What is ‘enough’ when it comes to promotion?

It has been a rather intense couple of weeks for me. With Awaiting the Fire coming out on September 4th, I’ve been doing everything I can – like a good little writer – to promote it and make sure it gets a good start. More and more that is the writer’s duty – promote, promote, promote – when once it was merely to write the book to the best of your ability, correct it, revise it and proof it as needed, and then start thinking of the next one. Once the book was out, you hoped for the best and kept working.

Now, though, judging from what I’ve seen in my travels across the internet, at the very least an author needs: Website (goes without saying), newsletter, blog, MySpace page, and now a Facebook page. With all of that goes a bewildering variety of necessities including but not limited to: posting, blogging, surfing, posting on other people’s sites and blogs, sending info to review sites, getting your website, blog, etcetera listed on other romance sites, checking message boards and posting entries so folks will click through to your blog, website, newsletter etcetera, uploading photos, posting songlists, reciprocating links, making ‘friends’, adding friends… yikes!

And then with Facebook you not only have a friends list and send messages and write on walls, apparently you must poke, (!!!) send drinks and ask if someone is your BFF. It begins to sound like the kind of party I ardently avoid.

I don’t want to bi*ch and moan, but my gosh, it seems like a lot! Especially for a technological neophyte like myself. I’ve designed webpages, and didn’t have any trouble with this blog, but MySpace is a bit of a nightmare to me, and Facebook doesn’t seem to have a lot of applications. Is it just me? Am I overthinking this whole promotion thing?

Or do I feel this pressing need to promote my literary baby to the hilt because I’m a midlist author, and therefore am – according to some reports – in danger of extinction like a kind of literary T-Rex?

Ah, for the days when authors were splendidly unapproachable, and no one would have even thought of ‘poking’ one! (Facebook again… with all the poking and BFF’ing and writing on walls it seems firmly bound to its roots, when it was a way for students to get to know each other).

But I suppose I should be thankful, really. Writers are, for the most part, isolated by our vocation as well – some of us, at least – by inclination. It certainly helps to have a way to network with other authors and readers in a public forum in the same way other professionals do in the office every day.

So… all in all, I’ve decided that I’m thankful for the cyberworld, with all of its excessive ‘chumminess’. It truly is a fabulous way to connect, and a wonderful opportunity to have dialogue with readers and other writers.

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