Melody: Who knew I’d have to do so much self-promotion? My publicist told me that whenever I received a positive book review, to post it on social media. It got to the point where I was rolling my eyes at myself. (“Here she goes again… talking about how great she is.”) Self-promotion definitely doesn’t come naturally to me, but I’ve learned ways to do it without sounding like I’m full of myself. A lot of my strategy has to do with being grateful. So instead of saying, “Wow, I got a Kirkus Star! Aren’t I great?” I can say, “I’m so grateful to Kirkus for awarding A Work of Art the Kirkus Star.” (See how I slipped in that A Work of Art was named a best book of 2015 by YA Books Central? Oh, I meant, the Kirkus Star.) And yes, employing humor is another way to self-promote without sounding arrogant.
Faran: I didn’t know you’d have to put so much into marketing yourself on social media, but now that I’ve been doing it I enjoy it. I’ve gotten to meet people I never would have known, and I got to learn from new ideas. It’s also helped me keep in touch with old friends.
Cathy: I didn’t know how much self-promotion I was going to have to do. Sales, PR, putting myself out there on social media to beef up my web presence. It’s exhausting to think about, so I don’t. My father says to chip away at things. Just one thing at a time!
Joanne: Revise, revise, revise, learn more about the craft of writing and revise yet again. When I set out to write a novel I was very naive about the process. I had a friend who had written a non-fiction book in a year. I thought it would take that long for me to complete a novel. I have learned that it’s a many layered process that takes the average fiction writer about ten years until they land an agent and publisher.