Self-promotion sucks. I hate this shit. I’d much rather hide away in the shadows of a little office filling an ashtray with cigarette butts and drinking too much bourbon while I obsess over a single sentence for an hour before finally releasing it to join the others in my newest novel-in-progress. That’s my style. Obsession, solitude, a tweak of insanity, lots of private arrogance, and lots of talking to myself.
Here I am, though, spamming the piss out of my friends, tweeting–I remember telling myself once, “I don’t know what a ‘tweet’ is, but I’m never going to do it”–learning how to improve my SEO and Google page rank, learning how to optimize Free Promo days on Amazon’s KDP Select, learning words like “ping” and “backlink” and loads of other crap I wish I could scrape out of my brain with the spoon I use to stir my coffee.
Selling books is cool. I’ve netted several hundred bucks in my first month. I also enjoy getting good reviews on Amazon. Praise from friends and family definitely doesn’t hurt, but of course there’s always the chance that, “Your book is amazing!” really means, “I feel obligated to say your book is amazing!”
(I’ll tell you a little secret, friends and family, and I hope you don’t take offense: for a writer unsure of himself, a book sale doesn’t count unless it’s from a stranger. When one of you buys my book, I–as a writer–chop it up to “showing support” or “playing along” or even “getting a copy just in case this douche becomes famous.”)
I don’t want to promote myself. I don’t want to go on a “blog tour”–the thought of that makes me want to go hide in a culvert with stray cats and spend the rest of my days meowing at the echo of my own meows. I don’t want to hang out on Twitter. I don’t want to con Google’s algorithm into improving my page rank with article submissions. I don’t want to take keyword density into account before I publish this post–and trust me, I’m not going to, search result hit rate be damned.
I just want to write books and go hide while people read them.
Maybe I’ll hear something from HarperCollins soon regarding A Circle in the Woods.
Maybe I’ll win the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. (Round Three finalists will be announced March 20th, 2012.)
Maybe an anonymous millionaire will happen across The Object and make a substantial donation.