The Artful Way of Not Being an…


Blame it on my upbringing, but I’m uncomfortable being an ass. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not some goody-goody who polishes his halo every morning before putting it on or anything ridiculous like that, but I’m not by nature an annoying person. At least, I don’t think I am. Do I tend to get excited about topics I enjoy and perhaps ramble on a bit about them? Sure…maybe…

“Ummm, hello? You have a freaking blog, you’re supposed to chat about stuff!”

Yeah, but I want it to be ‘stuff’ people actually care about.


Anyways…my point (“Oh thank God he has a point!”) is, while I’m comfortable with the writing side of the writing ‘business’ the promotional side still gives me chills. I can talk to my fellow writer-friends about characters, plotting, writing techniques, editing etc., but self-promoting reminds me of those oily skinned, smiling-too-much, polyester-wearing used car salesmen you just hate to see approaching when you’re out browsing a car lot. Suddenly, I feel like I’m:

Looking for an ebook? Fantasy ebook? Oh, I’ve got a beauty right here, yes sir, just the one you want. You won’t be disappointed, now just slide on over here and click on this link…

Or maybe:  Hey you. Yeah you. You looking for something to read? I got just what you want over here…

“Oh…oh…don’t forget this one! –Hey Big Boy! I saw you checking out my cover. Looks good, doesn’t it. Why don’t you click here and take a little peek inside…You know you want to. You know you can’t resist me. Oh that’s right. I got everything you could ever want just waiting for you here…Yeah…slide that cursor over and push that button…”

Wait, what the hell was that last one?!

“I thought I’d try something different…”

Well, stop!

I see so many of the same kinds of ebook promotions on Twitter and I wonder how often people click on the links. It’s almost like walking down the center aisle of some carnival show and you’ve got people on either side of you shouting out their wares. Step right up and check out my ebook. NO, check out MY ebook. Sir, sir, this way…Look over here. NO, over here! I wonder if so much of it doesn’t get drowned out in the ‘noise’.

And yes, I’ve done it too, and when I have, I’ve felt a bit like an ass. Now, before you all jump on me, stop a minute and actually read what I’ve written. I’m not saying ‘you are an ass’, or even by promoting your ebooks you are asses, I’m saying –I- have felt like an ass when I’ve done it. Especially that way.

But I also realize that unless I self-promote my writing, no one will know it exists. So….what to do?

I decided to at least attempt to be artful in my advertising so as to diminish the feeling of ‘assness’ associated with that task. I mean, that’s part of being a writer, isn’t it? Being artistic? Creative? Coming up with something people actually want to read?

So I rolled out a couple of new tweets this morning. The first was:

If you like your fantasy ebooks filled with farmboy-turned-heroes, magical elves, and noble wizards then you won’t like

The second was:

Do you love strong, quiet, bad-boy ‘heroes’ who refuse to back down regardless the odds? or

Since those tweets, (an hour ago) I’ve had 60 extra views on Smashwords. Is it because of these tweets? I don’t know…but at least I didn’t feel quite so much like an ‘ass’ after I tweeted them. Yes, I’m trying to promote my ebook, but I also wanted to at least provide a little content with the tweet.

…and to feel less like an ass while doing it.

Thank you for your time, and I hope you all have a great day!


About inkcompetentwriter

Author of The Penitent Assassin and The Rush of Betrayal duology available at and

2 responses to “The Artful Way of Not Being an…”

  1. deshipley says :

    Self-promotion makes me feel totally squirmy, too. I hate the thought of being a pest! That having been said, hey friends, have you read the writing-releated reflections of a wordsmith to be found on my new “Ever On Word” blog?…
    Kidding! Well, not legit kidding, but being jocular! In all seriousness, though, yay for your extra Smashwords views. I don’t have an e-reader, but I’ll go look anyway. (:

    • inkcompetentwriter says :

      The nice thing about Smashwords is you don’t need an e-reader to view my (or anyone elses) ebook. They have multiple formats available so you can read an ebook on your standard desktop/laptop without any additional software. I’ve recently gone to and downloaded their free Kindle application to my desktop just because it’s nice to keep all my ebook downloads in one location (and I do like the look of the ebooks on the Kindle download).
      Thank you for your comment, and for checking out my ebook, The Penitent Assassin.
      Have a great day!

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