If there is one thing I’m really good at, it’s shameless self promotion. I’m probably not as bad as some people but I’m definitely worse than most when it comes to constantly plugging my own story. From Twitter to Tumblr and basically everywhere in between, TSATO may not be all I talk about, but when I have something to share or a new chapter to promo, you’d better believe I’m doing it.
I’m sure there are plenty of people for whom that kind of thing is insufferable. Don’t get me wrong, I used to be the sort of person who rolled their eyes at anyone who plugged their own work a lot. But you know what?
I used to feel gross, constantly having to remind people that “oh, I wrote this thing. Maybe you could check it out?” and “these are my OCs and if there’s an entire novel-length story about them if you’re interested in knowing more” again and again and AGAIN. But the truth is, the idea that people are just going to stumble across your original content and fall in love without some degree of promo is a fantasy. Sure, it happens every now and again, but for most of us, the only way to ensure that our original content sticks is to either a) already have a significant personal fanbase before you get started, or b) promote the hell out of it.
For original content creators online, the struggle is real. Standing out and gaining traction through mountains of fandom-related art, fics, and other such content is hard. It’s difficult enough to get noticed, let alone get people invested in what you’re putting out there.
So, imagine how excited I was to see a sketch of May and Em I posted to Tumblr begin to pick up traction!
Then imagine how disappointed I was when I realized that there is no mention of either the characters or the story in the post itself, which means the nearly 300 notes (more than I’ve ever gotten on any original post I’ve ever made, including fan-content) haven’t been doing much toward helping to promote TSATO.
As nice as it to see my babies getting that kind of love, it’s also been disheartening because 1) this has turned out to be such a missed opportunity, and 2) I’m seeing so many reblogs that either tag the post as “I don’t know what this is from!” or “this looks like/reminds me of *insert pairing from a completely different fandom here*”.
Womp womp. Lesson learned, I guess.
And so, the hustle continues. Tomorrow I’ll be publishing chapter 9 of The Star and the Ocean, and you’d better believe I’ll be shamelessly promoting the shit out of it. Because I can (if you’d got it, flaunt it), because I like to (I work hard on this story, so of course I want to show it off), and – at least for now – I have to.