I know marketing is an important aspect of writing novels. It’s a necessary part of the process if I hope to sell them. My publisher encourages her authors to publicize our books actively and often through launches, shows, signings and social media. Otherwise, our books would remain on a shelf in a dark closet, and neither the author nor the publisher would benefit.
My problem is that, like many authors, I’m an introvert. Unlike extroverts who are energized by interacting with other people, we introverts gain our energy and inspiration from solitude. Being alone with our thoughts recharges our emotional batteries. This fact is made clear to me every time I participate in a book fair or other author event. After several hours of being “on,” sharing my elevator pitch with 50 to 100 people, trying to grab their attention and gain their interest in my stories, I’m totally exhausted and ready for a two-day nap.
Yes, the profit margin is important. My books are products, after all. But more important to me is the fact that I have spent the better part of a year spilling my guts onto the page, agonizing over every sentence and word choice, getting inside my character’s personalities and motives, rewriting, checking syntax, grammar and plausibility, and rewriting some more. Hoping to write something worthwhile, I allow myself to be vulnerable, often exposing my own fears, weaknesses and insecurities. After all that effort, I want to share my work.
When I write in my journal, I intend the words for my eyes, only. Journal writing is an exercise in catharsis. I don’t fret over grammar, punctuation or spelling. The purpose of a journal entry is to liberate strong emotions, especially those of the negative variety. Novel-writing can also be therapeutic, but publishers aren’t interested in my personal therapy or emotional health. They are in the business of selling books for profit.
So, I will continue to market my novels. I’ll drag my introverted self to book shows and signings. I’ll promote my “author brand” because I want my publisher, who has placed a good deal of trust in me, to profit from the sale of my novels. More importantly, I will continue to market because I’m convinced my books, while entertaining fiction, can be helpful to my readers. I tackle tough issues like child abuse, battered women, alcoholism, and homelessness. My characters, like Stella, Edith and Mike in The Dark Room, Allison, Jack and Jack’s mom, Sylvia in Unrevealed and Abigail and her brothers in I Want to Go Home are relatable. The reader will care about them and desire positive outcomes for them. If I make a profit selling books, so much the better.
Cindy L. Freeman is the author of two award-winning short stories and three published novels: Diary in the Attic, Unrevealed and The Dark Room. Coming soon from High Tide Publications: I Want to Go Home. Website: www.cindylfreeman.com; Facebook page: Cindy Loomis Freeman. Her books are available through amazon.com or hightidepublications.com