Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Self-Promotion: A Guide to How Not To Do It

Part of the reason I am a particularly unsuccessful self-published author is the fact that I'm also a terrible self-publicist and/or marketeer. 
I don't do 'pushy'.  I can cajole, convince and steer during conversations, but give me a head-start on a two minute slot where I can openly tout my wares and I'll be a tremulous wet mess before you can say 'fer Gods' sake, spit it out woman'.

Case in point last weekend.  We were out at a brother-in-law's house (yes, the same one from 'that other' post here) and everyone was going on about what they'd been up to and what was happening currently in the Real World.
Mention was made of guttering, plumbing systems, restoring an old Volvo, the temperatures we are currently experiencing and the terrible wages your average care worker receives.

There was scant talk of anything that was happening in My World.  
And in My World lately there had been BIG THINGS.  But if you've been up to your knees in the care of re-plumbing an old Volvo in this heat, then chances are it probably hasn't hit your radar.
So... *ahem*. Nothing.  *Aaaah-HEM!*
Start BIG, was my plan... and usually I can get away with being a little 'outbursty' by reason of My age/My disposition (not sunny at the best of times) and/or My Occupation (that's the literary one and not the paid one you understand).
"I have a book out today" I said as proudly and as nonchalantly as possible.

And then...
'Oh My God, really?' came a reaction.  'What's it about? Do you have it with you? Where is it?'
*this is where I run out of puff - other people's expectations are FAR higher than my own I think.
"Okay - *still smiling* It's called STORIES FOR HOMES.  It's an anthology.  I have a story in it along with about 60 others."
'What do you mean? You didn't write it?'
"Well I have a story IN it.  Oh, I also designed the cover which I'm really....."
'So where is it?'
"Well.. it's an e-book - so it's... y'know, on Amazon.'
'You mean a Kindle book?'
"Well, yes, you can read it on a Kindle but you don't have to have a...."
'I haven't got a Kindle.  I can't see what all the fuss is about....'
"You don't need a Kindle to read an e-book - you can get a Kindle App for anything. I haven't got one, I download my books onto my pc and ..."
'You don't have a Kindle but you've published e-books? How does that work?'
*some time later*
'So how much are you getting for it?'
"It's for the charity, Shelter, so, nothing.  It's all for charity."
'Oh.' *definite disinterest*
"We're planning a paperback in the Autumn, though."
*murmur, mutter, back to the Volvo action.
This, people: THIS is why I get so heebie-jeebie about trying to announce anything to anybody in that place called the Real World.  They just don't get it, do they?
So - for those of you who DO get it, can I please proudly announce the birth of the wonderful 'STORIES FOR HOMES' anthology which is available to purchase on the Amazon Kindle site (and you DON'T have to have a proper Kindle, you really don't). 
All proceeds are going to the charity SHELTER and we have been riding high on the Amazon Kindle charts for the past week since it came out.
My story is No.27 and I might have mentioned I designed the cover too - did I?
*shrinks away because blatant self-promotion is excruciatingly embarrassing*

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