[I wrote this brief piece a couple of years ago for the defunct “Indie Writers’ Net.” Given recent developments in independently published fiction, it seems still to be relevant -- FWP]
Say, I’ve got an idea...
(Yes, that’s a rough Long Island equivalent to a Southerner saying “Hey y’all, watch this.”)
The great majority of us are no good at all at what SF writer Tom Kratman calls “pimping my own works.” It’s easy to see why: it feels too immodest, and it’s usually greeted with amused skepticism by your “audience.” Yet promotion is the most indie writers need most. Without it, our works are “born to blush unseen.”
So why not “pimp someone else’s works” -- ?
Has anyone here ever entered into a “mutually assured pimping” agreement? I did it for a while, not realizing that I was doing so. My “co-pimp” was Martin McPhillips, author of the incredible counterterrorism thriller Corpse In Armor. I stumbled over his book, loved it, and started praising it to everyone I know. He noticed that I was doing so, read my novel Chosen One, and started doing the same for me. We both enjoyed sharply increased sales for a significant period.
Of course, this strategy requires that one has intelligent and sincerely complimentary things to say about other indie writers’ books. Which itself implies that one must willingly read those books and remember their best features. But if you can steel yourself to so awful a fate, you might just discover that you’ve entered the shadowed world of Mutually Assured Pimping, in which the air of menace is unending and nothing is what it seems...except the pleasure of reading nice things about your books and even nicer things in your quarterly payment reports.
Food for thought.