Open Book Blog Hop – What I Wish I Knew

I stumbled up the Open Blog Hop while chatting on Counter Social the social networking site I use instead of the bird site. It’s a blogging circle in which writers answer a question on their own blogs, linking the post via InLinkz, connecting us all in one list. You’ll find the link to all the posts below.

Today, the question is:

What is one thing that you wish you’d known about writing before you started?

I wish I had known how much pavement-pounding would be required of me in order to sell books. When I envisioned writing for a living, I thought I’d spend my time writing. I imagined someone else would find and schedule interviews, guest appearances, etc. That is not the case.

I have to do these things myself to sell my book. Despite my desire to get paid a reasonable amount of money to write, I must don the marketing hat to do so. Unfortunately, the Internet has forced us all to become our own PR agents, forcing us to sell our personalities rather than our products.

And here’s why I wish I had known.

First, I am not a salesperson. The task of convincing others of my worth is soul-sucking. Besides, I read books because I find the premise of the book interesting. Rarely do I purchase products because the creator is visible. Of course, many do, yet I struggle to accept that truth.

Second, I have serious social anxiety, am autistic, and have ADHD. The idea of cold calling or cold emailing people makes me visibly uncomfortable. Sometimes, I ramble, break out into sweat, and on more occasions than I would like, have panic attacks. When weighing the return on investment, my comfort and mental health are more important.

Third, I’m a writer. While I have been a social media marketer for others, it’s not something I enjoy doing for myself, nor is it the most productive use of my time. Want me to speak on a panel or attend an event? Great, I can do that if I’m given prior notice. It takes time away from my writing to find opportunities.

If you are looking to publish traditionally, especially with small or independent publishers, they will expect you to market your book. And if you don’t, your book sales may suffer. Larger publishing houses may handle the marketing and PR, but be prepared to see the cost taken out of your royalties.

What do you wish you knew before becoming a writer? Share in the comments or on your own blog.

Jan 16, 2023

What is one thing that you wish you’d known about writing before you started?

1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

8 responses to “Open Book Blog Hop – What I Wish I Knew”

  1. Richard Dee Avatar

    That’s so true. I find the whole idea of selling myself is enough to reduce me to a nervous wreck. My books are my way of expressing myself, I don’t want to be defined by how I look on social media.

    1. callmekristinab Avatar

      Thanks for commenting. There’s a lot to be said for keeping one’s personal life and one’s professional life separate. Business often gets in the way of producing art.

  2. Stevie Turner Avatar

    I think most (if not all) self-published authors find marketing difficult. We all prefer to sit in a room alone and write, not shout out our wares from the rooftops. Nice to meet you here on Open Book Blog Hop.

    1. callmekristinab Avatar

      Absolutely! Thing is, I expect to have to do it if publishing my own work but I’m traditionally published and still have to do it. The horror! Thanks for commenting.

  3. Daryl Devore Avatar
    Daryl Devore

    Soul-sucking is the perfect description of marketing and promotion.

    1. callmekristinab Avatar

      Hi! Thanks for commenting. It’s absolutely the hardest and most frustrating part of writing for me and from what I can tell, many writers feel the same way. Niche market for someone looking to start a business.

  4. P.J. MacLayne Avatar

    Welcome to the hop, Kristina. I think we are all in the same boat. I enjoy going out and selling my books at events, but it sure takes a lot of energy.

    1. callmekristinab Avatar

      Hi! Thanks for the welcome and for commenting. It does seem like we are all in the same boat. Community is angst! LOL

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