…Not as in running out of ideas for my writing, but as far as promoting my writing is concerned. The thing is, I feel I’ve exhausted all my possibilities.
I published my book in December 2013, and since then I:
1. Made a Goodreads Author account and an author Facebook. Used Facebook’s advertising tool, joined forums, looked up reviewers online, exchanged free books for reviews, talked to everyone I could talk to. Weirdly enough, everyone who did give my book a chance (a huge thank you, by the way) thought it was good (the “worse” rating I got was 3 stars out of 5), but none of this led to downloads…
2. Submitted to literary/art magazines and blogs. Either I received no reply, or my work did not fit in with their profile. (of course, it’s common sense to check what the profile is – but when they say they want “unconventional fiction”, that could mean a million different things.)
3. Went to open mics wherever I could find them (not in my native country, though, because such events don’t exist here), left contact details, socialised as much as I could.
4. Started an Indiegogo campaign to raise money to publish my book in print. I checked out other campaigns, was careful in devising mine, talked to many people, used Facebook’s advertising tool again, on several occasions during the campaign… Raised about – I am not kidding – 30 dollars… (By the way, got many “comments” from people offering to “edit” my campaign for a fee – I am definitely not the only one – these people are hoping to make money out of other people’s aspirations. I wonder if Indiegogo is aware of this unethical practice… I even wondered whether I should have contacted one of these people, but, then again, I don’t think it would have made a difference. They would have got their money, and I still wouldn’t have reached my goal. Think about it – they find, say, 10 suckers to contact them, and they make 50 bucks by moving a comma or two… Just like that.)
5. I managed to get in touch with a PR firm, talked to them, explained my situation. Because they liked my book, they were willing to devise a pro-bono campaign, which eventually did not go through because everyone who signed up later dropped out. I’m thankful to the PR team anyway, because they did try, and, let’s face it, it would have been a miracle for this to go through in the first place.
6. I went to the London Book Fair, even though I knew that it was an industry event and not aimed at helping writers. I was hoping to hand out portfolios – which I had prepared very carefully. I thought a face-to-face approach would be more effective. However, on several occasions I was told flat out that they were not taking my portfolio – I was there, I had it with me – surely, this means active interest. Nope. Active interest is apparently irrelevant.
I know I’m not supposed to take any of this personally – because it really is not personal. And of course I’ll keep on doing what I do. I just wish I could get rid of this feeling of isolation, because right now I feel I’m doing everything in an enormous desert.