Many people have trouble with self-promotion or as some folks call it “tooting your own horn”. This happens to folks in all professions, not just writers. It is hard for a lot of people and the majority of those are women, who are culturally conditioned to be humble and demure.
There is also an unspoken stigma to self-promotion, although it is a neccessary “evil” if you want to succeed in your chosen field. Often it is perceived as being egotistical and self-serving in a negative way.
However, there are definitely times and ways to do it, that are less “egotistically” perceived and more “informationally” received.
So what are the circumstances that will help you to promote yourself without coming across as being a butthead?
Well for starters, it is perfectly acceptable to spread the word near and far on social media, your blog, your online resume/portfolio, and in the newspaper when you have published something or have had something of yours included in an anthology that has been published. And if you decide you only want to do one of those – make it your online resume/portfolio that you definitely update with this marvelous information. If you can, link your announcement to wherever the book or item can be purchased. And encourage people who may be happy for you, to also spread the word.
If you have been invited to read your work in front of a live audience – as in a book signing or poetry reading – make sure you promote it, invite people, tell people when and where and how much it costs to attend. If you are truly ambitious, send out a press release! Make sure you post the event on your Goodreads.com author’s page, and for goodness sake, get photos and make sure those get posted to your blog, your social media and everywhere else right after the event. And again, provide a link to where folks can purchase your book or item.
When you receive feedback in any of those formats, THANK the person and share any upcoming news that might be relevent to their commentary. For example: if someone congratulates you on publishing your book and you have just scheduled a book signing – mention it. Or if it someone you know well, thank and offer to sign the book for them. You get the idea.
In short, even if you have hired a promoter (social media manager, or PR person) – it is up to you to manage the process, to make sure that the information is complete and out there and that your work gets in front of as many people as possible.
It is a small world, and you never know who knows someone who might read your work and review it well, causing it to spiral up to the best sellers list somewhere. Seriously, stranger things have happened.
PROMOTE yourself well and others will want to help to promote you, too!