The photo challenge this week is Monument. All kinds of word pairings popped into my head – Monument to Stupidity, Monument to Arrogance, Monument to Self-Indulgence. Let me linger for a moment on that last one. (Leave aside the fact that I can’t link the word monument with anything positive.)
Lately, I sense my blog tipping towards the above title. Blogging is definitely supposed to be about more than me tooting the one note song – look, look, my new book is out, look, look, my new book is out . . . the whole thing does have a nice ring to it but, of course, that’s not the point.
When I first started blogging I followed someone who was on the verge of self-publishing a first novel. I valued this blog because the blogger wrote not only about the process of getting a book out, but also about writing related activities. A life was shared on that blog. Then the book came out. Bang – the whole tone of the blog changed. It was all about buy my book. Every single post – no relief in sight. I gave the benefit of the doubt and hung around for about three months but the blog never returned to the interesting pre-self-published status. So, I quietly unfollowed and drifted away.
I understand that blogger’s dilemma better now, for sure. With two books out, reviews coming in and a blog tour wending its way through cyberspace there are lots of things for me to go on about when it comes to my new book. But I’m getting bored of it myself so can only imagine how others might feel.
Last night I did my last scheduled public appearance to promote the launch of The Light Never Lies. A lively book reading, meet and greet at the Port Alice Library. It was wonderful and at the same time, I’m so relieved to put that part of promotion behind me for the upcoming future.
I can’t promise that I won’t still be shouting out links to great posts about my book or re-blogging posts from the tour. I owe it to my hosts to give something back and if that means generating more traffic for their blogs via this site, I’ll just have to toot away on the horn a few more times. The beauty of putting this tour together myself was being able to appear on blogs I really love. Of course, I want to share those stops.
While that vein is open – pop over and take a look at the great way Gaele Hince at I Am Indeed puts together a book review. A whole promotion package all tied up with a bow. She’s a pro and well deserves her status as a top Amazon reviewer.
On other fronts, watch out for more posts on the location, location, location series – I’ve got a few great ones lined up. I’ve also got a post on the go to promote a book review blog I’ve been following. You can expect more reflection on the self-publishing journey as the dust of launching and promotion settles. And of course, grandmother updates, garden talks and wine out on the cliff deck.
As Pete the Cat would say – Groovy Man. It’s all good. Credit to playrific.com for this image. If my granddaughter Emma were here she could have drawn Pete for me. We’re all crazy about Pete the Cat.
Hi Francis, I love this post, and totally empathise… it is really hard to promote oneself/one’s own work and it has to be done, and how best to do it … and, to perceive how it comes over to readers! I’m doing an e-newsletter about production of The LabyrinthYear, and hopefully being interesting about a few other things…was thankful that this time I could add in stuff about the Opening Up to Indie Authors promotion at London Book Fair!
Thanks, Clare. The key to not getting bogged down in the one note song does seem to be a genuine interest in a bunch of things, an active life to draw on and remembering why people might spend their precious time reading a post or a newsletter in the first place. Add some value or pack it in. How is that for a short and sweet motto – LOL.
🙂 Your blog seems to be doing the right thing judging by the various comments! I’m hoping mine is too!
When it comes to promoting your book, Francis, you were a class act and I never felt as though you were tooting your own horn.
I can’t wait to read about the surprise pregnancy! Wow, thanks to Roy, for the enticing sneak peek. 🙂
Enjoy your weekend!
Glad to hear you aren’t a purist in the review department, Jill 🙂 And thanks for letting me know I’m not going overboard in the tooting department.
I am enjoying your blog tour posts and would never consider them to be self-indulgent. By the way, we recently were introduced to Pete the Cat, and he is a real favourite at our house, too!
Did Pete get upset? Oh no. He just kept doing his thing – I love Pete and think all his books provide such a positive approach to life for kids (and adults.) And thanks for the support. I do like to take the temperature of my readers now and then and see if they feel like crabs in a pot of hot water. Nice to know no one is boiling yet.
I don’t think anyone can accuse you of boring us Francis. To the extent that your blog promotes your books it is very entertaining and instructive, well illustrated, lively. I’ve learnt a great deal about your part of the world together with lessons on publishing and promotion – those that work, those that don’t. You don’t want to go down the road of blogging what you imagine other people want. I honestly believe that if a writer enjoys the writing process then the reader will do likewise.
Your last line – if the writer enjoys the writing process then so will the reader – just sent my mind reeling. I started thinking about writers who love to write as opposed to those who approach it as a chore or can only write when they are in agony etc. Now. there might be some of that in all of us but overall, I love all aspects of the writing process (except marketing which doesn’t qualify as writing in anyway to me – though is necessary.) Maybe that love does make its way through. Thanks, Roy, for such a delicious insight.
Mmm, I love to create and continue storytelling. I do not particularly love to tap the keys of my computer for long hours while the sun shines outside and the garden needs attention or have to forgo baking a cake for the family or entertaining or attending a social occasion – but then, I do get on with the writing, whatever, I don’t ‘procrastinate’ as some writers claim they do… so I suppose I love it in the way one loves raising one’s kids even if the daily task of that can be frustrating and short-term ‘going nowhere’! I love to communicate, is all, and to tell a story.
And that really seems to be the gist of it all – needing to tell that story no matter what and loving to do it – even though, moment to moment, it just might possibly seem a drag.
Keep on tooting that horn, Fran!
Oh, I supposed I’ll have to, won’t I? To one degree or another. Thanks for the support, Mark.
Just wanted to let you know, Mark – I picked up a copy of The Good Luck Highway for my Kindle. Looking forward to it.
I think of writing and publishing (although I have yet to publish) as the carrot and the stick.
When you are trying so hard to birth the book, it is hard to remember that writing it is the carrot. A Quiglian quote.:)
So now that I’ve reached the stick – what next? I had quite a laugh over this imagery – me chomping away on the dangling carrot as I wrote my way to the stick.
Sounds to me like you need some more carrots.
Exactly what I was thinking, my friend.
How about Monument Of Achievement? Toot your horn once in a while as contrary to the popular phrase, not everyone has a novel in them. You have a piece of work out there, with your name on it, and people are enjoying your art. A monumental congratulations! x
Thanks, Jackie. I had a mentor back in grad school who always told me – toot your own horn because if you don’t think your work is worth it, no one else will either. Wise words – up to a limit.
Promoting is a fine line to walk, I’m sure. You need the exposure to get your work out there, but you don’t want to lose your current and potential readers with constant plugging. Since I love your writing voice, I enjoy reading anything you post, but I’ll bet that’s not the case with everyone. Your book is in my queue, Fran. I promise to post a review for my little readership once I’ve read it.
The fine line – that’s it all right. Here’s me tight-roping along. I look forward to your take on The Light Never Lies, Gwen.
Congratulations on following and fulfilling your dreams! It is Monumental an accomplishment and deserves to be shared 🙂
We all go through phases and stages – it’s okay to *obsess, but you’re right…it’s okay as long as we don’t forget why people followed us in the first place.
Nice post, Francis.