Not promoting my books

I know it doesn’t make sense, but I loathe the idea of promoting my books.

Seriously, I know it doesn’t make sense. No excuse.

When the first books were published, I had an agent and I had a publisher. The agent was an amiable if blustery old coot who had been involved in SF for ages; he didn’t have much idea of how to promote me. The publisher was a very well-known one and a subsidiary of Random House. They didn’t seem to have any idea of how to help me promote my books either. In fact, they didn’t know how to market them; they put garish YA covers on the novels, and I think they were startled when the books sold well, were nominated for awards, were translated into other languages, and were made into a Science Fiction Book Club offering. The publishers did send me to a book convention, I recall, and suggested vaguely that I do readings. I did several readings, attended by a handful of people, mostly family and friends. I was invited to speak at the Smithsonian by their book club, and that was cool. The whole thing kind of bewildered me.

I don’t have an agent or a publisher any more. I decided to self-publish last year, not because I wanted to promote the books, but because I thought the books should be available. People occasionally wrote me and asked about the third book. Friends bought used copies and asked me to sign them. It seemed reasonable to have them somewhere, especially because it didn’t cost much.

I’ve looked into all kinds of Facebook groups and online seminars, and it seems to me there’s hordes of us out there trying to market our books. We’ve all been turned loose and told to be entrepreneurs. There are also throngs of agents , all of whom seem to be entrepreneurs themselves, mostly engaged in either turning people down or giving out false hopes in return for fees. And if the publishing business is anything like what it was before, it’s full of would-be writers who are also engaged in discouraging other writers. Everyone is involved in gatekeeping, everyone is trying to market themselves, everyone is trying to make a living charging other people for their marketing services, and it’s a huge whirlpool of frenzied expense and effort.

I like writing. I like releasing my books into the wild. People seem to enjoy my books when they discover them, at least that’s what they tell me, and what the Goodreads and Amazon reviews show.

That is to say I’m finalizing the ebook of Dog of the Dead on Kindle today. It’s not part of the Ways of Magic series. It’s something different, part of the Ms. Whitaker’s Last Year series. You might like it. I’ll let you know when it’s available. And I’m working on another book in Ways of Magic, plus two more in the Ms. Whitaker series.

Yeah, this is me promoting my books. I try, I really do.

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