There was an article posted over on the wonderful book subreddit r/fantasy in which author Brian McClellan discussed the pains and joys of self promotion. This was my response, and I’m posting it here because I crack myself up.
I don’t mind self promoting. I get to talk to a lot of interesting and fun people. My book is weird and probably not for everyone, so I expect (and receive) some rejection. I make rock music videos to promote it, and one person hated them so much that he told me he hoped I would die, but that kind of stuff just represents a burden of negativity that those people have to carry, not me. I don’t mind. You just need to be like the Starship Enterprise: adventurous, on a quest of exploration to seek out new life [people] and new civilizations [internet forums], and always be ready to raise shields and go to high warp!
It’s a tough situation because there are X people who like to read books, and X * 1200 available books because of self publishing. Also, because of our stupid rotten culture, X seems like it’s shrinking. (Maybe it isn’t. I don’t know the statistics.) And while I think my book is completely bitchin, someone else might think it’s a pile of hot, confusing orc manure. So you have to be careful about promising people that your book is awesome because they might think you’re nuts.
Then there are Amazon reviews, which are completely fake and stupid, right? In the world of indie publishing, everyone has 42 5-star reviews. Everyone. (Except me, because my social network is the size of a proton.) And the rating system works like this:
- 5 Star – I know this person in real life.
- 4 Star – Boring, but I finished it.
- 3 Star – Horrible, written by a potato, but I can’t be too honest about it.
- 2 Star – This book was so stupid, I reformatted my kindle after reading it.
- 1 Star – I plan on hunting the author down and killing him.
So as an author, published or not, you’re bobbing around in a barrel full of shit and diamonds, which is 95% shit and 4% diamonds and 1% your sanity that leaked out of your ears during the process of editing your book. And you think your book is one of the diamonds, but so does that crazy person who wrote a 102 page stream of consciousness fan-fic about a young homosexual vampire who gets admitted to magic school where he’s forced to fight to the death for the amusement of an aristocratic caste of billionaire BDSM sex-dungeon control freaks.
Can I be honest? I’ve forgotten where I was going with this. I just want a lot of people to buy my book. Just like Brian McClellan does, just like Michael J. Sullivan, Brandon Sanderson, and a lot of other tremendously deserving authors, most of whom are more accomplished and probably more skilled than I. But crazy fan-fic guy wants you to buy his book too. So we’re all down here in the arena of bullshit, acting polite and trying to make friends, and checking out black magic books from the library so we can learn spells from the Devil that somehow cause a ray of media sunshine to pierce the two hundred mile thick layer of petrified poop that represents our twitter-ized distractathon of a culture.
And I will conclude this rant in the only way it could possibly be concluded, with this
Magnus Von Black is a highly respected best selling author of the finest… oh who am I kidding. I do this for fun.