As open as I am, I realized lately that most of my blog posts are full of advice about things to do with writing. I usually do not just talk about the direction my writing is going or the things I've been doing behind the scenes. I try to write how-to's or opinion pieces and never really talk about how things are going with me. I feel like it's about time that I start writing some blog posts that are more personal than that.
I am not a very confident person and one of the things I hate most about marketing my books is the fact that I feel like you can't be honest. You can't say,"Hey! Here's my book! I'm really insecure about it and think chapter two might be terrible, even though I edited it thirty times, but I hope you like it!" Because that's basically how I view every single thing that I do. In fact, I would be totally paralyzed by my insecurities and never able to publish anything ever again if I wasn't able to compartmentalize my books after I publish them in my head and tell myself that no one actually reads them, so there's no need to be embarrassed by them.
It's hard, because, as an insecure person, you're supposed to be sort of fake and tell everyone,"I wrote the best book ever! You have to read it! You'll love it!" Even though you're scared that they will hate it. Because if you don't believe in your own books, who will? And you never see J.K. Rowling online worrying about what people will think of chapter twenty. I mean, she has piles of money to comfort her if they do hate it, but still, I think she keeps writing for the love of it. Other writers who have made similar fortunes through their writing, often give up because now that the money is there, they are done, but she hasn't.
Marketing is about perception, like most of life is. If you seem insecure or needy of being read and reviewed, people will assume you are pathetic and not worth reading. even if you wrote the best book ever written.
This is one of the hardest things in the world for me to handle. I know it sounds ridiculous and so simple, but I hate it because it reminds me of high school. There are the popular kids, that everyone follows and loves, everyone is desperate to be their friend (or read their books in this case.) And then there is me. In high school, I had frizzy hair, wore brace and glasses. I read books all the time, loved anime, and video games. I was your stereotypical loser.
So now I am supposed to be an adult and pretend to be "cool"? Try to convince people that somehow I am in demand and that they have to read my books? Yea, because I pulled that off so well in high school.
I remembered reading so many articles about how most self-published books are only sold to about a hundred people over their lifetime, all friends and family of the author. I started laughing. I had a best friend online, my Mom, my Dad, my brother, and my husband (who was only my boyfriend in the beginning of my writing career) and that was the extent of the people who were supporting of my writing career and only one to two of those ever buy my books.
So I went,"Oh no! I'm screwed!" Because I knew it was that way.
And although I've sold many more books than just two, I've clung to that mentality my entire career.
I don't expect to be the next big thing and I'm not here to tell you I'm the most popular kid on the playground.
But I will be vulnerable with you, I will be real. I will show you my faults and my imperfect writing. I will talk to you on facebook and sometimes irritate you with my opinions.
So my marketing plan after all these years? It's not beauty of words, it's not speed of writing, it's not perfectly sticking to the formula, or always knowing what my readers want.
It's just me, nerdy me, insecure me, and my little heart-hoping a few of you will like me and the words that I write. Hoping you won't judge me because I'm still learning and will want to stick around as I get better and grow as an author.