I've been talking to a few writers lately . . . people with two to five published books under their belts who are navigating through the millions of blogs, forums, websites, and other promotion avenues available. What I've found lately is that the process depresses some people, partly because they lose writing time, but also because their efforts aren't translating into sales.
No doubt about it, selling fiction is tough. Every time I join a forum, I meet hundreds more writers who are also plugging their books. It sometimes feels like we're crawling over one another just to gather a little attention from potential readers. Promotion's daunting for me too, but I've discovered that when it gets to be too much, the thing that cheers me up is doing something for someone else, whether it's giving a good review, buying a colleague's book, or offering words of encouragement.
This week, I'd had no idea that a colleague was feeling a little down about promotion until I told her I'd reviewed her book and posted the review in three or four places. She said it was the jump-start she needed to start promoting again, which prompted me to double my efforts. It was a win-win for both of us, and a great lesson. Sometimes, one of the nicest things about promoting is doing something for someone else.
And wouldn't you know, today I got an e-mail from another writing colleague who said that while pitching a new book to her publisher, she also pitched my other series, which the VP apparently wants to see. I nearly fell over. I had no idea she'd do this, and I'm truly grateful.
You know what they say . . . what goes around comes around. So, I'll keep doing what I can for other writers struggling out there, and I wish you all good karma.
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