Self-Promotion Is A Balancing Act

12 Nov

003And a very Happy Tuesday to you all!  Today I want to talk about self-promotion.  First, a quote.


Without promotion, something terrible happens… nothing!
P. T. Barnum

I get a kick out of that quote and old P.T. was right…without promotion and marketing very little good can happen.  Of course, isn’t he the same one who said there was a sucker born every minute? So I guess we take the good with the bad with regards to P.T. LOL

There is no doubt that writers need to be their own marketing department. Unless a writer is lucky enough to have a publisher and agent, the marketing chores fall squarely in the lap of the writer himself.  There is no avoiding it.  If you are to be known then you need to make yourself known.

However…..and there is always a however now isn’t there…..beware of over-promotion.  Speaking as a person who spends a great deal of time online, over-promotion is a turn-off of the highest order for most readers.   If the only time I hear from someone is when they have something of their own to sell, well, I’m not going to be very receptive to their sales pitch.

Let me give you a real-life example.  I have a hard copy novel and seven ebooks published.  I rarely talk about them. When I first published my novel I spent about two weeks mentioning it; it’s been two years now and there is no reason for me to continue ringing my own bell.  It is boring and it is egotistical and I don’t want to be accused of either.  If someone wants it fine; if not, also fine.  I have bigger goals than that novel or those ebooks, and I have a much stronger desire to support other writers. My rewards will come in time and there is no reason to risk annoying the hell out of people by continually self-promoting.

The bottom line of this little diatribe:  walk a fine line between promotion and over-promotion. Choosing wisely might make a big difference in the long run with regards to your career as a writer.


It’s my email address.  Part of my professional writing services is a writing evaluation.  If you want a five point writing evaluation of your skills as a writer, drop me a line at and for $25 I’ll give you an unbiased and totally objective opinion of your writing abilities.


It’s my email address. If you want advice or help, write me at  I’ll be more than happy to help in any way that I can and as always there is no charge.  Friends help friends; writers should help writers.



Go ahead. Get into this picture. What do you see? Describe it using your five senses.


My article on HubPages tomorrow will be a writing exercise in describing characters.  Stop in and give it a look; you should find it helpful.

Until then, have a great week of writing and feel good about what you are doing. The world needs more writers and you are part of a wonderful tradition.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

26 Responses to “Self-Promotion Is A Balancing Act”

  1. Janine Huldie November 12, 2013 at 4:17 pm #

    You are so right about promoting ourselves, but not too much either. there has to be a happy balance on this and try so hard not to annoy people by being too pushy, but do try to put certain things out there when I can. Thanks for this reminder and hope you are still enjoying your day so far!

    • Billybucb November 12, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

      Thanks Janine my loyal friend. It’s a busy day and I’m buried but loving it. Have a great day!

  2. froggy213 November 12, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    Bill, unlike you, I probably veer a little to far the other way. I believe I have a tendency to over promote which ends up almost as bad as spam. Thank you for this wake up call. We want book sales, but there is a fine line… Well back to writing my new book. have a great day.

    • Billybucb November 12, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

      Greg, I think it is a natural reaction. i actually had a friend tell me to knock it off two years ago. He grew weary of my constant marketing ploys on Facebook….I’m glad he said something. 🙂 Thanks buddy!

  3. Liz November 12, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    I have an old friend on fb who is constantly pushing people to buy his book. I probably would have read it if he would just shut up about it already! LOL But enough about Bi–I mean, Fred. 😀

    • Billybucb November 12, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

      LOL…it’s a turn off for sure my smart alec friend. 🙂

  4. Shauna November 12, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

    While this post went “ding, ding, ding” in my head, I also was forced to laugh out loud. (My cats are used to that by now). Your two sites of the day still have the imprint of a smile on my face. You’re the best!

    I do need to heed your advice. I’m not very active on FB, Google+ or Twitter except to post something of mine. I’m consciously making an effort to promote other writers stories as well. One thing I haven’t done and should – according to research – is to post a silly what-I’m-doing-today ditty on the social sites. You’re so right. It’s not all about me, me, me. That’s a real good way to find yourself being skipped over again and again until you fade away altogether.

    • Billybucb November 12, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

      It really is a balancing act, but I have found people are receptive if I show an effort to support them as well…and you do that already, Sha. Don’t take this too personally; I was actually thinking of a couple Hubbers who dominate Facebook daily when I wrote this.

      • Shauna November 12, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

        Hmmm. I’ll bet I know one of them and my first two guesses don’t count. It’s called automatic delete when that person shows up – repeatedly!

