The Shameful Self Promotor

To say I’m not terribly good at self promotion would be an understatement and I think there are a few factors that contribute to that. The biggest being self esteem issues.

I know. Everyone’s got self esteem issues usually, but I was raised to believe that I was a mistake and that my own goals, ideas, and output were failures. Nothing I did was right and because of that I have a real problem trying to tell people to read my work. I think it’s ok, but the best I can say is “some people tell me it’s good”. It’s not really a phrase that pulls in readers. Some people have called it false modesty, but there’s nothing false in what I say. I honestly don’t think people will want to read what I write and draw so I just sort of lob it out there and if someone finds it, great. If they don’t, well, I’ll beat myself up over not being good enough. I do this on a shockingly regular basis and it it isn’t healthy. I keep working, I keep improving, but I can’t see the improvements.

The second is negative feedback. It’s the old kicked dog scenario. You get kicked enough times until you start avoiding people. Even if I get praise from fellow artists there’s always those readers that tell you your art sucks, your story sucks, and you suck. It may or may not be true, but you sort of start to believe it. The earliest and most impacting thing anyone ever told me was that my art sucked, my writing was terrible, and that I should just quit and no matter how far I come with my art I still hear that echoing around in the recesses of my brain.

Third, is a general closing of doors to me. One of the earliest pieces of advice I received was to start posting in comic forums. Well, I tried that. I tried to become part of different communities. The first thing I noticed was my posts were being ignored. After a while of trying I always got the same response. “Stop posting and go away. No one wants you here.” The links to my site in my signature would always be called spam and I’d get banned. I post in the promotion threads and I get shunned as shameless despite the fact that I hate posting links to my stuff.
I think the most amazing thing is the number of times I’ve been reported for spam on facebook for posting links to my  comics in my own group.

So what does all this add up to? Well, in my mind it adds up to no one really cares. That the internet at large is correct and the people who enjoy my work are wrong since they’re the minority. It also adds up to a huge “why bother” when it comes to self promotion and advertising. No one’s going to read it any way.

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5 Comments

  1. When I first started my comics a few months ago, a friend suggested I try promoting it on 4chan. In about 5 minutes I had people telling me I was horrible, my comics were shit, and I should kill myself. So I stopped making any sort of real effort to promote, and now I already have 1200 Tumblr followers, 300 Twitter followers, and 200 Facebook fans, in just a matter of months. If you just keep doing what entertains you, and keep pushing yourself to do better work for yourself, the people just flock to it. No promotion necessary. I can’t draw and I have a stupid sense of humor, but strangers will compare me to Perry Bible Fellowship and other actually good comics. And those people are wrong, haha, but HEY, the point is just stop worrying. Do something because you enjoy it. You’re good at what you do. I’m sorry this is a big rambling mess, but hopefully you can decipher it into the message of good will and support that it is.

    • Yeah. 4chan and Something Awful are the two worst places to try and advertise due to high numbers of assholes.
      As for results, I’m extremely happy for your success, but I’ve been at this for over 13 years and so far I’ve got about 100 or so readers, 44 tumblr followers, 118 followers on twitter, and maybe 70 fans on Facebook. Advertising seems to do nothing and I’ve done nothing but bleed readers over the last few years. I won’t stop, short of a physical trauma, but MAN does it not feel worth it some times.

      • As long as you feel like you’re doing quality work, it’s totally worth it! If you are making a comic that you would read, if someone else made it, you’re doing good. It’s a lot harder to get readers on a comic that has an ongoing story, I’m sure. If you’re seriously worried about getting a larger reader base, maybe don’t reach out to webcomic people? They tend to have a short attention span, I find. Maybe try sci-fi or fantasy forums? Or if you can find forums that focus on writing fiction, or collaborative fiction (known in some areas as OG’s, or ongoing stories). I dunno. I don’t really have a lot of experience in marketing.

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