Write first, promote second

I just read an interview of Barbara Freethy where she mentions that the trick to her success was to write first, promote second. I thought it was excellent advice.

http://selfpublishingadvice.org/blog/how-i-do-it-super-successful-indie-authors-share-their-secrets-this-week-barbara-freethy/

Like a lot of new indie authors, I started to try to promote my book on social media and quickly found out promoting can take a life of its own. Online parties, giveaways, blog tours, interviews…the list of things to do goes on and on. As well, you have to keep your presence in your chosen social mediums felt: google+, Facebook, etc. That takes time. Time that I could have used to write.

It becomes a chicken-and-egg thing. If you don’t promote, you don’t sell books. If you promote, you don’t have time to write. If you don’t write, you don’t have any books to sell. So, which should be the number one priority?

Barbara argues that keeping writing as the priority is the key to her success. She goes on to add this as advice for new writers. Like myself. Now, since I’m new and success is (hopefully) coming, I don’t yet know what will work for me. What do I give my time to writing or promoting? Making that decision was actually a matter of honesty for me.

I asked myself: If I knew for a fact that not one would read my books, would I still write? It took me a long time to answer because I really wanted to be honest answer and it was painful to be honest. But, because I was honest, I found a very powerful answer.

I would write if no one ever read a single word I’d written. I would write because, when it’s all said and done, I love the writing itself. Selling books is great, but that’s gravy. For me, the key, the gold, is writing. So, for me, my motto is write first, promote second. Only time will tell if it works.

And, just in case you don’t agree with my self-inspiring, little rant, here are some articles that say the exact opposite. 🙂

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/marketing-your-book/

http://www.pamperrypr.com/25-tested-marketing-tips-for-self-published-authors/

http://www.bidinotto.com/2013/03/10-winning-marketing-strategies-for-your-self-published-book/

9 thoughts on “Write first, promote second

  1. This is a great post. I’m not really an author in the sense that you are. I suppose what I am doing in this phase of my career falls somewhere on a spectrum between freelance journalism and indie scholarship, but I run into the same thing with these blogs. I have to write enough to give people something to read, but every time any of my contributors publishes something that looks like it might have real appeal, I have to actually work to find an audience for it. I am spending a lot of time networking these days, and it’s paying off, but it’s exhausting and it slows my writing down.

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