I’m halfway through that daunting rite of passage all self-published authors must commit to—combing through Amazon’s top 10,000 reviewer list—and thought now would be an ideal time to share my thoughts on the process, and the practice of self-promotion in general.
I knew the downside of self-publishing was getting lost in the thousands of other titles that share my genre, and the struggle for distinction among my fellows would be a long and methodical process. I am absolutely up to that challenge. I think some authors would find it dismaying to spend weeks sifting through vast quantities of online profiles to find the occasional book blogger receptive to their genre, and subsequently receptive to reviewing their work, but it doesn’t bother me. I think it appeals to that academic part of my brain that loves searching for lost things. And I realize there’s an easier way to comb through those thousands of names than manually clicking on each profile, but I’m in no particular hurry to reach the end of the list, and so I’ve chosen to prolong what some might interpret as undue suffering. The part of me that loves a challenge gleefully rubs its hands together every time I reload the list, and the search begins anew through an elaborate warren that often leads to dead ends, but sometimes rewards persistence with a favorable reply.
I’ve had some minor success securing reviews, or at least promises of reviews to be posted at a later date, but amassing reviews is an extensive process that doesn’t favor the faint of heart. I’ve read about other self-published authors’ frustrations regarding this, but I find I don’t share the feeling. I never expected this to be easy. I like that stubbornness is necessary to get anywhere. Rejection has never cut me off at the knees, to wallow in self-pity. No, I am one of those willful creatures who grow more and more determined with each rejection. Rejection is my fuel. I would have collapsed in a puddle of despair years ago if rejection, or even simple indifference, could cause me to throw my hands up and quit. After all, one’s self-esteem has to be powder-coated in Teflon and Kevlar to futilely send off manuscripts to publishing houses and agents for nearly twenty years. Either that, or have some very serious delusions of grandeur.
As for my marketing skills, that area admittedly needs work. I haven’t taken full advantage of the many avenues out there available to self-published authors. I could certainly do more to promote myself. I could advertise more, be a more visible presence on social media; instead, I’ve limited myself to this blog and website, and the occasional book giveaway. Not very industrious of me, now that I think about it. Hopefully I can expand my horizons in the coming weeks and utilize some fresh ideas to creatively market Clingstone to a broader audience.
But until then, I’ll smile and boldly plug onward, zigging and zagging through my gauntlet of 10,000 names.