As a follow-up to my last post, I thought I might offer a few tips about getting the word out when you’ve made New Art and are ready to share.
I am ALL ABOUT the joyousness of this occasion. There is nothing like having a new book/website/other brilliant work baby, and sharing it with your friends and readers is half the fun. So, yes — blog, tweet, Instagram that baby out into the world! Have a party! Hire a skywriter! YAY!!!!
But you know what? Spamming people you don’t know, or worse, someone you’ve shared an email exchange with once or twice with repeated pleas to buy your book, look at your site, read your article — is so, so uncool. And if I’m the recipient, it’s the quickest way to get blocked, for sure.
I LOVE lifting up other writers. I love when other writers lift up the stories and works of writers THEY love — it’s my favourite way to find new writers and stories for myself, after all.
But dude — if you have never engaged with me in any way in person, or on social media, flooding me with tweets, emails or other ‘personal messages’ that you have work you want me to magnify is not going to get you anywhere. Your site is the greatest at helping other writers? Sure, wonderful. But I am never going to see it if my only interaction with you is couched in the form of harassment.
I can only speak for myself, but my life as a writer is just like that proverbial duck — what shows on the surface does not reflect the maniacal paddling going on underneath. There are only so many hours in the day, and I hate spam sandwiches. I want to spend the scanty free time I have amplifying as many deserving voices as possible.
The way to get noticed in this industry is to talk to people. It is a MUCH smaller group than you might think. And we do all talk to each other — once in a while, anyway, when we climb out of our darkened lairs and stare, blinking, into the sun. So engage on social media, or in person. Discuss, ask questions, enquire about what interests other artists. Bring something to the table and your work WILL get shared. Writers are the biggest readers, after all.