Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Read me! Read me!

I've been thinking about promotion lately. I freely admit I'm not all that good at it. I can't do the "I am better than X, read me" post, or the "I am great, look at this!" one either.
I write what I love to write and I'm continually astonished that industry professionals and readers enjoy what I write, too. They even take me seriously.
Not to say that I don't, because I work very hard at it. But I didn't know I could do it. Then I read a book of mine that I've let "rest," before I edit it and think, "That's not half bad." And when I get a severe round of edits, it's almost a relief because I knew something was wrong and I couldn't quite work it out.
Which brings us back to promotion. Brits are notoriously bad at trumpeting their own worth, and I seem, in this regard at least, to be typically British. I cannot stand up and say I'm better than all the others, I can't even admit I'm a published writer sometimes. I still blush.
Daft? Yes, maybe. But a lot of writers do it because they feel they're socially inept, that they don't fit in, in a strange kind of way and perhaps they're used to it by the time they achieve any kind of success. Used to people thinking they're a bit odd, used to the pitying looks when they talk about their work.
After that, promotion can be a bit tricky. But I've found a way, one that works for me and doesn't leave me looking either obnoxiously pushy or stupidly self-effacing. Just about.
Of course, what I dream about, what every author dreams about, is being told that she is great, having people talk about their books and how much they enjoy them. Some achieve it, some naturally, most with a bit of artful promotion, the kind I don't seem to be able to do, or afford. Which is a bit strange because I did a stint in marketing and for the most part enjoyed it very much. But when it comes to my own wares, I'm not so brilliant.
Am I complaining? Not really, just indulging in a bit of wishful thinking.