Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.

- Graycie Harmon

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How Much is Too Much?

I was always a rather shy person. People often mistook it for snobbishness. In truth I was much too intimidated by people to approach them. A great deal of that has changed over the last few years, but I am essentially still quite shy.

Perhaps that is why I feel very strange marketing myself. I know that in order to sell anything, you have to reach out to your audience, and so that is exactly what I've been trying to do. Still, it all feels odd and not a little bit narcissistic.

I started this blog almost as soon as I finished my manuscript. A blog isn't so bad. People won't read it if they really don't want to. It's not in your face all the time and, best of all, it's not a hard-sell. I'm not jumping up and down and waving my arms frantically while screaming "look at me!" or "buy me, or else!" I rather like blogging, now that I have something worthwhile to blog about.

I don't mind joining sites like goodreads, or LinkedIn, Twitter, or Ziggs. I can handle those because, again, you are participating without getting in other people's faces all the time. Some of the discussions created are tonnes of fun, and I especially like goodreads because you can follow your favourite authors... as long as they are on goodreads.

I'm having a little more difficulty with Facebook. I've created another profile (look up S.m. Carrière) as my sort of professional alter-ego. From it, I've created a fan page for myself. Now that feels really strange. I'm essentially my own fan, asking others to become a fan (you can, by the way. There's a button on the top right-hand corner of this blog above my photo).

You probably noticed that I added a little bit of marketing to this blog, even though I blogging about how weird it feels to be marketing oneself (that was good, huh? Right? That was pretty slick, wasn't it?). It feels a little too narcissistic, with an air of desperation added for extra flavour.

Another problem I'm having is telling others that I am an author, even though I haven't been published yet. Now it is true that I own the material I write as soon as it is written down (copyright laws), and since I have written and I do write, that makes me a writer. It just feels like I'm lying to people when I tell them I'm an author.

I don't make a living from writing (yet). I'm a receptionist. I have written a series that I want to publish. I actually haven't published anything (yet). Since that is the case, can I rightfully call myself an author? Am I being pompous by even trying to?

Am I being silly?

I know that marketing oneself is crucial to getting noticed, but it all feels so strange. I feel a little guilty doing it. I guess it feels like I'm falling short of the expectations I am creating, that I am not all I am pretending to be.

One of my friends assured me I was just being silly, and I probably am. Let's face it, I'm not the most secure person I know and it is more than likely that my insecurities are turning something quite ordinary into something that simply feels wrong.

Whatever I feel about it, it is necessary. So I shall, with good humour, continue to market myself. When (not 'if') I am published, perhaps it won't all feel so bizarre.


K said...

I've often found the creation of "official" websites for individuals and groups curious.

Sure, it'd be silly to let someone else pretend to be you on twitter, or whatever, but aside from that, what do the people involved gain?

Do they even look at their own pages? Did they approve them? Did they think it was a useful way of spending someone else's time?

If you become successful enough to no longer have to worry about it, would your accounts simply be signed over to an assistant who will maintain it on your behalf?

And what happens when you, or anyone else in the same position suddenly leave the spotlight?

Look at the wonderful, and spectacularly briefly successful LT United.

"Last Login: 08/09/2006"

S. M. Carrière said...

All good points. The blog I would definitely maintain, I think.

As for the website... If I ever do become successfull (enough), I would probably hand that over to a publicist or something.

But we can never predict the future!