My first e-book publication...and humility

Please note: Info about the e-book is at the end of this post.

I may have mentioned this several times now, but I'll go ahead and repeat myself. One message I have consistently received from the Lord for over a year now is humble thyself. How have I gotten the message? Via his Word, messages at church, worship songs, Bible studies, friends, and even in my prayer times. Not necessarily his audible voice, but the repetition certainly grabs my attention every time.

The funny thing about attempting publication as a writer...there's a conflicting message to humility. A writer who wants to be published, and especially one who is already, has to sound their own horn. Or bang their own gong. Or use all the instruments in Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas if they want to get attention for their book.

How effective is that in the rest of life?

The people I've been around who sing their own praises are often obnoxious, appear to be unaware of their own self-centeredness, and make me want to turn the other way when I see them coming. Not to mention the pushy sales people that don't take, "No, I'm just browsing," for an answer. Bragging about how great one is at ___________ (insert talent) usually doesn't mean anything. And if I made the mistake of, say, buying that person's artwork, it may cause them to hound me every time they paint a picture even if I didn't like the first one to begin with. Sorry to pick on artists, but I don't personally know any who are poor at it and trying to sell me their work, so it seemed a safe pick.

I could say that I'm a great writer, so you should buy my e-book on Amazon! And I've said the last part (you can buy my e-book) a bunch of times today via email, Twitter, and Facebook. And there's something like pain every time I have to bang that gong that makes my ears ring (aka hit Send, Tweet, Post). In other words, I don't enjoy promoting my own work.

Announcing that I've self-published an e-book for the first time is more acceptable because people, myself included, are often happy to send well-wishes so long as there is no obligation to go beyond a "congrats!" or "way to go!" When I run a race, for example, if people are cheering from the sidelines, they usually are happy to be there and want to support the runners. If I ask someone to get up at six o'clock to come see me start, that's a different story and likely won't get much of a response.

From reading other blogs and articles, and learning from conferences, critique groups, etc, I'm discovering that there isn't so much in self-promotion after all. Meaning, there may be little to no point, so it's okay if I don't spend too much time banging that gong.

Why would that be? Because apparently after all this time and all this technology, the best way to promote your book is still to let someone else do it.

Word of mouth.

To this day, I still buy books that a friend recommends to me over a NYT best sellers list. I mean, way to go best sellers! But it's still true that people talking about loving a book will sell it way better than any other method that writers, agents, or publishers can think up.

Don't misunderstand me. I do believe book promotion is important. Going to places that will welcome the type of book a writer is selling often generates that word of mouth a writer needs. For me, I have opportunities close to home that I can look into, and I will.

However, there's almost nothing I can do to make someone talk about my book in a positive way to others.* Except one thing. The most important thing. Write a spectacular book.

And I'll leave off on that note and turn to the gong.

O Brother, What Art Thou? is now available exclusively in the Kindle Store for only $0.99!
Visit the Lance & Ringo Tails blog for more details.

*I'm leaving the idea of paid reviews out for now, it's a muddled topic as far as I'm concerned.


  1. Bria, I just bought a copy of your e-book and am looking forward to reading it. I totally understand your discomfort with self promotion . . . you aren't alone in that!

    1. Thanks so much, Carol! I appreciate it :)

  2. Don't keep your light under a bushel - Matthew 5:15
    Congratulations Bria - for writing the book, completing it and then publishing.


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