Authors don’t promo right now! It’s insensitive! I see this come down my timeline every time there is a major news event. But I gotta tell ya. I think telling authors not to promote is what’s insensitive. Let me break it down why authors shouldn’t be guilted into abandoning their promotional efforts when our timelines are a mess.
1) There’s been something dire happening with regularity for over a year now. 2016 was a dumpster fire. We all know it. I’ve never seen a society so eager to see the ass end of a year than I did last year. But hey, guess what? 2017 has been pretty rough too.
Soooo... When are we supposed to fit our promo in? That one Wednesday in the middle of the month where it seems like it’s going to be quiet for a few hours? When there’s a steady stream of crap, sometimes authors just have to put on our boots, wade in, and let that crap flow around us as we hold up our virtual billboards.
2) We’re not psychic. And we don’t plan our promo with only thirty minutes lead notice. Once we finish a book we work out a promo plan, book blog tours, decide on cover reveal dates and when to share excerpts. We do all of that weeks in advance.
Guess what happens if we just chuck it all to the side because the circus sideshow that is our country right now decides to put on another center ring act? No one knows about our book, which means no one buys our book, which means we don’t make any money.
Not to mention, if we’ve already booked a tour somewhere, we can’t just call ‘em up and say, “Hey! Can you hold my posts please? The world’s gone to shit again and I want to wait until the skies are clear.” Nothing doing there, my friend. Blogs and other promo sites have their own schedules to keep.
3) It's unfair to pick and choose which events are worthy/shocking/painful enough for taking a day off from promo. What’s important and sad for one person, might not be as much of an issue for others. I was sitting at my day job desk when I heard Prince died. My co-worker was unbothered. I had to get up and go in the bathroom to cry. And those roles have been reversed or shared depending on who or what is happening. I won’t get into the attention given to Western events versus non-Western. But suffice it to say, every celebrity death, political event, and social disaster touches each of us differently.
4) You are literally telling authors not to go to work. Which makes no sense. Do TVs stop airing ads for clothes, beer or new trucks? No, those ads are booked and paid for in advance and they are played regardless of what’s going on in the world.
McDonald’s doesn’t dim the light on the golden arches, Wal-Mart doesn’t shut their registers down (even though they probably only had two open) and Barnes & Noble doesn’t drape a cloth over all the books they have on display. Commerce continues. Besides, don’t you think it would be weird if authors started posting and telling other people to stay home from their jobs until the latest tragedy was over?
5) We are already awkward enough with promo. Shaming us for doing something that most of us don’t care for but is absolutely necessary for us to make any money just makes us feel even more awkward and uncomfortable. Why do you want to hurt me when I just want to bring you a good story?
6) Speaking of good stories. Sometimes we need that, ya know? On days where my timeline is filled with post after post and tweet after tweet of the latest atrocity, it’s nice to come by something that is off the subject of the moment. Whether it’s a puppy wearing a funny hat, a smoking hot person for me to drool over, or promo for a book that I can read to give me a break from watching the world burn, I want to see it.
Call it self-care, call it guilty pleasure, call it whatever you want. The point is, looking at awfulness all day is mentally draining so allow us authors to brighten your day for a moment with a pretty book cover and a catchy blurb.
So as you can see there are plenty of reasons to cut us authors some slack for doing promo when there’s yet another kerfluffle going on.
Authors, I will say this. It’s important to read the room and maybe sometimes adjust the tone. Or even acknowledge that there is an issue happening and share your thoughts or sympathy. And obviously this post doesn’t apply if there is a MAJOR EVENT. I won’t give any examples because I don’t want to speak a tragedy into existence. But other than that, we gotta do work.
Now, with all that being said, I have a .99 book sale! Bad Boys Need Love Too is on sale for .99 until this Sunday. You can also get Bad Boys Need Love Too: Nate and Bad Boys Need Love Too: Max, two novellas in the series for only $2.99 each. Authors, feel free to drop your promo in the comments!
Thanks for reading!
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My rambling and not at all edited thoughts on romance novels, writing, and pop culture.