I still can not describe to you the joy of knowing my work is out in the world. The thrill I get when I see the little book I put so much of myself into in the hands of others. It is a dream come true and I am so grateful for all the support and lovely words of praise I’ve had from those of you who have been kind enough to read my words. Writers are writers even if no one reads their work. But readers make our hearts sing that little bit louder.
During my first forays into indie authorship, I have spoken to a few other indie authors and we all face the same problem: how do we promote our work without utterly exhausting ourselves? Most of us work and/or have family obligations which take up the majority of our time. The wonders of social media give us the perfect avenue to network from the comfort of our own homes and try to create a bit of buzz around what we’ve crafted. But the truth is, it takes SO much energy to do.
Participating in #writerslift, #writingcommunity and #shamelessselfpromotion threads on Twitter and Instagram is brilliant and I’ve connected with some wonderful people and discovered some fabulously talented writers – but it is truly tiring. It takes brain power that I struggle to find at the end of a busy working day, it takes time that I struggle to balance (do I do some promotion on social media? Read? Spend time writing? Clean the house? So much to do and so little time to do it…) I’m also not a naturally forward person – an introvert through and through – so even promoting myself from behind a screen feels daunting and exhausting and, quite frankly, a lot of the time I feel a bit lost and overwhelmed by the whole process.
But this is a work I am proud of, that I’m passionate about and that I want to share. When I started writing it, I was writing only for me. But by the end of the process it wasn’t just a book for me, it was a book for anyone who felt – as I did – all caught up in the chaos of life: longing to thrive but coming up against struggles; alternately feeling soaring happiness and gut-wrenching despair; wanting to escape and longing to feel grounded.
And so the ongoing challenge of the indie authorship journey is now to find those people. And I don’t really know how. I can’t simply throw everything I’ve got into marketing this little book of mine because I know that I could put myself in an unhealthy frame of mind if I do – and that I might come to lose some of the love I have for Thrive. A thing I never want to happen. Instead, I will just have to keep chipping away, a bit at a time, when energy, time and inclination coincide. I will continue to drip feed my words into the world and hope they find a home in the hearts of those who need them.
There are a few things I’m going to try:
- Reaching out to bloggers offering a gifted copy in exchange for an honest review.
- Being a #bookfairy in my hometown, leaving copies for people to find, read and share, with my website and social media noted inside.
- Sending copies to some of the magazines I love that have fuelled my creative process, partly by way of thanks and partly with the distant hope that it may fall in front of the eyes of someone inclined to share an indie author’s work.
- Explore creating some simple merch to promote the book – bookmarks, prints of some of the artwork, possibly pin badges (this one I would love to do since I have a weakness for pin badges!)
- Explore opportunities in my local community – book clubs, literary festivals, markets etc.
- Try and identify indie bookshops that might be interested in stocking the book.
I’m not going to do all these things at once and some of them may never happen at all but I want to try at least some of them over the course of 2020 and see where it goes.
For now, dear reader, I will simply say thank you, thank you, thank you for being part of this journey.
If you are a book blogger/bookstagrammer and would be interested in receiving a copy of Thrive to review, you can leave a comment or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org