When you promote your work you are creating a clearing for your existence. It is like walking into a forest and finding a good spot to pitch a tent. You don’t just pitch the tent, you clear the ground, and sometimes dig little holes for the stakes, it’s a process. There is so much “noise” out there–your brilliance may clear the way for you, but it is more likely that you will be required to stake a claim on a piece of the public imagination for yourself.
I am someone who never wanted to do that. I wanted the work to speak for itself. I had that wrong. It is my job to speak for the work. Then, when I have grabbed people’s ears, then and only then, will they listen to the work. It has been interesting, this promotional journey. Jumping up and down, announcing Ancient, Ancient again… and again… and again. Announcing it here and there, at readings and on the radio, sending emails and making videos, showing up at conferences and book fairs. If I think of it as work, it will exhaust me (it did exhaust me, and then I started putting my energy in promoting in a different way). If I think of it as repeating myself–doing and saying the same thing over and over, I will dull myself to the beauty of this process.
The beauty of it is, that when I create something that matters, I have to then proclaim that I matter. And I have to believe that I matter down to my toenails because I will have to proclaim my value repeatedly into perpetuity. In response to my proclamations I may get one person to give my work a read. Further proclamations may get another to write a review. And each time I say, I matter–I get someone else’s attention. And each person widens my clearing.
There are entities that won’t even blink at your work if you don’t have a clearing of a certain size. If you work hasn’t cut into the noise at a certain decibel, it does not exist to some organizations. All of this to say that an entity who has thus far ignored my requests for attention, who did not agree with my insistence that I matter, sent me a note. They contacted me because my clearing is growing. I have made so much noise that the people at the edges of the clearing are now spreading the word, proclaiming to others that I matter.
This is the process. Create your work. Clear a space for it in the world. Speak it’s value. Create more work. Continue to clear a space for you in the world. Continue to speak your value, and build a chorus of support and validation. Nurturing your work is nurturing your self.
Be well. Be love[d].
========= BOOK REPORT ==========
So the numbers are in. I sold over 250 books this year. I earned out my advance, so next year it will be pure royalties. Fun!
Amazon has been promoting my book in emails (thank you to everyone who wrote an Amazon review), and in the last reporting period for 2012, I sold 8 books! That’s an awesome week for me. The next week I was back down to zero sales, but no matter. I am thrilled that I am still selling.
Also, I have another promo video out. Please enjoy it and share widely!