Tired Tale of a Forgetful Self-Promoter

I might need this book.

I might need this book.

This is a funny state of affairs. It’s 10:30 p.m., Thursday night. I’m sitting in bed with my laptop not wanting to write this post. Not because I have an issue with the topic, but because I reeeally want to sleep. I was so relaxed, so ready to snuggle in with my cat and my dog and my novel, and then with a jolt, I remembered:

Oh my god, I haven’t written my Debutante Ball blog post!

This is my life as a debut novelist with a day-job, just eight weeks from launch: I’m forgetful, I’m fatigued, I’m distracted, I’m preoccupied. I’m not all here. Honestly, I don’t have any pearls of wisdom, tips or inspiration for you.

(And now we interrupt the writing of this post for a belly rub. Just another distraction in a day full of them.)

Luna belly rub

To continue, I can tell you how I’d like to proceed over the next eight weeks. I’d like to:

1. Remember to enjoy this process. I have only one first novel — I’d like to savor this time!

2. Make sure I’m exercising, eating healthy, and sleeping the best I can.

3. Not worry so much about how my spastic, over-eager attempts at self-promotion come across to folks on Facebook or Twitter or wherever. I think debut novelists are given a pass. I’ve decided to embrace my inner dork.

4. Start writing my guest blog posts now so I don’t have to write 10 in the space of two weeks.

5. Maintain a tiny semblance of a writing practice. I’ve set aside Saturday mornings to make forward progress. Forward progress on the actual writing is important to my overall wellbeing as a writer.

6. Do one or two half-baked self-promotional tasks that I’m not sure will lead to anything, but what the hell? I need some fun … Like, for example, KILMOON features an enigmatic, charismatic matchmaker with a dark past. Well, I just found out there’s an “intuitive” matchmaker right here in Portland. I’d love to talk to her! Also, I’m obsessed with having a signature cocktail. Don’t ask me why, but I want one that features whiskey, so I’m going to get my friends together to fix drinks. Silly stuff is good too.

7. Accept that I can’t do everything. The art and craft of self-promotion has a learning curve just like every new endeavor. Imagine how much better I’ll be for the second book!

8. Remember that any one task I do or don’t do isn’t going to make or break my novel’s sales or my writing career. Puh-leeze, which leads to … last but not least …

TrioSleeping_opt9. Get over my sweet, tired self.

Now I get to sleep! —-> Hopefully as soundly as my cat.

Anything you can think of to add to my list?

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Lisa Alber is the author of KILMOON, A COUNTY CLARE MYSTERY (March 2014). Ever distractible, you may find her staring out windows, dog walking, fooling around online, or drinking red wine with her friends. Ireland, books, animals, photography, and blogging at Lisa Alber's Words at Play round out her distractions. Visit her at www.lisaalber.com.

18 thoughts on “Tired Tale of a Forgetful Self-Promoter

  1. I love this post, Lisa. These are such great things to remember and it’s absolutely true–all of it. No one thing will make or break you. It’s a cumulative effort over time (and more books written & sold) that make the biggest dent the statistics show, so why kill yourself over the promotion?

    • Yes, why do we kill ourselves over it when we should be writing? I totally agree — it’s a marathon. I think we go crazy because we’re supposed to care about getting tons of presales to get on Amazon bestseller lists and also because we’ve only got about six weeks to make numbers before the next wave of fresh releases take over … It’s too bad it’s a quick-turnover world.

  2. I love this post. I can relate to all of the above. I hate to be a doomsayer, but it really doesn’t get any better or easier with the second book launch. Mine is in 2 weeks, and either I am a slow learner or the process is always in need of an occasional belly rub and cat nap. 😉

  3. OMG, thank you for writing this! It’s all sooo true. And the last 3 points especially spoke to me. It sometimes feels like I can always be doing more…but I need to put things in perspective and just enjoy this journey.

    (And also, I’m off to take a nap.)

    • Happy nap time, Natalia! I think you’re in fabulous position — you have such a great social media network already established — that’s half the battle right there, me thinks.

  4. I’d add, find a mentor who you really respect to give you encouragement through this process. My goal this year is to find lots of people waaay more rooted than I am in areas of my life that are important to me. This means strong role model parents, strong spiritual leaders, published writers with quality work (yes, I am friends with Kelly Corrigan on FB now and I’m so excited when she comments on my stuff) and fearless leaders at work. When I remember I’m not the first person who has ever trailblazed, I feel relaxed. You can do it, Lisa! go go go!

    • Thanks, Andrea! That’s such a good idea. In fact, a few weeks back a writer who is leaps and bounds more experienced than I am, invited me for coffee to discuss all this debut author stuff. I haven’t taken him up on it — but you’ve inspired me to do so!

  5. Funny! Number 3 is my favorite because I relate to it completely. “Not worry so much about how my spastic, over-eager attempts at self-promotion come across to folks on Facebook or Twitter or wherever.” Yep. Been there. Still doing it!

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