Stray Cats and Self-Corrosion


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.

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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.

And meow.

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.

Meow.

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6 thoughts on “Stray Cats and Self-Corrosion

  1. I’ve decided to stop worrying about it. If my book sales don’t cover the cost of the book-cover, so be it. I set out to write good books, not to waste hours every day on tweet and blog sites.

    • I skirted the prospect of wasting time on blog sites by writing a serial novel and releasing it on a blog. Haha.

      But yeah, I agree, just write books, submit, maybe make them available on Amazon in the meantime. Amazon is a lot like Authonomy. It’s a promotion game. If writers weren’t allowed to speak, the good books–or books people want to read–would rise to the top.

  2. You took the words right out of my mouth. Even though I’m an extrovert and love people, socialising, etc, I completely and utterly loathe self promotion. I’ve been asked to be a leader in many situations, and when and I refuse the offer and say I’m not interested the party that has asked is aghast because of my out going personality. Yes, I’m an extrovert, yes, I love interacting, and I’m a people’s person, however, I absolutely loathe attention and having to promote myself to the world. I’m just too stubborn to give up.

    • Same here. I even hate writing query letters. It’s still self-promotion. I don’t even like writing my own pitches. How the hell am I supposed to sum up my book in 250 words or less? If I knew how to do that, I would have written the book in a day and called it flash fiction.

      • Hehehe, in regard to writing my own pitches or just writing itself that just flows for me, thankfully. It’s hard to keep them down, it annoys me sometimes. It’s like a cooking expedition, writing, that is. For me. I feel the words bubbling up, coming to the surface, ready for the cooking / writing, then once the words are cooked, they are ready to be served. The writing bit is easy for me, it’s the “putting yourself out there” bit that I can’t stand. I find it very difficult to accept and receive compliments, positive reviews, etc.

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