Reluctant, Shameless Self-Promotion


It’s been a few weeks since the launch of Imaginary Friends and I feel that I’ve grown several layers of artificial, hard-selling skin trying to get the word out about it. While I have some industry experience in PR and marketing communications, I never realised what a struggle it would be to overtly pimp myself. But I’ve had some much-needed help along the way and this is how it’s been going:

– While I am an introvert, my husband and some of my good friends are social butterflies and helped to do a little rah-rah to their multitudes of contacts when the e-book launched. Because of their wonderful effort, Imaginary Friends actually peaked at #2 in its first week of sales on Kobo *waves pom poms*.


– I was extremely reluctant to do a video promoting the book, but it is something I see quite a lot of authors are doing these days. Sheryl, the illustrator, came up with the brilliant idea of getting her musician sister to compose a song about the book. My broadcast journalist friend, Royston, put the song and illustrations together as a music video and now, I’m so glad no one has to see me looking shiftily into a camera.

– I’m pretty weary of struggling to find some hype about the book. But our editor, Oon, helped out with the promotion by writing a rather touching post “The joy of being an editor” on his blog and doing a little audio endorsement of the book. Oon also asked MPH editor Eric Forbes to do an interview with me on his awesome book blog.

– To some really sweet friends who agreed to review the e-book on their blogs – even if it might not be something they would usually post on their websites, you guys are da bomb (special muaks to Littlebluebottle, Adorra and Faerie Imp).

– I also had a little help from someone I don’t know in real life – Anna, a big-hearted book blogger from Penang who not only did a review of the book, but also gave me suggestions on how to promote it and because of her advice, I *finally* have a Goodreads account.

– Lastly, but most importantly, there’s been Sheryl, the illustrator and a dear old friend who has been such a trooper in illustrating the book and helping with the Facebook promotion of the e-book.

I’m really, really grateful for all this help. I will always be insecure about my writing and so promoting my work will always feel like dragging sharp fingernails against a chalkboard. Here are two more scratchy-chalkboard things I’ll be doing soon (but don’t worry, I’m super friendly when I’m nervous):

– WriteCamp: I’ll be giving a short talk about e-publishing and my experience publishing Imaginary Friends this Sunday, 10 Nov, 3.45pm at the National Museum of Singapore, Seminar Room 1.

– MPH Reading in Kuala Lumpur: I’ll be reading out excerpts of Imaginary Friends and chatting a bit about the book at Setia City Mall on Fri, 20 December at 3.30pm. 



  1. Awesome! To stardom and beyond!!

  2. Shameless self promotion is apparently a necessary part of self-publishing!
    All the best for your book and your promotional efforts! :)

  3. Enid Coleslaw says:

    Hey Melanie, I expect you’ve heard of Allie Brosh, and I’m sure you’d sympathize with her Facebook post on her first book:

    Congratulations on yours! Totally feel your pain on the self-promotion thing though. I haven’t had the privilege of being published, but can imagine having to ‘sell’ myself…but hey, your book’s out! Onward!

    • Hi EC, yes I’ve been reading Allie’s blog and but haven’t come across this FB post – I think she dealt with self-promotion pretty well i.e. not too much soul-selling (and hers is the real deal heh). Thanks for dropping by!

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