If you’re publishing a book… you need to tell people you’re publishing a book. That shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. If it does, sit down, take a deep breath and think it through.
There are, perhaps at times, reasons to publish under a pseudonym. In that case, maybe you don’t want to tell people around you that you’ve written that specific book. Later on I plan on posting about why I specifically chose not to use a pseudonym. Assuming you’re going to use your real name, you need to tell people you’re publishing!
This was actually hard for me. I’m not one who likes to seek out a lot of personal attention so telling people I’m looking to self-publish a book feels awkward every single time I tell someone. I also felt awkward about telling people about publishing since my book is a little on the juvenile side of things. Typically people understand I have a certain level of immaturity to me, but to put it out there for the world to see and confirm just how juvenile my sense of humor is… well… that’s stretching to say the least. To read a little about the topic of my series to come out in 2018, check out A Bit about My Books.
As I struggled through some of my introvertedness (I don’t think that’s actually a word), I realized I just had to accept the whole “telling people” thing. One of the privileges of having great friends and a loving church community and good family is… people love you. In the end, I decided to accept the love from people who love me and move ahead confident in that.
If you’ve written a book and you’re an introvert like me, it can take a lot to tell people. In essence, you might be declaring that you’re an expert in your field (I don’t consider myself one). You’re declaring that you are a writer/author and that you’re good enough to publish. You’re declaring that you know what you’re doing. You’re declaring that you think people should read your book and will enjoy it.
What if you start into this and you end up not completing it? What if you do end up publishing, but no one buys your books? What if even your own mom or your best friends “don’t get around” to buying a copy so you end your first year after publishing with only two sales (you bought one just to make yourself feel better and accidentally hit “Quantity 2”). You will then want to proudly declare you have sold two copies of your book, but will feel that this is actually being dishonest since you bought both of them.
These are thoughts that may go through your mind as an author and one of the things you need to do is simply step out and tell people anyway. There needs to be a willingness on your part to let people know. In the end of the day, what does it matter if you fail? What if people see you as a failure? What if people don’t like you as an author? If you are writing because you need the affirmation of other people, you are likely in the wrong field. There are no public roles (from author to actor to politician to being an MC at a wedding) where you get to consistently be loved and appreciated and affirmed. Your value cannot come from the affirmation of others.
There are ways you start to tell people.
You should tell people in person (do people still talk face to face these days?). When you’re talking to people, bring it up in conversation. There are a number of reasons for this. Assuming you have friends… what do you think their reaction will be if you go so far as to publish a book and never get around to telling them? What does that say about your friendship? Tell them!
You can also use sites such as LinkedIn (it listed me as changing jobs… how weird is that… I got all these congratulations from people for changing jobs because I put in there that I’m an author…). You can also use Twitter, Instagram and more. In a while, I’ll be posting a blog on using Social Media sites as an author.
To announce your writing on these sites, sometimes you list it as your job. This may come through as a change of job/position/description. This will be weird if your actual job hasn’t changed.
You should also start a website. I would recommend starting one up with bluehost and setting up a WordPress site through them. Check out my blog on WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org for more information on how to do this.
You should also make good use of Facebook. Tell people on Facebook you have written a book and it will be published soon (I’m far enough away from the date that I have not made the publication date public). You should also start a Facebook Author Page. Check out How to Set Up a Facebook Author Page to do this and check out my Facebook author page at www.facebook.com/shawnpbrobinsonauthor.
Perhaps most writers aren’t introverts like me so they will not struggle to tell people they are writing. If, however, you are a little more shy… you’ll have to go out of your way to tell people!
So, if you’re writing a book or have written a book and you plan on publishing it… start telling people. Deal with the awkwardness of it all and tell the world!
Comment below with your struggles in this area or how easy it is for you to tell people.