One of the hats you wear when you are an independently published author is that of a publicist. I find it an odd, ill-fitting hat that makes my head itch a bit, and when I wear it, I feel a little like this is how I look:
But I understand it is necessary that I put it on, and it’s a whole lot better than when I have to wear the editor’s hat, which feels exactly like this:
Neither hat suits me, but I am needful of both.
I’ve been wearing the shameless self-promotion hat quite a bit in the past two weeks. Beginning with a Kindle giveaway of A Dark Clock last week, I was able to generate a handful of new readers. How many you ask? Let’s just say the number falls between zero and 700 million. Closer to zero. But not zero. So there are new readers, and that’s a good thing.
The next move, promotionally speaking, was an Amazon “Countdown Sale.” This is a multi-day event during which the Kindle version of a book is offered for a number of days at one price, which increases incrementally until the sale ends. Technically I suppose it is really a “Countup Sale” but who ever heard of that?
This sale is in full swing as of this posting, and I can prove it using this miracle of screenshot technology. This is an actual picture of the actual Amazon page showing the .99 sale price for Many Hidden Rooms.
AND just because I’m a real sweet guy, and because I’m currently wearing the hamburger publicist hat, I’ve made that image a link to the page, so you can rocket there and purchase it before the price soars to $1.99 sometime on the evening of September 13.
But there’s even more to the gig than just promoting your own stuff, because, if like me, you have friends who are publishing for the first time, it’s a good thing to get the word out about them as well. TO WIT:
Upstream is a book of poetry, written by my friend Eric. I am not promoting his book because he brought a sandwich to the library for me today, although he did, and I’m not NOT promoting it for that reason either.
Actually, I’m promoting it because it happens to be very good, and he has been very supportive of my work, so to not tell you about it would be in rather poor taste. And speaking of poor taste, wait till you read these poems. Just kidding. I have no idea what constitutes poor taste, as any photograph taken of me since 1963 will attest.
The book will set you back a paltry $7.99, exactly the cost of a single grape from Whole Foods. . As before the picture is a link. Go forth and buy. Or if you’re in a hurry, go third.
Next, we come to a book called The Mirror by a guy named Matt King, who is also my friend, although by all rights I should hate his guts. I should hate him because at age seventeen he is an excellent writer, and I suspect that by the time he is half my age, (which gives him about 200 years more to perfect his craft), you won’t have to turn to my rinky-dink blog to hear about him. You’ll be reading about him in other rinky-dink publications like the New York Times.
The Mirror contains several short stories and a handful of poetry. Matt will tell you himself the poetry is not his strong suit, but it’s better than he thinks it is, and the stories are, by and large, amazing. “The Mirror” was the first story I ever heard him read, and the memory of that experience is still very vivid in my mind. I knew I was hearing the work of a gifted author. His cover is also a link. Check him out on Kindle for $3.99, which you will soon realize is probably the best-spent money you laid out this week. Certainly better than what you paid for those Pacman scratch-off tickets. Unless you won a boatload of money, in which case in encourage you to buy all of the books promoted in this post.
You may think I’m done, but you’d be wrong because there is one more fellow you need to know about. Milt Franson is not seventeen, although he was once, a long time ago. Because he’s not seventeen, I don’t feel compelled to hate him for being so good at a tender age, I just feel compelled to hate him because he is so good, period. If you go to Amazon you can purchase three books by Milt, collectively known as The Wineland Sagas. This alternate history delves deeply into the facts and theories surrounding Vikings in North America, in a rich and entertaining manner. I’m showing the cover of the first volume, but be sure to find all three. They run just under $15 for the print version, and $4.99 for the Kindle.
So Let’s Review
I am not completely comfortable wearing the hamburger-shaped self-promotion hat, though it seems to feel a little better on my head when I’m plugging my friends’ work. In fact, I rather enjoy promoting their books, because it also allows me to take shots at them. And that’s just fun. Oh, what are you going to say, guys? “Please don’t publicize my book?” Ha! I doubt it, especially since I don’t think any of you even read the blog! So I could have said far worse things. I may yet!
And I hate the shark-shaped editor’s hat even more.