You know what’s really uncomfortable that I feel like I’ll never be able to get over? Promoting myself. I’m sure this is a common issue among writers, as it comes with the territory that you’ll need to share your work and try to get it in front of more readers, but at the end of the day you’re really promoting yourself.
There aren’t too many other jobs (as far as I know) where someone would feel the need to constantly share their work with friends, family, Facebook followers, and beyond. For my day job for instance, save for the extremely rare PSA that may be relevant to my Facebook friends I don’t really share anything online about it (partially because I’m not sure the internet needs to know where to find me five days a week, but still).
When I wrote my first book, I was elated at the fact that I was published and basically snuck in promotions wherever I could. This lasted for about two months, when I participated in a couple of interviews and podcasts about the book and the reviews started coming in. Soon, it hit me that at the end of the day, the book was a memoir and I was promoting myself to strangers via this book about my personal experiences and well, that’s weird. It’s a really weird feeling to market yourself, and an even more unsettling feeling to market yourself via a product that is literally the pages of your journal from five months of your post-college internship.
The more time passed, the less comfortable I felt sharing the book. I flipped through it a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t help but think to myself, “People read THIS?!” It’s a really odd feeling having a journal from your early 20s just out there for anyone to read. Not to mislead you into thinking there is something particularly juicy in there. Save for a few secrets from good old Dinoland USA it’s a pretty basic recap of my internship with Disney.
Evidently people do read Brittany Earns Her Ears, as evidenced by the occasionally fluctuating sales rank and the random message I receive from a potential future Disney College Program intern with questions. Still, I don’t market the book. I can’t bring myself to put money into advertising my now five year old book that focuses so heavily on the Disney College Program experience as it was in 2014. If you do read the book, that’s obviously cool though and I really appreciate of course! (I’d also appreciate an honest review to balance out the low rating from a person who reviewed someone else’s book on my Amazon page…)
Fast forward to 2018 and my second book is out. This one, Red, White, & Disney: The Myths & Realities of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort was so much more of a passion project. I poured years of research into this exploration of how the various areas at Walt Disney World were designed and where the truths and inaccuracies are compared to a given land or attraction’s real-world counterpart. I thoroughly enjoyed researching and writing this one, and I’m obviously still really proud of it and yet… it still does and probably always will feel unsettling trying to get people to buy it.
There has to be a way to promote your own work without feeling like a burden, but I definitely haven’t cracked the case yet. (I also feel like at least some of the marketing budget should be covered by a publisher… which is part of why I’m planning on self publishing my next one- this could be an entirely separate post though.) Contrary to what you may think if you’ve never written a book, physically being an author does not automatically make you rich. With such a relatively narrow audience for my book, I can’t justify spending money on advertising it when I’d only just about make up that spend from royalties… Royalties which are paid annually by the way.
This post has a point, I swear. The point is that Red, White & Disney is going to need an update soon. It’s mostly okay, but The Hall of Presidents section of the book reflects that fact that the attraction was still being refurbished following Trump’s inauguration. The entire Epcot part will soon be outdated as Future World is subdivided into World Nature, World Celebration and World Discovery. These are the only areas that are perhaps going to make the book feel slightly outdated- if you can deal with that you can grab your copy here! Wow, look at that shameless plug. If this post somehow makes a bunch of sales I guess I may be sharing more things like this, but it still just feels so weird!
In any case, (getting to the point, I swear!)… I’m working on my third book, and I’m making a promise to myself, via this blog post I guess, that I will put effort into marketing it and making sure people can find it. It’s going to be another Disney history book, and where I’m still in the early stages of research it will likely not be out for some time, so I’m not going to share the specific topic yet but I’m cautiously optimistic that it’s going to be more lighthearted and fun.
The new book is going to be self published (cannot wait!!) so I’ll have more control over where it’s printed, sold, etc… And with less fees taken out as profits for the publisher I’m hoping it will be easier to justify marketing it. The new book, which is still untitled and without any idea of a release date I’m hoping anyway will appeal to a wider range of Disney fans and get more people involved in the historic side of the Disney fan community. Once I’m comfortable releasing the topic and whatnot, readers on this blog will be the first to know ! 🙂
So in summary… If you can teach me the ways of marketing books I write myself , let me know! Alternatively I’m pretty ecstatic looking into the perks of self publishing- and i you have any tips with that I’m all ears too.
If you stuck it through to the end, thank you for reading this and letting me ramble a bit! I know I don’t usually write these kinds of posts on here, but I’m just thinking that maybe now and then this will help sort of clear my mind (and boost productivity maybe? Who knows…).