For the few of you who have followed this blog over the years, you have seen the reviews I have written (almost a hundred now!) and the piles of writing articles and authorial musings I have put to electronic paper. I hope by now I have established my desire to help out my fellow authors and writers, to try to provide services to help them improve and thrive, and be an over-all stand-up guy. As this is a Wednesday, I would normally be adding to that pile of work with some fresh insights on writing. Today, though, as the title indicates, is a very different Writing Is A Bad Habit, because I feel the need to turn the normal purpose of this series on its head.
You see, these past weeks post-Pensacon have filled me with a strange sort of anxiety and frustration. Oh, the convention wasn’t the cause precisely, as it is part of a larger series of events, but it serves as a final note of sorts to my crisis of confidence. Pensacon was 24 plus hours of continual pavement-pounding, people-talking, and pushing myself as hard as possible to the local audience. Pictures, features, panels, interviews, even use as an example of hard-hitting promotional excellence, I threw my all into it, much as I have been trying to amplify my own efforts to ‘put myself out there’ in general since late last year. Breaking my own natural cocoon, I’ve tried to engage with other book bloggers, push myself out there, and redouble my community efforts with more reviews and branching out into cheap editing services.
In a logical world, hard work reaps rewards. My one day of work at Pensacon 2015 led to a huge spike in sales and blog activity. This year, three days of the same effort did nothing. Despite doing everything I could think of and taking every suggestion of my fellows, I sold nary a volume, even free books. I feel as if I have some fundamental misunderstanding of how the book-buying world works or a total failure to grasp the basic concepts of self-promotion or advertising.
So the ultimate point of this week’s Very Different Writing Is A Bad Habit is to try to cash in part of the goodwill I have been trying to build with you all and ask for help in understanding the puzzle. This is something of an open discussion, as I understand it’s hard to give advice without information, but I want questions asked and advice given. Any insights or thoughts or wild guesses as to what I can do to improve my image, reach readers, and promote myself are welcome.
I know, from my many hours of reviews and reading, that my writing has the quality and the content to be successful. I can only assume the problems are elsewhere and I ask for your help in finding those problems.
Regardless of the success of this discussion, rest assured we will be moving back to our usual writing article next week. Thank you for your patience and, hopefully, for your help.
J. B. Garner