Getting My Name Out There (and Why It’s So Hard For Me To Do)

I’m not a promoter, I’m a writer. I like to spend time alone, putting words onto the page; not coming up with fancy advertisements to get people interested in them. But the truth is that, now that I’m in the self-publishing world, I need to think about ways to get my name out there.

Aside from creating this blog, making a Facebook page, and telling people I meet, I haven’t done much in terms of marketing my book. And, even then, I haven’t done a lot of that, either. If you were to look at my last entry here, you’d see that it was in August, 2014. That’s definitely not the best way to get the word out.

Now, why haven’t I spent more time on this? It’s a question I’ve asked myself several times. It’s also a question I’ve come up with several answers to.

First, as I wrote in the first line of this post, I’m a writer. Ultimately, I want to sit down in my room (or wherever it is I’ve chosen to write) and create worlds involving infected maniacs, devious witches, crazed sorcerers, or anything else that pops into my mind. I don’t want to spend my time writing about my personal view on things (which, yes, I’m doing here…and am struggling with, believe me). Nor do I want to direct my energy at writing catchy blurbs about my characters and the missions they’re on (the ones I had to write for when I first published my books were already hard enough). I simply want to write stories.

I also don’t like the idea of getting out there and trying to push my book on people. It’s not that I don’t think they’ll like what I’ve written (so long as they’re into the post-apocalyptic/fantasy/sci fi-type stuff). It’s because I feel a bit cheap while doing it. If you’re a friend, you’ll already know that I’m a writer and am trying to get my stuff out there, so for that I don’t feel too bad. But introducing myself to someone, then announcing that I have books for sale, bothers me. It seems to take away from the enjoyment of meeting someone, makes something about it a bit sinister.

I have thought about going to writer’s conventions where thousands of others are doing the same thing. But, even then, it’s not something that really speaks to me. Besides, I’m living in China now (teaching English), so that pretty much makes it impossible.

So, what do I do?

I suppose I just stick with it, try different things, and figure out what is comfortable for me. I’ve already decided that I’m going to try to write my blog more (though I had decided that a few times before and never got around to it). Hopefully my friends, or any of you out there, can give me a little encouragement/kick-in-the-ass to keep it up. I already have my friend Lisa to thank for this post; and I’m sure she’ll continue to keep me in line.

I want to try to get a bit more active in the writing community as well, so I’m going to look around at a few sites and see what’s out there. I’ve heard that there are some good things on Reddit (which I honestly know nothing about) and I know that there are some good writing blogs available here.

All right, sounds like a plan. Time to get out there a bit more.

Of course, before I start, I think I’d better sit down to write some stuff about zombies. This has been more than enough of an attempt for one day.

4 thoughts on “Getting My Name Out There (and Why It’s So Hard For Me To Do)

  1. Michael James Sullivan March 24, 2015 / 11:28 pm

    From the sounds of it, you and I are pretty similar when it comes to getting our name out there. I have no interest in most of this whole process except the writing part.

    If you don’t mind a few unsolicited tips from an as-yet-unpublished author, I have a few ideas after looking over your site and glancing at your latest book on Amazon.

    First, I’d have emailed you instead of commenting but didn’t see that option on your site. Second, your blog is probably your best source of advertising, posting semi regularly will help draw traffic. Third, as your blog can help draw in readers, you might want to make your books more obvious. Maybe set up a widget bar on the side with the covers and links, it’s like putting an advertisement banner for your own books on your own site. Four, your book title and cover don’t give the reader much to go on. Maybe add in a subtitle that includes zombies or something so that your book will show up in wider searches (called Search Engine Optimization, there are lots of sites online that can offer tips to do that so you show up higher in the results). Five, the book blurb that I read for the last Glory book is like a sentence and a half. That doesn’t give potential readers much more reason to buy the book.

    Hopefully some things in here are helpful.

    Feel free to delete this comment after you read it. Like I said, I’d have emailed it to you instead but didn’t see a link.

    • Michael McManamon March 27, 2015 / 5:49 am

      Thanks so much for the reply! You have some great suggestions. I’ll be sure to think a lot more about what you’ve said. There’s definitely a lot that goes into getting our books out there, isn’t there? 😉

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