Friday, 15 June 2012

Sue's Muse: Stop Being So Modest!

A few years ago my friend split up from her musician boyfriend. When I asked why they had separated she said, "There wasn't room for two egos in the family." And it was true. Everything centred around Dave and his music. Their social life consisted of gigs for the band. Their evening were spent with him composing songs for the band. It wasn't that he was famous, the band only played in local pubs, but he was the lead singer of a band, and he was someone.

Much as his ego outweighed his actual success, I always admired Dave for his total belief in himself and the band. I remembered that when I started writing, first in fandom and then as a published writer. 

As I scan over my newsfeed on Facebook I can see two authors, A and B. 

A promotes like this. LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME!! NOW!!! I AM AWESOME!
B promotes like this. Well, I, um, maybe, if you could look, no one loves me but, I, um, my book...

We write in a small genre, and there are hundreds of authors vying for readers but publishers have taken a chance on both those authors. Which one is going to be noticed? 

I may roll my eyes every time I see author A on the feed but she is THERE. She's bloody everywhere. If I'm looking for a book to read, I will remember her name. Will I remember author B? Actually, I do. Because every time I see her blushing or putting herself down I want to shake her and say, "YOU ARE AWESOME! But if you don't believe in yourself I'm damned if I've got the time to prop up your ego."

Is that harsh? Maybe. But author B is better than author A. She just doesn't believe in herself. If she doesn't, who else is going to?

12 comments:

  1. You are so right Sue, and as a perfect example of author B, I need to have a lot more faith that I write well and readers enjoy what I produce. And learn (though I hate it) to promote, promote, promote. *grins* Thanks for the advice!! *hugs*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Believe in yourself, my friend. Then promote the heck out of your books.

      Delete
  2. Well said, my dear friend!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yep, another Author B-type here. Thanks, Sue, for the pep-talk. Guess I need to stop worrying about potentially offending anyone with my self-promotion and just get on with it, already, aye?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I would say just do it. It is your career after all.

      Delete
  4. Ouch... I think i may be an A... coughs...although i dont think i say look at me I'm awesome... i just post all my good news and reviews that i like...

    uhhhmmm slinks away

    ReplyDelete
  5. Interesting, and a lesson to us all. Is 'B' English, and 'A', perhaps not English, shall we say?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm a B. I hate promoting. I just can't get comfortable with it so I sit and whine instead.

    I know I should put myself about more;. I guess I just need to get over myself.

    *shields eyes from the blinding light of RJ's awesomeness*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I'm going to say no more except it's not that hard to become an A. I was a prize B. *g*

      Delete
  7. The basic fact is that promotion is half the job of writing. In every occupation, there are tasks required that perhaps one doesn't like to do. But you do them anyway. Teachers may not like grading paper or dealing with parents, doctors may dislike dealing with insurance companies, police dislike domestic disturbance calls.

    Type A turns off people with the heavy handed sales approach, while no one knows that Type B has even written a book. I think there is a happy medium between Type A and Type B. What's requires is finesse, a MARKETING rather than sales approach.

    It's actually FAR easier to promote on the internet (blogging, FB, Twitter, etc.), than it is to do book signings and book readings in person. If you don't like blogging or tweeting, imagine standing at the podium of an empty room, praying for someone to show up. Now that's hard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that somewhere down the middle works best but lessons can be learned from the A's. The concept of marketing is one that very few authors every think of.
      What I'd like to see is more B's taking advantage of the opportunity the internet offers them from the privacy of their home.

      Delete