I have a love/hate thing going on with the internet. I love that it brings the world to your fingertips. It’s wonderful to be able to get information about pretty much anything at any time. The closest thing we had to it growing up was a library and that took a lot of time on any topic. The net on the other hand makes it easy to know something about anything instantaneously, and that, for a girl who likes to know, is fabulous.
The hate part comes in all the ways it can add up to making you feel inadequate, slow, untalented, last-to-know, heck, just plain stupid. ”Everyone” else has done it faster, better, bolder, sooner and the ship has already sailed. That’s how it can feel. That’s definitely how I’ve felt about it lately as I’ve been trying to learn what I need to do know to self publish a book.
I’m proud of finishing my book at last and even proud to be self publishing it. Getting it done was challenging for me but I’m learning it really was only a part of the process and this self publishing has its own set of hoops to jump through. And those hoops are easy compared to all that they call out that is involved in promoting the book and networking your way around the world wide web which I am really, really lousy at.
I don’t know. Ironically, I’m good at my job, which is full of marketing and promoting, but on my own stuff, like this blog for instance, I’m just simply lousy at promotion and in my life in general I stink at networking. It’s just something I haven’t been able to get a rhythm on. And now I’m going to have TWO blogs to keep up with and promote — this one and a new one for the book — and a book? I read what all the experts say you MUST do, no doubt about it — should have started six months ago, in fact — and I wonder if I should even push ahead and finish getting it published. It is doomed before it even comes out. I have no connections, haven’t built up a reader list anxious to read it, have done no “guest blogging”, completely flop at twitter, and, worst of all, I’ve written a seasonal book that is only good for, at best, three months of the year. A classic “rookie” mistake I’ve now read several places. Apparently there is no readership market looking for Christmas books and no time to build any momentum in such a short time frame with so much competition from so many all vying to sell books during the holiday season.
Whew. And yes, I am absolutely certain there are authors who could break through all of that — because they are really great at networking and marketing, which makes me feel doubly dismal.
Despite all of it, and a constant feeling of vulnerability on this, I’m pushing ahead — gotta see it through now. I’ll be proud to see the book on my bookshelf — this holiday season and for many to come (they leave that part off!) and I know my family and friends will indulge me as well. But this has been a topic where the sheer volume of what’s out there on the internet, combined with not really knowing where to start, and adding in a large dose of self doubt has lead to some paralyzing intimidation for this would be published author and, well, its scary.
Thanks for being my therapist tonight and a safe place to be scared.