This blog was featured on 08/30/2016
Countdown to Publication -- The Happiness Project
Written by
Gretchen Rubin
December 2009
Written by
Gretchen Rubin
December 2009

Days remaining to publication date – 8.

The Happiness Project is an account of the year I spent testing the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. This is my fourth book (or my fifth book, if you include a book I did in collaboration with an artist).

My pub date grows ever closer. I’ve crossed a lot of things off my to-do list that are meant to encourage people to take the plunge and buy the book.

I did a book trailer. I posted sample chapters. I put together an offer of bonus materials for people who pre-order. I posted my book-tour schedule. I remind people to join the 2010 Happiness Challenge, to make 2010 a happier year.

Despite the fact that I have some technological bells and whistles, my book is a very traditional kind of book. Sometimes I feel stretched, having a foot in both worlds. I love them both, but it can be a lot to manage.

For example, I realized that I’ve been so busy making sure my online readers know about my book, my book tour, etc. that I haven’t done much to let my actual friends know! So that’s a task for this week.

I feel sheepish about all these efforts. It feels pushy and obnoxious to do so much self-promotion. I comfort myself with two reminders. First, if I keep providing good information about happiness (and maybe even if I don't), I don’t have to feel apologetic about mentioning my book. After all, writing books for people to buy is my livelihood! Second, whenever people I know have books coming out, I like being reminded.

That said, it’s not easy to do this self-promotion. I try to remember that I’m really promoting ideas and strategies about how to be happier. That makes it easier.

How about you? Have you found it tough to promote your own work? How have you managed to overcome any squeamishness -- and what worked?

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  • Michelle Cox

    Yes, I feel the same way about self-promotion, Gretchen!  It's a skill/task I didn't realize I needed to possess/participate it when I first started writing.  I recently joined the Twitter world (shock!) and find, actually, that it's easier for me to promote to strangers than FB or personal friends.  I feel like friends are thinking, "Oh, her again?  Still pushing that book?  When's it coming out again?  April?  Why's she reminding us now?  It's bloody November!"  

    Good luck with your new book!  I'm sure you'll do fine having been through it all already!