Writing is one thing. Promoting it is another.

We write from such an exalted place that we expect miracles to visit us. We expect that the world will see our work as we do…as our beta-readers do. As much as we—I—would like to think that readers will automatically find their way to us by virtue of the wonderful thing we have created, they don’t. Agents don’t. Publishers don’t.

The fate of beloved past works is much in conversations between friends these days…writing we loved that, had the publishing industry been the shambles it is today, would never have seen print. The writing world is likewise filled with tales of works rejected many times be many people; works that, once their champions were found, made beaucoups de cash for everybody involved.

Lightning does strike. It just doesn’t strike everyone.

Sitting out back last Saturday night with visiting Glorious, we looked at stars and talked about being found…talked about my feelings about The Spiritkeeper (and hers), a regard so deep and wide that one had expected the thing to have glowed from within. The thing feels so right to me that I had expected instantaneous ovations. Didn’t happen. At least, not yet.

When the writing is our be-all, end-all, we expect, somehow, that the reaction will match our devotion. In the realities of publishing have made many of us consider the delightful self-empowerment of ePublishing. Which becomes a career all its own.

ePublish and promote, said Marc; that’s the way to do it.

If she does that, she won’t have time to write, said Joni.

Both are right.

There’s a reason why armies have strategists and field commanders, tacticians as well as foot soldiers. One person cannot be all those things at the same time. If we want to create our own army—to be the campaign—something must be sacrificed. I’m not willing to let that be the writing. Not at the moment.

In the efforts that will shorten the path between writer and reader, the self-promoting part is the part I’m least comfortable with. I would rather hand the work to a Trusted Other, say “Make it so” and let them do their professional magic with it. Need me to appear somewhere? To sign books, smile and give a talk? I am just vain enough to do that. But to be writer, publisher, publicist and all-around self-flogger…no.

Enlisting the army and leading it will have to wait for a bit. Until that particular kind of be-all is all the being I need.

 

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