Promotion burnout is something that’s been on my mind quite a bit these days. My first novel, The Beginning, has been out for almost four years. My second novel, The Assembly Hall, did hit shelves about two years ago. I’m in that weird dip in the life cycle of an author where I’m tired of promoting my books, but at the same time gearing up to promote another one, The Forest. It’s starting to hit me now: as an author, book promotion may never end. In short, I’m on the edge of a burnout and it’s only just getting started.
Marketing is the bane of my existence as a writer. It distracts me from what I really want to be doing: writing. It forces me to enter into the uncivilized world of advertising, where strident ads claw their way into the consumer’s consciousness, convincing the public to buy what they don’t want, can’t use, but must have.
And then some gurus were telling me that it all can be done by a thoughtful use of the social media. But you know what? On the social media I mostly connect with other writers.
So I developed the following rules for my next campaign:
1. I’m going to spend more time on writing than on promoting. Maybe one small piece of promotion every day. I might be an indie author, which includes me also being a publisher, but foremost; I’m a writer.
2. I’m going to space it out over a year. This means after this first week of launching my new book, I’m going to let it rest till October. This connects with the next point …
3. I will try to make fun of this. I’m working on a scheme to attend a book fair with four other writers and to share the costs of a stand. We’re currently planning on it how we can best promote each other’s work and have some good time while learning more about the publishing world.
And if all of this doesn’t work and I’m still not reaching any readers?
Well, writing is fun by itself. Van Gogh liked painting, but sold only one painting in his whole life. It was purchased at an exhibition in Brussels, and sold to Belgian artist and art collector, Anna Boch. Van Gogh was a friend of her brother, also an impressionist painter, and had painted a portrait of him in the autumn of 1888.
That painting now hangs in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.