Some writers are good at it, but for the most part, the majority of us are writers because we don’t like to sell stuff. Otherwise we’d have fabulous careers doing that. But we know that’s part of the gig. Even the big, traditionally published authors have to self-promote. And there’s this huge array of options for doing it.
Too huge, really.
Part of the problem is, there are a lot of scavengers out there wanting a bite of the writer’s kill. They see us as having this lovely, juicy carcass and they want some. This is part of being a primary producer – we have something to sell, so lots of secondary processors are willing to step up and get their percentage by helping us sell it. That sounds kind of bad and I don’t mean it that way – though it is the syndrome that’s driving more authors to self-publishing, to eliminate at least some of those middlemen and women.
Knowing that writers must invest in self-promotion, there are many venues out there offering to help. Now, not all are making money off of it. Chapters that host conferences are happy to take promotional materials for the goody bags or baskets of goodies for auctions. Blogs love to have guest posters, book bloggers like to do interviews and book giveaways. Then there’s the ads in magazines or on websites. The conferences and appearances.
I get these offers in my email, often sent by wonderful friends – here’s an opportunity for you! I look at it and try to decide if it’s worth the investment of my time and money.
Making decisions is an interesting thing. The “cide” in decide means to cut. As in incisive and excise and incisor. So when we make a decision, we cut away the other possibilities. And each decision alters our life path. Maybe in a minute way, but because I decided to do this, I am not doing that. So, each decision takes a commitment of energy. A bit of oomph behind the direction to create a vector.
Sometimes, I feel like I just don’t have the energy to decide just then.
So, I save these opportunity emails. And they pile up in my In-Box, a logjam of indecision. Like all log-jams, it’s much worse then, to deal with that huge, roiling mass of decisions than if I’d just handled them one by one.
I’m happy to report my In-Box is empty now. All decisions made.
My criteria? I went back to Choosing the Happy. If it sounded fun and happy-making, I said yes. If for any reason it didn’t, I said no.
Hey – at least the river is running clear now!