    • Billybucb November 12, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

      Sha, I am willing to bet we are talking about the same person. 🙂

  5. Fossillady November 12, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    Always good advise from you Bill . . . have a great day

    • Billybucb November 12, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

      Thank you Kathi! I appreciate you stopping by.

  6. pictimilitude November 12, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

    You crack me up: site 1 and site 2. For some reason, I thought of Dr. Seuss. HAHA.
    Anyways, you’re right. My problem is that I know so many wonderful writers. I neither have the time nor the funds (just this moment) to indulge in buying everyone’s work. *sigh* Well, I guess I just have to do what most people do: go after the stuff that is in line with your interests. (Though I promise your content DOES interest me, lol.)
    Yeah…promoting yourself is an art in itself. Sharing only your own work is taboo, but never sharing it gets you nowhere. It’s a balancing act for sure. I’m not always sure I’m good on that particular balance beam, but I keep chalking my hands up and trying. 🙂

    • Billybucb November 12, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

      Cyndi, I don’t know if I’ll ever get good at it, but at least I recognize that it is necessary that I try. 🙂 As for buying the books of others….sheez, maybe when I have a bestseller on my hands and I’m raking in the dough I’ll be able to support other struggling writers. 🙂 Until then I’ll just have to give them moral support.

  7. Leonas Lines November 13, 2013 at 12:04 am #

    Yes, self promotion is a hard thing to get right. I have a hard time promoting myself, but at times it must be done. My question for you is: I wonder how you get so many people to always comment on your articles? It amazes me! I often get lots of “likes” on my articles or poems but very very few comments—why is that? Maybe you could write an article about how to get comments?

    • Billybuc November 13, 2013 at 1:30 am #

      Leonas, that’s a tough question. I think that people relate to me and always have. I spent a good part of the first year commenting on other hubs and making friends, but more than that, a lot of my articles have to do with the human experience. They are articles that people understand and have experienced themselves…and…I have opened up my life for all to see. There are no secrets about me. I have talked about my alcoholism and the damage I have done. I have talked about adoption and how it affects the adopted child. People see me as a real human being and I think that, more than anything else, explains all the comments.

  8. Melanie Chisnall November 13, 2013 at 4:45 am #

    This is exactly what I’m looking forward to doing differently this time round as from Jan next year. 🙂 I struggled with the balancing act a lot earlier this year… often terrified I wasn’t doing enough promotion, and then looking back at some other writers and going, “Oh jeez, was I THAT bad?!!” Lol. Thank goodness nothing is set in stone and we can change things as we go 😉

    • Billybucb November 13, 2013 at 4:57 am #

      Mel, it is a struggle for most of us. There are some who seem to have no shame LOL but for most of us we straddle that line every single time we self-promote. Thanks for stopping by; I hope all is well down south.

  9. Randee November 13, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    I’m glad it’s not just me who is annoyed with the self-promotion. And I might take you up on that evalution!

    • Billybucb November 13, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

      Hey Randee, good to see you again. I don’t know what the problem is but I don’t get notified about your blog. I know I signed up; sigh, I’ll go try again….and no, it’s not just you. I get so tired of the same people honking their horns day in and day out. I don’t buy their books simply because they have annoyed me. 🙂

      • Randee November 14, 2013 at 3:30 am #

        I hope you can find my blog and get my posts. I’ve been writing a lot since I started in July. It’s something weird – I only get one of your blogs in my READER. And the other one shows up in my inbox; that’s the only way I can see it. They’re both WordPress blogs, aren’t they?

      • Billybucb November 14, 2013 at 3:32 am #

        Yep, they are both wordpress. Since I’m brain dead when it comes to technology I don’t have a clue. One of yours just showed up, though, so there is hope.

  10. ruchira November 14, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    I agree on self promotion bill. Since I have not been brought up with that kind of aura…find it very uncomfortable thus, who ever purchases my book fine…i shall continue to write 🙂

    I like your services and might look into it…thanks Bill

    • Billybucb November 14, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

      Ruchira, I think most of us find it very hard to promote ourselves….it goes against humility and feeds ego, or at least seems as though it does.

  11. Dee November 17, 2013 at 2:13 am #

    Hey, Bill. I have not been on the writing sites too much this fall, but hopefully things will change over the next few months. Self-promotion is one area I need to improve upon as I continue to build my writing sites. Thank you, as always, for the tips.

    • Billybucb November 17, 2013 at 4:02 am #

      Thank you Dianna for taking time from your weekend to visit. I hope you get a chance to do more writing soon.

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