Promo…or Why I Can’t Sell Myself

And I don’t mean I can’t blog about stuff – I can.  I Twitter. I Facebook.  But that’s about my limit. Let’s be honest – it’s not like I have 4000 followers that actually care about what I’m doing.  (And really, maybe that’s for the best).  But I belong to a large number of mailing lists and forums where people create their signatures to show their contest wins/finals/books pubbed, etc. And I guess I get that. I mean, it’s free advertising, on the off chance that someone might see your name and remember it…and maybe buy your book if they come across it in the local Walmart or the checkout lane at Giant.  (And yes, there’s a part of me that would love to see something I’d written just hanging out next to the Circus Peanuts, but I digress). I’m not sure I get the online book trailers on youtube or whatever, but to each their own.

My point is, I have a hard time actually honking my own horn. I’ll say what I have to say here, but I really hesitate to throw it all over the place – and maybe that’s just something I need to grow out of – that whole “girls should be modest” thing that I grew up with. I’m not saying I don’t like my ego stroked – who doesn’t? But even with a couple of contest wins, it doesn’t feel like I’ve earned anything.  I’ve written *one* book, which I’m sending out with mixed results (like everyone else). The horror stories I heard from some people at RT about having written 12 books and how it took 15 years to get pubbed…*they’ve* earned it. (Do I *really* deserve a Fan page on Facebook? Um. No. No I don’t. And chances are, you probably don’t either. Stop inviting me over and over and over again.)  ***

And yeah, if I ever actually *get* pubbed, I’ll be making more of a fuss about that, for sure… But it just seems like there’s a glut of people yammering about how their book is better/different/brilliant/whatever – after a while I think the original message gets lost in the crowd. And maybe that’s the point – you have to do something else to stand out – contests, giveaways, blog interviews, etc. Perhaps it’s just part of being in the trenches, so to speak, but I’d be really interested in seeing some of those numbers to find out.

On the other hand, I loathe people who promo for the sake of winning something and then drop you the second they’ve won (i.e. vote for my book to win the blah blah blah).  I’ve had it happen several times, and while I’m genuinely happy said person is getting a leg up, the chances of me actually buying their book just dropped right down the toilet.

As a wise person once told me: “Be kind to the people you meet on the way up, because you’re going to run into them again on the way down.”

*** Although, in a pithy bit of irony, I did give Phin his own Twitter page.  –> http://www.twitter.com/PhintheUnicorn  Because, really, who *doesn’t* want to talk to a perverted unicorn? And no, it was a joke.  Swear it.

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2 Responses to Promo…or Why I Can’t Sell Myself

  1. Darchala says:

    Perhaps it's a backward way of thinking, but my attention is generally drawn to the subject (be it book, person, whatever) that isn't blowing its own horn. In a sea of flashing lights, the dimmer, moderate spot is where my eye goes. Because it *is* different to let a work speak for itself, and immodesty–while it will get attention–also smacks of desperation, and it drives many people away.

  2. mynfel says:

    I can agree with that. And I have to say that I've also met some very gracious authors who manage to walk that very fine line between gentle promo and being obnoxious. There's an art to it, I think…

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