Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Self-promotion seems quite important to authors
There are two authors I've run across on various forums (various is used to protect their identity) whose prose is weak. They are in dire need of getting some feedback on critique circle or listening to some advice on Absolute Write, yet they seem to be selling a lot of books. They use cliche themes, cliche plots, shallow characters, and the wrong words in the wrong order. Ugly words. Not a graceful one among them. But they pound the pavement like nobody else.
It's not jealousy. I don't begrudge them the sales. In fact it makes me happy in some perverse way that someone can "get ahead" in this business on hustle like that. It's like a no-talent soccer player who hustles his way onto the World Cup winning team by being "scrappy" and "tenacious."
I know there are other authors it irks, because they believe themselves to be better, and they probably are in many cases. But that's not enough.
My problem is that I absolutely detest tooting my own horn about anything. It runs against my nature. It's not that I'm not self-confident; I happen to thing I'm pretty good at some things, like, uh, lovemaking, yeah, the best there is (if the wife ever reads this, this is the point at which she pees her pants laughing and starts telling me I should write comedy). But who the hell wants to tell people how wonderful their writing is day in and day out? I sure as hell don't want to. I want people to tell me how great it is, not the other way around. And authors are by their very nature reclusive, shy, and self-effacing.
I think the goal here is to get rich enough that you can hire someone to do that for you. Of course, you have to do it yourself first in order to get that rich, so in many cases, neither the chicken nor the egg comes at all.
p.s. I just started looking at some cover art in case I have to find my own and I'll post some of the more interesting ones I find which are available from time to time as I come across them:
I actually like one of these more than the other two. (no hints as to which) But none of them convey exactly what I'd want. I contacted the artist of the one I like and his price is reasonable for doing three custom covers for me to choose from.