Help. I Hate Advertising.

Those of you who know me know that I hate – HATE self promotion. I have the hardest time in the world telling people, “come buy my stuff!” Just the thought makes me want to gag. Which brings up the question, why did I go into music and writing? Well, the $4 answer is that I love to do it. I love writing, I love composing, and I’m happy to share it with those who come asking for it.

Anyway, so my publisher – remember, I’m brand new at this stuff, is asking me to be proactive and find ways to advertise my book (once it’s ready) in as many ways as possible, multiple times a day. Some of the suggestions they have include blogging, twittering, having a regularly updated website – stuff like that. I follow a lot of other authors, so I see how most of them are doing it, with tweets, giveaways, review invitations, and contests. They’re doing great at it. I’m amazed at how well they are able to promote their stuff without sounding too advertisy. But for some reason, every time I try to do it – to do ANYTHING, I want to barf my lungs up – it feels so pushy to me.

So my point in mentioning this is to ask you all – no, BEG you all – how do you all like to be advertised to? I know I have to advertise. I recognize that there’s no way around it – if I want to be a professional author (and musician), I’ve GOT to promote my stuff. So if that’s what it takes to be a professional author, (gulp) I’ll  do it. I’ll promote my blasted stuff.

So what I want to know from all of you is, how do you like to be promoted to? (badly worded question, but you know what I mean.)

I’m serious about this. I need your help. I can think of no one better to turn to for feedback and ideas than those who know me either through my blog or Facebook. I’m determined to turn my dream into a reality (sorry for the cliche, but it’s true), and whatever suggestions you can all give would be WONDERFUL!

3 Replies to “Help. I Hate Advertising.”

  1. I feel your pain! From my experience, having been in a writing program for the past couple years, watching how the experienced authors (teaching us) and the students (just dipping their toes in the water) are doing it, it has to do with making new friends, per say. People who are on the same path and understand the motivation and purpose behind your advertising are a great place to start. Not so oddly, family doesn’t always recognize this. Family tends to feel that they can show their support without opening their wallets, so besides mom and dad and siblings, advertising to fam is usually the least successful campaign. Although, family makes a great “street crew” they’re the best people to do word of mouth advertising, which doesn’t cost them a dime and they’re often happy to do it. It’s also an extremely valuable service. And isn’t asking a lot of them. Successful family members are fun to talk about. But family actually purchasing anything is rare, which means…you need a new family. Not literally of course, ours is pretty rockin’ but you need a new career family. People who feel that they’re in your inner circle, but are never put off by the advertising because it’s often what began the relationship. So as you’re marketing yourself, don’t make people feel like they’re a sale, make them feel like they’re a part of your artistic pursuits inner circle, a club that they can only be a part of by purchasing (supporting) your work. Start by surrounding yourself with like-minded people doing similar things and watch what they do. Network. They’ll be your first paying fans, and their fans will become your fans and vice versa, and the pyramid will grow until you find yourself sitting on top. Just don’t give up. Good Luck! =)

  2. I realize that my point of view is rather narrow and certainly biased. But, I feel your pain. I can’t stand talking about myself either. I suspect that if you were in this just for the money, you would never have submitted your manuscript to the publisher. However, being intimately involved with this project as I am, I happen to know that your message is one that many people really need to hear. The message will make the world a little bit better place to be. So yes, the book will need to sell in order for a large population to be able to share this wonderful message. Having to lay things out there a bit is uncomfortable indeed, but oh so worth the effort. It seems like a small price to pay in order for others to be able to share this great message.

    At the end of the day, those that matter wont ask how much money did you make or how many books did you sell. They will ask how many people where you able to help. Proper marketing and PR are simply some of the tools that will help maximize this message that the world needs to hear.

  3. Thanks, guys! I admit, I’m intimidated at the thought of stepping out of my comfort zone, but I’m also excited about the prospect of making new friends in the same field and connecting to more people that the book can help. It feels like the beginning of a journey, and though I know it won’t be easy, I’m sure it will be exciting and rewarding, too. I feel like I have a lot to learn. Thanks so much for the encouragement, and what you both said makes a lot of sense.

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