So just how do you put yourself out there without sounding completely desperate or becoming totally annoying? When is too much – TOO MUCH?
To be good at this sort of thing you have to sell yourself as much as you sell your book. I’m uncomfortable with blowing my own horn in some ways. Telling you things about myself in the blog is mostly anecdotal (yes I had to look up the spelling), and it is almost always done in a way that lets you know that I’m an idiot. I make huge mistakes that I hope others will learn from, and I’m okay with you knowing that I screwed up.
But. standing on a street corner and beating my own drum is just not something I know how to do. In truth, it’s not something I ever want to be good at. I find all that self-gratifying “Look at me – I’m the best writer you’ve ever seen!” stuff makes me a little ill. Well – and it’s a lie. I’m not and neither are you! Good is acceptable; Best is always for someone else – usually someone DEAD. Sure, you should talk about the good things you’ve accomplished on your website. If you got a good review, say so. But there’s a fine line between okay and too much.
I’m really uncomfortable with “spin.” When I see the words Bestselling Author, I immediately want to know the qualifier. If you’re in the top 100 in the paid category because your books actually sold, then I’m good with you using the title. If you’re in the top 100 of the download numbers because you gave them away with no sales to back that number up and you use this title, then you’re nothing but a liar. If you are called a bestselling author by a competent authority such as the N.Y. Times, then I’m good with that. But, if you are one of only ten writers publishing through some no-name press – that don’t count. Under that criteria, I’m a bestselling author too since I’m the only author in this stable. If one of your books sells betters than the others that may make it your best selling book, but that doesn’t make it a bestseller. If that’s the criteria then Protecting Parker is a bestseller.
Whooohhhhooooo! Look at me, I’m a bestselling author! Quick, somebody, kiss my damn ass!
The truth is that if you can’t make a living off your sales, or you didn’t make the top 100 of a real sales list, then you need to remove that title from your website and author pages. Because in reality, you’re just some desperate, needy wannabe, trying to sound better than you are.
I don’t ever want to be included in that group.
The other thing is that I’d rather not drive my friends crazy by trying to jam my books down their throats on a regular basis. As a result, I don’t bang my friends over the head with requests to share my announcements or blogs. I link my blog to my Facebook author page and to my personal Facebook page and some folks read it and some folks don’t. I don’t beg them to go to Amazon and like my books, or go to my author page and like me, nor do I beg them to buy my books. I don’t continually post that my book is still for sale. Duh! If they didn’t buy it when it came out, embarrassing yourself by multiple postings will not help. Especially on your personal page! That type of behavior simply goes back to the desperate and needy thing I mentioned earlier.
Would I like my books to be noticed? Yes. Very much!
Would I like more sales? Yes please!
Would I like my friends to share my notices and talk about my books? Absolutely!
Will you see me lying about what I’m doing or spinning who I am? Nope.
Will you see me abusing or annoying my friends to gain a sale? Never.
So, while some folks are out there beating their own drum, blowing their own horn, and bugging the crap out of their friends – I’ll be right here writing.