Self-Promotion Sucks

It’s hard work, and generally fruitless, and it agitates every humble nerve in my body.  Also, it’s massively distracting.

After a month of trying to push Punchline, I have reached the following conclusions:

1. Giving away free copies is a double-edged sword, and a sharp one at that – readers might take up the free copy offer who wouldn’t normally go within ten feet of your book.
2. Punchline is a Marmite book.  I’ve always suspected as much, and evidence observed so far seems to support that theory: two reviews from Goodreads readers, a five-star rating and a one-star rating.  The difference between not rating a book at all and giving it one star is equal to the difference between “didn’t like it” and “hated it”.
3. I have no idea where the market for Punchline hangs out, or if one exists.  I am my ideal buyer, but I don’t like to hang around in crowds.
4. People on the Amazon US boards are considerably more hostile than those on the UK boards; but also more entertaining.
5. If I spend too much time fucking about with this at work, I will probably lose my job.

What I need to do, I think, is chill out for a bit on the promotional side and get back to some writing.



  1. Vegetable Heaven · October 20, 2011

    I haven't seen you pushing Punchline much Paul – I've been doing it for you here and there. I really enjoyed it and found it dark, funny but most of all very refreshing. I haven't read anything quite like it!Yes, get back to some writing. I can't wait.(You know me as Ignite)

  2. Paul Fenton · October 20, 2011

    Point 5, Kath, point 5 is the key one here …… and thank you.

  3. Rosen Trevithick · October 21, 2011

    I too hate self-promotion. "Leave no stone unturned!" scream the guides. Apparently we're supposed to have infinite time.Added to which, writing is a largely solitary, creative process. It shares no common ground with repeating the same sales pitch over and over again to random strangers.Anyway, I found this blog because I'm looking for places to visit during my virtual book tour.Might you be interested?

  4. Paul Fenton · October 21, 2011

    Sure, Rosen – what did you have in mind?

  5. Rosen Trevithick · October 22, 2011

    I'm interested in getting a few interviews on blogs by similar writers (and happy to return the favour, obviously.)I haven't read Punchline yet – I only got my Kindle today. Do you think our target audiences overlap at all?My recent book is comic, but very light – it's a queer romance. Before that I wrote a slightly darker mystery, but it was about families, not serial killers.

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