Monday, September 8, 2014

To Promote or Not to Promote

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.

Photo Credit:  svilen001


Karen Lange said...

Excellent post, Susan. This is a great guideline, offering a balanced perspective.

Jean Fischer said...

Hi, Susan. You always offer such interesting questions! Like you, I think that it's necessary to promote. I also think that some authors overdo by promoting their books and themselves every day and multiple times a day. Balance is key, and that balance is difficult to find because it's subjective. My least favorite part of being an author is marketing. That's why I love freelance. I can write books that minister to others, and the publishers do all the promoting.

quietspirit said...

Susan: This is a question all Christian writers have to settle. In order to 'get the word out' we have to promote ourselves and our work. Whenever we participate in a blog tour, we are helping that author promote their book. When the day comes that I have a book published, I will be telling people about it. That's what we have to do.

Raquel Byrnes said...

Yes, this is quite a quandry. I'm not sure what the right answer is, but I do find your post helpful. :)
Edge of Your Seat Stories

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen - Thanks. I hope it gives writers a better handle on the whole promotion thing.

Hi Jean - They're questions I've asked myself. :)

Hi Quiet Spirit - It would be nice if we could sit back and just write, but it's not an option. Our books can't impact others if they don't know about them.

Hi Raquel - I'm glad the post gave you some ideas to chew on. :)

God bless,