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.