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Keith Snyder describes an enlightening experience regarding web promotion for authors. His conclusion:

Web self-promotion has other things to recommend it, but if you're doing it to move books to new readers now, I think it's a fun, ego-gratifying waste of time.

It got me thinking about how, despite the book covers on this journal's home page, my heart just isn't into blogging as an advertising tool. I don't want to feel I have to be careful about what I say, so as not to offend anyone because, I'm trying to sell books. I don't want to be afraid if I make a typo it'll reflect badly on the books my publisher is selling.

This is where I get to jot down whatever comes into my head, without having to worry about whether there's a market for it, or if I used too many adverbs, or the passive voice, or proofread diligently enough. (I didn't) It is self indulgent to a degree that writing intended for publication shouldn't be.

I talk about writing because I do a lot of it, and it's on my mind most of the time. When books and stories reach various stages of completion or appear in print, that's big news in my life -- the most interesting aspect probably -- so naturally I mention such events. And, of course, since I write everything hoping for some sort of audience I want people to know about the books Mary and I write.

However, I am sick to death of our Everyone's Marketing Themselves All the Time society. I don't want to even appear to be a part of it. (Even though, I guess I am at least a small part of it...)

When Mary and I sold out first book six years ago we were introduced to the realities of modern publishing, one of which was that authors have to do promotion. Poisoned Pen Press has been remarkably understanding of the fact that neither Mary and I are suited to do signings and other personal appearances.

We don't want to let the press down entirely, though. PPP has invested enormous amounts of time and money to find readers for us. We owe them. So we try to do some web advertising and I periodically make some awkward attempt to draw attention to myself and our novels, which invariably leaves me feeling foolish and wishing I hadn't.

Decorating my blog with book covers is one of those attempts.

Of course, one good thing about web self-promotion -- it gives me an excuse to monkey around on the web, and pretend I'm working, when I should probably be writing.

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