I love writing books, but in common with a large majority of my fellow authors I loathe having to promote them. I mentioned in a previous post that I come from a generation where we were taught to be seen and not heard, consequently schlepping about the place constantly touting my book is an uncomfortable experience. I loathe it because it feels pushy, cheeky and just a tiny bit needy. I do it because I have to. Any new author who thinks that just because they have signed with a publisher it means they don’t have to promote their work is barking up the wrong career. Unless your publisher has given you an immense advance, which they then need to recoup from your sales, the chances are there will be few bells and whistles for your debut. My publisher gives me the odd toot on the tin whistle that the marketing department put in their Christmas cracker last year, which is fine 🙂 They may parp the party horn a little louder if I manage to make them some money, which will only happen I sell lots of books 😉
Those of you who are familiar with me from twitter will know that I do promote my book there, I try not to do it too much and for the most part I enjoy twitter for the social elements rather than the marketing opportunities – but hey ho, needs must when the devil drives…which leads me to the point of this post, how low can self promo go?
Being a woman of a certain age I am now entitled to certain privileges at the expense of the NHS – one of those is the three yearly mammogram. I was called up for my first one this week. On Thursday afternoon I arrived at my local supermarket car park, climbed into the back of a truck and stripped off…yes, the NHS is cash starved! It’s not quite as bad as it sounds, there were chairs in the truck and a curtain (which didn’t quite fit) across the ‘strip off in there’ cubicle. Once I had got myself nice and half naked, a nice lady came to take my details – it turns out we share a birthday, so we got chatting while she was manhandling my middle aged mammaries into her x-ray device (emphasis on the vice…) Of course, we eventually get to the question ‘so what do you do?’
Yep, this is how low self promo can go – I flogged my book whilst one boob was clamped flat into an instrument of medically devised torture. I’m not ashamed (well, I am a bit) you have to grab these opportunities while you can! So while she grabbed leftie, I grabbed the chance to tell her all about my book… She’d better buy it, I sustained mortal injury to both my pride and my bosom selling that book!
A prize to anyone (who is also of a certain age) that can tell me which Derek and Clive quote is running through their head right now. I’ll give you a clue, don’t call me Mabel! ;).