Writing and (the art) self-promotion.
The title refers to a song by the band 10cc which parodied the 70’s (?) advertising campaign by the carrier National.
I was thinking of sub-titling this piece: I’m Douglas. Read me. And even reading that sentence I cringe. But I have left it as it does illustrate the point of how I feel about self-promotion.
When I first set out on the path to being published I wanted nothing to do with marketing. Nothing at all. Well, maybe signing a few books. But that was it.
“Lyz. How do I spell my name again? One es, or two?”
However, when I began to investigate Submission Guidelines of many literary agents more and more required details of what I was prepared to do to promote me/my book/s.
That’s your bloody job, I thought. And, by and large I still think this is the case. Yet it is an inescapable fact that for every JK Rowling type there are a fair few “Douglas Pearce” types, and to become a JK type author one has to be out there, and with social and electronic media being what it is these days you gotta at least be ‘on the bus, brother’.
So, you post a blog, get your mug on facebook, and maybe even your face on a mug, sunbathe on the roof of your house and wave when the Google Earth satellite goes by, and generally try to think of the least embarrassing ways of attracting the Paparazzi in an attempt to get yourself on the back page of the Weekend Newspapers or on Facetube or whatever with (hopefully) most of your clothes on.
Trouble is, I am not one of those in-your-face A Type personalities; the anonymity of sitting behind a laptop and the generally accepted solitary environment required to write has made me become somewhat reclusive these days. So much so that whereas before, say five or six years ago, I might have described myself as being sort of outgoing that is not the case any more.
When I did my first book launch I was assured by my publisher that I wouldn’t have to read anything. She lied! Can’t trust my own bloody publisher, dammit!
It was not a pleasant experience, but I survived it.
Lyz (my publisher) said afterwards that I looked decidedly uncomfortable. I just wish she hadn’t said it with a malevolent grin that had all the hallmarks of “Suck it up writer boy – you have to read as well!” written all over it. I am going to record myself for the next one and lip synch.
But all said and done, a few people have still found time to graciously write what they felt about the book. Like this….
‘The book is original, funny, entertaining, and a very good read. The plot takes you through several unexpected turns and “red herrings” and leaves you guessing ’til the end – and even after the end. The style reminds me of Terry Pratchett and Tom Sharpe with a dash of Douglas Adams. ‘
– See more at: http://www.pkaboo.net/almostdead.html#sthash.ibn7YMKR.dpuf
This is what I was made to read. Out loud. You can too, if you like…
There, Lyz See? I did it. Please can I go now?