Why is self-promotion so difficult? In order to sell Unravelling, I’ve got to promote it – and, indirectly, ME. But it’s so hard.

I wonder if it’s something that particularly affects writers. Used to spending hours alone, creating, manipulating, exploring other worlds, do writers find it harder than other creative people to push themselves forward in the ‘real’ world? I don’t know – I suppose it’s a similar thing for artists, but at least there’s something tangible – a painting, a sculpture that people can immediately relate to. It seems a much harder task to ask people to spend hours of their life reading my book.  

I was listening to Radio 2 in the car the other day. There was an interview in the morning with the actress Brenda Blethyn about her recent film.  Then when I was driving home in the afternoon, the announcer said that Brenda Blethyn was going to be on talking about her recent film. The first interview was interesting, the film sounded intriguing and I think she is a great actress. But again? Twice in one day on the same radio station? And what was she doing but promoting her work?

It’s a strange thing but all the publicity goes to those people who are already famous. When I was at the York Festival of Writing recently, a publicist highlighted this. He said that when Katie Fforde (she was a keynote speaker) for example has a new book out, a lot of money will be spent on marketing it. When an unknown writer has a new book out, they have to do most of the marketing themselves. Yet you could argue that Katie Fforde is so popular her books will sell with or without marketing.

Oh dear! I almost wish I hadn’t written all that – it sounds too much like sour grapes. Still, the whole marketing, promotion side of things is causing me some angst at the moment, so there it is!

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