Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Humility vs. Publicity

Last night I was quietly enjoying a social event in a local coffee shop, when an acquaintance commented, "I hear you're a writer! You kept that quiet!" I mumbled something about having a new book out next month (plug, plug) and probably went a little pink.

The problem is, I don't generally announce my presence in a room by crying "Make way for the published author!" Neither do I greet people with the words, "Hello, I'm Anna and I'm a published author." Somehow it just never seems like something you can drop into conversation. Is it British reserve which makes me feel it's really not quite appropriate to talk about your achievements? Although I am proud of having achieved my ambition, I worry that mentioning it sounds like bragging, so mostly I don't mention it. (Also I don't want to be asked to write the roadshow, or to help anyone with their novel.)

So now I face this little problem in that I am supposed to be telling people about my new book at every opportunity. The PR people at my publishers want me to be as public (online, at least) about it as possible, proclaim it from the rooftops and generally try to persuade everyone that it's fantastic and they absolutely must buy it and read it and tell their friends how great it was.

I'm finding this quite difficult because I'm actually really embarrassed at the idea of anyone reading it. What will they think? Will they judge me on it? If they don't enjoy it will I feel guilty for making them waste their money? If I know them personally, will it make things awkward for us socially in future?

I really can't go all out telling everyone how great it is, because, although I put my best effort into writing it and I think it's probably a fun read, there are some pretty fabulous books out there which are much, much better.

So here's the deal. The book is called Honeymoon Heist and it's published on 8th February. My publishers have asked me to say "Please buy it", but you don't have to read it, OK? The cover is very pretty, just put it on your shelf and admire the artwork once in a while.


Tristi Pinkston said...

I've read your books, and I happen to know you're a very talented author. I have no doubt that your new book will also be incredible. And because you know you didn't pay me to say this, you can trust my word. So keep that chin up, girl!

Lynn Gardner said...

I've been in the same ward forever and there are some people who don't know that I write either, unless someone mentions it in their presence. I'm with you - I can't blow my own horn. But we do have to step outside our comfort zones to help the sales of our books, even when we feel terribly uncomfortable. Do you have a good friend that could host a "coming out" party for your new book? You wouldn't have to do it - she could!