I’ve reached a rather devastating conclusion this evening: I’m far too British for my own good.
I’m modest. I can’t confidently identify any brass instrument, so how can I possibly blow my own trumpet?
I squirm with uncomfortable admiration when reading some authors’ self-publicity on the social networks: I’d rather sit in a bath full of slugs than launch a daily (let alone hourly) self-promotion campaign. I did it once, for five days, and although the event was successful in attracting new readers, I found the experience very stressful. Pushy sales tactics have me looking for the door, and being pushy is something that feels very unnatural to me. I’m aware that the authors who engage in regular self-publicity are the ones who are getting noticed, gaining followers and selling books, but that does not make the slug-bath any less attractive.
I can’t cope with more than an occasional plugging of my books / website (there’s even a new one!) (see what I did there?); the idea of doing that on more than a weekly basis fills me with discomfort. I’m still a little shy about telling people about my books, and even the relative anonymity of the internet doesn’t really help with that.
What, then, am I to do about this?
I’m British, and I’m proud of that. I’m also the product of my upbringing, my experiences, my culture, my values … everything that’s shaped the person that I call ‘me’. If that makes me modest and reticent and rather afraid of the limelight, then so be it. I’ll always be proud of my books and thankful for my readers, and I’ll never stop writing or hoping that others enjoy my work.
Too British for my own good? Maybe: the path I’ve chosen will never lead to the best-seller list.
On the other hand, all that limelight would wreck my very pale, very British complexion 😉