I was born in an era when parents taught their children to be seen and not heard. Consequently having to tout myself all over the internet and social media yelling ‘look at me, buy my book’ is a profoundly unfamiliar experience.
The photograph of me on this blog, on Facebook, on Twitter is the only photograph that I have agreed to have taken in 13 years ( I am not a fan of my face, I have an over familiar and contemptuous relationship with it based on the fact that it doesn’t match the one in my imagination and always looks like it needs a quick rub over with a warm iron, like a crumpled sheet). Now everyone gets to see my face. I have to see my face every time I shove the fact that I have a published novel in someone else’s face. For someone who was bred to be seen and not heard, this is a more than uncomfortable state of affairs.
Apparently this process is called self promotion, and you need to do it if you have created something that you want to sell. Apparently it is necessary. Apparently I must establish myself as a ‘brand’. I don’t think I’m going to be very good at it, I’m a middle aged housewife who likes to write books and who, until recently, wore my obscurity in the same way that I wear my comfy old cardigan; it’s shabby and boring but also familiar and cosy.
I’m not knocking the process and love to see other people embracing the opportunity to get out there and meet the world. I just don’t really know how to do it well, or if I am doing it right…let’s face it, when I was a kid we thought we were the bees knees if we had a private landline. The nearest thing to an internet that I was familiar with was the thing my Nan shoved on her head at night to stop her curlers falling out! I am adrift in this world of mobile communication, instant info, social networking and selfies and I am a bit worried that I’m going to make a fool of myself. I probably will, and as long as I don’t offend anyone that’s fine. I’ll live. In the world I grew up in it would be tomorrows chip paper or yesterday’s gossip. But ruddy google lives forever!