This is the time of the year when there’s snow on the roads in my part of the world, the days are short and dark by five in the evening, and everyone’s going a bit stir crazy. Tensions are at a fever pitch, but so too is that special brand of optimistic cheerfulness which washes over and around the people I care about. Some people may not celebrate the religious aspect of the Christmas holidays, but you can’t help but love some of the perks they bring with them: hot cocoa and cider to drink, quilts and kittens and friendships to keep us warm, generosity to celebrate in giving and receiving.
It seems almost callow, perhaps, to talk about marketing in the midst of all this good-feeling. What does the commercial machine have to do with empathy and generosity?
Here’s the thing: What’s good for you as an author and what’s good for your relationships is also good for business.
I’m not just talking about the “family-friendly” or “family-owned” propaganda issued by big businesses like Starbucks or Chipotle or REI; I’m talking about your relationships on a personal level, and starting from the ground up. The real revolution in how we do business has to start with actual human connection rather than the cold and soulless opportunism that we’ve been taught is the marker of successful companies and their high-level officials.
So this Christmas, I’m not going to encourage you to break out a couple of new strategies for self-promotion success for several reasons–including the fact that we’ve already done so in past Christmases: here, here, and here––but rather to refocus on what you consider the most valuable and worthwhile aspects of your relationships. I guarantee you this: if you put your friendships and your loved ones first, the rest will fall into place. Friends want to hear about what each other do and love and are working on, and when your relationships are in tune you’ll know instinctively when it’s a good and natural and 100% organic moment to do so.
Who you are as a writer fits within a broader framework of who you are in connection to the other people in your life. Authenticity isn’t just nice; it’s imperative. It just makes sense that what’s good for your relationships would be good for spreading the word about your book, and the ingredients for a joyful and happy holiday season would also be the perfect recipe for a productive time for you as a self-publishing author!
You are not alone. ♣︎