For writers, self promotion is like visiting the doctor: necessary, but often uncomfortable.
Whether online or in person, self promotion can feel a little icky sometimes. So, when it comes down to tooting our own horns, here are some tips on how to toot without feeling guilty.
For starters, remember that everyone, even non-writers, must promote themselves now and then. Take the job interview, for instance. We show up with a piece of paper listing our GPA, accomplishments, and past employment. Then we talk about ourselves for an hour. Promoting our writing is no different, and no less essential.
Even if we don’t like promoting ourselves, I’m sure we all like the work we promote. Why else would we spend so much time on it? We write because we love what we write, plain and simple. We should never feel bad about sharing that love with others.
A great way to overcome the initial discomfort of self promotion is to pretend you’re a publicist for another writer. Pretend that your favorite author wrote your book and that you’re telling a friend why you love it. What makes it special? What makes it unlike other books? I’m sure you’ve done this before with someone else’s book, so try it with your own.
A truism of writing applies to self promotion as well: show, don’t tell. In the above picture, my cat Luna orders you to buy her book. This form of self promotion is a tad aggressive. I’ve seen a lot of writers do it, both online and in person. I’ve done it myself a few times. Trust me—it doesn’t fly. Luna might instead share her published work on her website (see how shameless I was there?). If visitors like what they see, they’ll be far more likely to do as she says and buy her book.