shameless marketing just comes with the territory
It goes against my grain to be doing all this rabid promotion of The Just Beyond. I'm sure a lot of people are sick of seeing it, especially with the book not even out yet. It pains me even more to know how narcissistic it makes me look.
Yet it has to be done. I think most artists would rather just work their craft and leave marketing to someone else--or no one else. But like all arts, the publishing world is ferociously competitive. It's hard for a new writer to establish a toehold even if their book gets published. So if you want to develop into an author who can make a living from book sales alone, you have do everything possible to cultivate a presence. It's not just smart and necessary business--the publishers demand it. I was a bit surprised to find that all publishers who requested the full manuscript in response to my query letter required a marketing plan as part of the package. But that's where the industry is today.
I've been hoping, planning, and working all my life to see if I could establish a creative career. This means a lot to me--really, it's the only lifelong asipiration I haven't yet fulfilled. So I'm heavily invested in the success of this book. And shameless marketing just comes with the territory.
Utlimately, it's about walking my own talk. I've always told my kids to judge themselves not by what others say but by their own efforts. The true measure of a person is not what they actually accomplish--which inevitably involves an element of luck--but what they do with the circumstances that are within their control. Even the story of Michael Chandler can be viewed as an illustration (albeit hyperbolic) of this point.
And so I promote. Blog, blog, blog, FB post, FB post, email, Tweet, repeat. Because in the end, whether The Just Beyond sinks or swims, I need to be able to look myself in the mirror and know I gave it my best shot. That if the novel fails, it's not because I didn't do my part. It's sometimes hard to take comfort in that alone--but in a practical sense, it's all you can do. I don't always live up to my own expectations...but I never stop trying. - Mark