It's bitter cold out today so I'm sitting at my desk with a moss colored fringed shawl around my shoulders. For fun, I even put on a green and gold glass bead bracelet to match. I feel all dressed up. Do you sometimes dress up? I usually slop around the house in jeans and a big sweater. (I have on jeans and a sweater - I just added the shawl for the cold and the bracelet for the fun.)
But that's not the reason I started to blog. I was working on edits this morning, finished, and then sent off the manuscript hoping it will do. Then I blog-hopped for a bit, and stopped in at a professional's blog to see her take on promotion. She was raving about a writer who has a new way of promoting her book through a large blog space reserved (mainly) for musical groups and kids. Since the author had written a teen story, this was a great promotional idea. So I went over and admired the site. The band/music theme worked pretty well for a book. But this is what bothered me:
Being an author used to mean writing, sending the book to an editor and collecting royalties or getting a flat fee.
Being an author usually means holding down another job - very few authors can support themeselves writing (I think the percentage here in France, anyway, is 1% - not very inspiring is it?)
Being an author now means having to promote your own work.
It's a fact of writing life. Authors are encouraged by their publishers to have their websites, their blogs, their plogs, their writer's space, their 'freinds', their chat grops, their mailing lists, their newsletters, their contests, their chats, and their own original ideas about promoting their book. Not to mention traveling to conventions, book signings, postcards, business cards, bookmarks, cover flats, and special stickers with 'autographed copy' written on them. (If I've left anything out please let me know - I'm trying for a complete list here)
So this professional's blog got me depressed for a while as I struggled to come up with a new, exciting, fun way to promote my book that had nothing to do with going to jail, (those who read my blog will know what that means, lol) or spending money I don't have, or taking too huge a chunk of time out of my day. I like to write. I don't know how to promote. It's depressing to see this bubbly new idea that will probably work well but that will take up a lot of time. (This person has no kids or family life, I just noticed. Just write and promote. Some have all the luck.) So before depression settles even more firmly around my shoulders like a fringed shawl, I will stop thinking about promotion...and start something I am good at - writing my next novel.