I also can’t abide the thought of anyone reading the book. I hate the book. I hate that I published the book.
As a result, self-promotion has been... difficult.
Considering how little I trust my own assessments of myself and my abilities, the entire concept behind promoting myself seems… Conceited. Haughty. Narcissistic. Bad. Wrong.
I can’t usually muster up the bravery to call it “my book.”
Of course, I’m not being modest. I'm trying to protect myself from the icky, vulnerable feeling of people being able to purchase a chunk of my brain for $2.99.
It's hard to promote something if you kind of want to keep it to yourself, without admitting it's yours.
I also have trouble considering myself as a person who possesses knowledge and can impart that knowledge with any authority. And one major way of promoting writing is through sharing expertise in blog posts like this. Theoretically, an aspiring author will be searching desperately for advice on the Internet, find my blog posts, and—if I appear helpful—the aspiring author may purchase my novel.
Unfortunately, I’ve convinced myself that no one should give advice until it’s proven successful for them. I can’t do much more at this stage in my authorial career than regurgitate the information I’ve absorbed from my own Internet scavenger hunts.
But I refer you back to the first statement—I want people to read my book.
And if there’s one area where I can allow myself to claim expertise, it’s in navigating the self-destructive pessimism employed in the practice of sabotaging personal success.
So, I present to you:
- "Oh, it’s just a dark fantasy novel, nothing serious, nothing revolutionary."
How do you know what will be revolutionary for the person in front of you? And what gives you the right to say your creation isn’t “good-good,” when the requirements for “good-good” vary so widely? Try this instead:
- "It's a dark fantasy novel! People really seem to like it!"
If you can't withstand saying something kind about your book, rely on the compliments of other people as a stepping stone.
- "Your book was AMAZING!" "I enjoyed writing it!"
- "Is it any good?" "I enjoyed writing it!"
- "That was… interesting…" "Well, I enjoyed writing it!"
- They only said that to be nice, to be polite.
- They just didn’t feel comfortable enough to tell me the truth.
- It’s more convenient for them to say they liked it.
These self-sabotaging thoughts make it impossible for anyone to have a productive conversation with you. And if anyone is trying to talk to you about your book, that's a great thing by itself!
- "She just published a book!" "SELF-published!"
- "It has a higher rating than John Grisham!" "I haven’t had enough exposure to get a low rating yet!"
- "She did it all on her own!" "That’s not true, I mean, I had an editor and beta readers and﹘"
- "Her book cover is gorgeous!" "Well, yes, but I didn’t make that."
It's important to be honest, and it's important to give credit to others who deserve it. But if all you do is contradict your fans, then you are a crazy person, and you are alienating everyone attempting to help you!
Let yourself be uncomfortable.
Because, let’s face it—I’m too determined to protect myself to have published a book that does not make me proud.
Bless the Skies makes me proud.
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. =)