Zen and the Art of Self-Promo

I wrote last week about the local writers’ group I belong to. Yesterday I stopped by a little bookstore to pass on some fliers I’d made to the leader of our sordid little group, and fell in love.

Let me set the scene here – this little bookstore is in an old house, with lots of little closets and nooks and crannies to get lost in. It’s wall-to-wall books, on any subject that you’d like to read about. I could live there. This lady, Kelly, does live there. Well, technically in the apartment attached to the back, but still.

So she introduces me to the owner, and I freeze solid. This is where I should be telling her about my book, I say to myself. It’s not like she has a huge clinetele, and she’s just one bookstore owner, yet I feel like I should be out there saying, “Look at me!” whenever a book buyer walks past.

And yet I can’t. There’s something about telling people about the book that makes me feel arrogant. Truth be told, I wasn’t going to tell anyone in the writers’ group I was published, but then Kelly asked straight out if I’d sold. Shoot. Should have lied. Because the second I told her I had a book coming out, I felt like an idiot. No, I have no idea why. Low self esteem? Be my guess.

I don’t want people to think I’m tooting my own horn, either. And yet I need to learn how to get out that and shout, “Look at me!” whenever a book buyer walks by. That’s part of my job now. I’ve got to learn to promote myself and not fear the arrogance factor – be aware of it, but not fear it. I need to learn to get out there and sell my book, which means, in a way, selling me.

Ah heck. At least I have a few months to get used to the idea.

By the way, the boys and I are stopping by the bookstore today on the way home. We need some Junie B. Jones books like you gotta see to believe. And the older one, having read every Harry Potter book over the summer, along with the Lemony Snickets, needs a new series to get into. I’ll keep you updated as to what that will be.

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