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Monday, February 11, 2013

Promo, Perspiration and Pain

Muse Monday
I did another promotion appearance Saturday night. There's always an opportunity to learn something at these events. And it usually hurts. I'm not a shy person. Oh how uncomfortable these learning activities must be for shy authors. But even though shyness is not a personality trait pour moi, there's still a bit of suffering, and I usually wonder at some point why am I here?

I'm an author, I want to write - not sell myself or my product. Unfortunately, there's no getting around the fact that in order to find any success at being an author, you have to get out there and convince total strangers that your books are better than all the other millions of books they might consider reading. I'm not very good at it, I've decided.

What usually happens is my attention is drawn to the other authors around me. Watching them in action, or at least those who seem to enjoy or hate the process, shows me what I should and should not be doing. Avoiding what I shouldn't do is much easier than adopting the methods of those who appear to be successful. I know to stand, unlike the writer who crouches in her seat afraid that someone might actually speak to her. Smiling isn't a problem for me. I like people and feel friendly. But - big but - confession time - I have trouble with those first few words to reach out, rope that reader and make he or she salivate over my books.

Speaking of salivating, I have another problem as I see it in the world of romance novels - no drop dead, hunky hero on any of my covers. I use to pooh pooh the importance of such a thing, but at a walk by promo you better believe the cover with a yummy hero will get more than a few ladies to stop in front of you.

I can't change the covers, but I can work on my spiel. All I have to do is figure out how to relay how I really feel about my books. They're entertaining, and I have to be able to say that in a totally intriguing way in three sentences. Not an easy task for me. Feel my pain?

Now that that's off my chest, I'm going back to writing my current book. I'll think about this promo stuff more tomorrow.


  1. It pains me to promote myself. I'll be doing my first book signing at the RT convention in May. Nothing like stepping out there, into a lake instead of the pond first. I'm nervous and excited all at the same time. I even have the hunk on my cover. ;^) I have a few tactical ideas to get readers to visit me and hopefully want to buy my book, but I'm not holding my breath. Great post, as usual.

    1. You'll do good, Jody. You have a great cover so part of your work is done for you. Just be up and approachable. Dive in, lady!

  2. Hi, Brenda,

    Oh, yes! I feel your pain. I'm not shy but I'm not a social butterfly either, which really yanks on the tail of the promo bunny. I've never done a book signing, I get hives just contemplating the idea. I wish you luck with sales.

    And you too, Jody!

    I don't envy either of you, but I do admire your ability to get out there despite it all. :)

    1. Thanks, Monique. I've grown more shy with experience if that's possible. When a bit newer, I was fearless. A few disappointments can do that. I guess it's a case of just getting back off after every fall.

  3. Thanks Monique. We can only do what we feel comfortable with. Otherwise, we'll destroy ourselves.

  4. I hate all that stuff! If only we could just write and it was somebody else's job to promote. Aaarrggghhh!!!

    1. Exactly, Jenny. I guess we all have the same problem!