Get Psyched for the Business of Writing

232HI know, selling yourself as an author is hard work, and you don’t wanna. You don’t wanna tweet, you don’t wanna blog, and you most certainly don’t wanna tumblr. I can relate. I have my manuscript open in another window, calling to me piteously. You should hear it. Break your heart.

But when all the excuses peter out, you’re still going to be left with a boatload of self-promo to-do items.

How about a little motivation? 

In fact, why don’t we motivate in the form of the ever-popular numbered list?

1. Learning something new is fun.

If you’re anything like me, you’re trying to constantly wrap your mind around the “new guard” of social media platforms. How do you Tumblr, or Pinterest, or Instagram? Or gods forbid, Periscope? Do you even need to? One thing is for sure–you need to go to your audience, instead of making them come to you. As a marketer with more than 20 years of experience, that’s pretty much 101-level stuff. Fish where the fish are.

So embrace it. Unless your audience is 50+ year olds who are social media-phobic, they’re on these platforms. Let me let you in on a little secret  here: these platforms wouldn’t be so popular if they weren’t (wait for it) FUN. So go. Play. Find out why so many people are jumping ship for the new new media.

2. You’re smart, and you’ve got game, my friend.

Let other, less savvy writers languish in the past, waiting for their publishers to promote their work. You’ve got more game than that! You can bring more to the table. You’re passionate about your writing…why? Just to get words down on a page? I’m guessing the truth is that you’re passionate about sharing your writing with an audience who’ll find it enchanting, uplifting, terrifying, or whatever it is you’re going for.

Be the one who gets eyeballs by thoroughly promoting your work across social media. Put a little money aside to promote some tweets or do a sponsored Pin on Pinterest. Experiment, gamble a little, and, again, have some fun.

3. You owe it to  yourself.

That’s right. You owe it to yourself. Think of self-promotion like any other kind of self-care. We writers know that nothing is as challenging as telling a truly amazing story. Writing is your life’s work, which makes it, you know, kind of important to you. Would you breed championship-level show cats and then never take one to Madison Square Garden? Of course not, says the dog person. Those cats are your life’s work. Kinda like writing.

Unfortunately, most of us, most of the time, are utter crap at self-care. We don’t take the time, we don’t give ourselves the mental space, we are always too busy for the little things that make us happy. Taking time for self-promotion is much the same. You can always think of something ‘better’ you could be doing, like finishing a chapter or cleaning the kitchen. Those things can wait. You’ll get there.

Take a half an hour a day, more when you can spare it, and pick one social media platform at a time to master. Read everything you can find about authors and how they work best in that space. And then do it! Do it, and enjoy the rewards!

BIO: L.A. Stockman writes LGBT-themed Dark Fantasy, including In the Twist, due out in the March/April time frame from Exilium Press

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