I've noticed a strange double standard lately. From the time we first set out to put words on paper, it's drummed into our heads that we need a platform. For those who don't know what that means, a platform involves having a public presence such as blogging, websites, speaking, and social media.
So, why are we now hearing people criticizing promotional activities? Here are some possible reasons:
1) There's a mistaken idea that it's somehow "un-Christian." If that were the case, it would be wrong for a business owned by Christians to advertise their products in print, TV, or radio. Bottom line, being an author - even if it's considered a ministry - needs exposure if anyone is to benefit from it.
2) Some people feel that promoting your work somehow invalidates relationships on social media. I made some wonderful friends on social media long before my books were published, and we're still friends. We help each other with critiques, promoting each other's work, but we also enjoy fun times and pray for each other.
3) Fear of being in the public eye could be another reason for this phenomenon. Yeah, it's a risk. You're opening yourself up to people who will give your work bad reviews or take issue with how you conduct your writing business. Welcome to the real world. Not everyone will run out and buy your books or think you're the greatest writer.
Of course there are some who do nothing but promote their work. Caring for people on a personal level, lending a helping hands to other writers, and praying for them is a privilege. Balance is key.
In an effort to be "authentic," let's not forget the necessity of letting folks know we have something to offer them via our writing (or other professional endeavors).
Writers and Readers: What do you think about author promos? Remember, every giveaway, book trailer, bookmark, or advertisement is a promo.