As you know, my latest novel, A Groovy Kind of Love, has been on two book tours for the past month and a half. These promotional opportunities were supposed to provide me with the freedom to write while others did the work.
Instead, however, I was sucked into a vortex of checking each spotlight, review, interview, guest post, and mention like some crazed Pavlovian dog awaiting the electric shock of positive reinforcement.
Multiple times a day.
Blogs. Facebook. Twitter. Google Alerts. Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Kobo, and Smashwords reviews.
If I didn’t check for a few hours, I’d get jumpy, like I was missing out on something. It was all so readily available on my phone, iPad, the computer, I lost control.
Once you get caught up in the promotional cycle, it’s difficult to get out. There’s always more that can be done, you see, whether you are traditionally published or self-published. More reviews to court. More guest posts to write. More interviews to give. So many blogs, a seemingly infinite amounts of possibilities.
More. And more. And more.
I tweeted so much, I even got sick of myself. I’ve checked Twitter more in the last two weeks than in the entire four years I’ve had an account. Don’t even get me started about all of the other platforms.
I became one of those crazed self-promoters the experts warn about. You know, the ones who render themselves useless by constantly pitching their books? In my case, it was constant retweets from the blog tour and giveaway.
This is not me.
I’m an introvert. Sure, I can be the charming life of the party, but most of the time, I’m happy sitting in the corner observing. Small talk and Twitter’s 140 characters don’t come naturally.
On Facebook, I had been making a conscious effort to post once a day during the book tours, sometimes twice if it’s really newsworthy, aware of not glutting anyone’s newsfeed.
But Twitter? It’s so easy to retweet every item that has your name in it. Besides, the tour stops send out posts that mention my book. It would be rude not to retweet, right?
I can’t switch back and forth from writing to promoting. Such different states of mind, they don’t gel well for me. All of this promotion whipped me into a frenzy like some whirling dervish tangled in virtual internet cables. I even started sniffing fresh lavender from little sachets to relax.
My poor WIP sits among a pile of manila folders packed with research and scene fragments. A query letter for a completed novel jets out from another stack on the other side of my desk near my headless Shakespeare statute from Stratford-upon-Avon. I dropped it once while dusting and the impact lopped his head clean off. Now, every time I slam a drawer shut, the Bard’s noggin tumbles across my desk. It’s sad really.
I return this morning, a bit muddied by the experience, but happy to have overcome the pushy, brazen addict and settle into me again.
The one in the corner.
Keen on observing.
And writing again.