by Rachel Brady
Three things never get easier for me:
1. Small talk
3. Book promotion
I can't grow plants, carry a tune, or do plenty of other things either, but the things on this list seem to present the most handicaps for me in life.
Small talk is tiring. Expending energy to have non-conversations exhausts me. I prefer to save my enthusiasm for other exchanges that actually have a point, or at least some real, honest-to-goodness entertainment value.
Fundraising is an enigmatic blend of Love and Hate. I want to support all my causes and be a part of the solution, but how do I do that without annoying humankind? I don't like making shoppers avoid eye contact or causing homeowners to feign absenteeism when I ring their doorbells. ("Just give me your order forms, kids. I'll buy all the cookies myself.")
But the worst is book promotion. Don't tell my publisher, but I would rather stab myself in the eye with a pencil.
My first book was in print before I told anyone I knew that I liked to write. Admitting to trying to write a novel felt pompous somehow, so I did all my writing in secret. This was fine until it actually got published. Then I wanted everyone to know. But I didn't want to have to be the one to tell them. It is strange how something that was personally so rewarding also made me extremely self-conscious.
Letting the world know that a new book is out, for me, sounds something like this: "I wrote a book and I hope you will read and enjoy it but don't misunderstand me I'm not pressuring you to buy it oh nevermind forget I brought it up please like me anyway here's my card."
In publishing, they tell us that nobody will buy a book they don't know exists. Authors are encouraged to market ourselves, speak widely (I think this includes small talk), maintain a web presence, use Facebook, tweet like crazy people, place ads, schmooze, network, hob-nob, and wash cars on street corners in bikinis. Whatever it takes to get the word out.
It really suits some people. For me, everything about book promotion feels uncomfortable and awkward so I'm trying to think of creative ways to get other people to do it for me. I'm bartering books for banter over at my blog for the next week. And I would would really appreciate it if you guys would stop over and help me out.
I'll give away a book here today too. Leave a comment to enter. It shouldn't be a pep talk like, "Go get 'em! Be confident!" because that doesn't work on me. Rather, I think the signed copy will go to the commenter with the best "Foot in Mouth" story. Because, really. Who doesn't enjoy a good Foot in Mouth story?
One last thing. If you are a librarian or book club groupie, or if you know one, I always have a standing offer to send a signed copy of either of my titles to folks who introduce Emily Locke to their reading groups.
This concludes my awkward "I have a new book out" post. Please like me anyway.