome over here and hide in a cave while everyone buys it? Well, how are they going to buy it if no one knows about it? So how do we promote the thing without having our soul crushed in the process?

DO THE ENJOYING OF IT!

What? Enjoy pulling your own nails off one by one? Enjoy extracting your own teeth? The agony of it all! Oh despair, the Skynet is falling! Terminators are roaming the streets collecting the kittens for Trumpcat pictures! Brian is an insane person and I will never enjoy the promotion soulcrush that makes souljuice that I have to drink to replenish myself before I die from lack of soul. *cue James Brown*

Yes YOU will enjoy promoting your awesome because it deserves to be treated like the awesome that it is! But how? I'm going to tell you a story. No it doesn't involve piggies or wolves or girls in red hoods. It begins with a man that has decided he is going to pursue the whole writing of things. He looks a lot like me, but less handsome. He's still a sexy beast if you like hairy guys.

Anyway this guy hates self promotion and all the social medias. The more social the more he hates it. He prefers one on one conversations or forum formats where he can collect his thoughts. He's not on the twitters, not blogging, no instagram, and he barely has a facebook set up to keep up with old friends. He vows to never do the socials media because it is the Emperor of evil things. So evil that even Darth Vader would turn on it.

So how do I go from that to where I am today? I try to smell all the roses now. Sometimes it's dog poop that I smell, but when life gives you dog poop sculpt it into the form of John Boehner's face. It should be about the right color for that. The great thing about social media is that you can set it to the side and ignore it for a while if you need to. When you think of something witty or clever you can pick up your phone and share it with the world.

If you can't think of anything don't pressure yourself into posting something. There are a multitude of people sharing their awesome on there. Share, reblog, retweet, or otherwise spread their awesome around like it is unlimited pizza. Everyone should have a chance to get a slice of awesome even if it is someone else's awesome. This is kind of avoiding the point though.

How To Do The Enjoying Of Self Promotion

If you want to be a writer or author then you enjoy writing, so write! There are so many ways to do this it makes my head spin. Turn every bit of promotion you do into a story. It's all a story that you control and you are the hero in the middle of it all. Tell the story you want to tell. You don't have to beg people to come see your awesome. Put it out there and tell everyone to go see it or Godzilla will eat their face. Do what you enjoy doing.

If you hate doing interviews then do the interview as your favorite character. Make it fun and enjoyable for yourself. If you have fun doing it then others will enjoy reading it for the most part.
Interviewer: Where do you get your characters from?
You: I AM GROOT

I enjoy writing fiction, so last week I created a serialized flash fiction story that was inspired by the blog post I wrote last week. The Storify of it is below. The point of this is that you are not in a cage where you have to post your link saying PLEASE CLICK ME OR I WILL CUT MYSELF. You can craft the promotion into something that is an enjoyable experience for yourself and others. Be creative. Innovate. Now I'm going to go make a bacon T-shirt with my website's link printed on it.

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