I did not realize, in my dreams about getting a book published, that promotion would be such a big part of the process. Then I started attending conferences for writers and learning about the need to pitch to agents and “have a platform.” With my first book finally out, I felt overwhelmed with all the social media I was supposed to be using to talk about my book. Who has time for all that? I asked a friend in the business which social media platform is best. “All of them,” she replied. I vowed I would not pester my friends and family on Facebook. And yet I did. And here I am, talking about my book on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, this website. I’ve made cringey Tiktoks. I’ve tried to make a podcast and learned that it’s hard to sound off-the-cuff interesting, especially when you can’t resist reading from a script. “Don’t read from a script,” my kids told me. But I’m all about scripts – I’m a writer!
I’ve also learned that I’m not alone in trying to figure out the world of book promotion. There are some bad ideas out there – like the guys who message me on Instagram offering to review my book for $20 bucks. But there are also interesting innovations – like Bookshop.org, which supports local, independent bookstores, and now a brand new experiment, Shepherd.com.