Wednesday, June 2, 2010
An Introvert's Guide to Anti-Market Approach
Hi, folks. It’s me again. And this time, in addition to being a twenty-five year overnight success, I am about to be an almost semi-famous author, so listen up. This could be important.
Several days ago I was browsing Seekerville and read the post by Maggie Brendan and I was completely blown away by her dedication and work ethic. Holy crap! Does the poor woman ever sleep? I am in awe of her ability to juggle so many things at once and her fearlessness in tackling such things as speaking engagements, book signings, radio interviews, and putting herself OUT THERE.
I get hives just thinking about it. (If you don’t, then stop reading now. This post is for the introverts among us. You extroverts go pierce something, or get inked, or go sing karaoke somewhere)
When my debut novel, PIECES OF SKY, came out, I had one book signing, which was agony, and one public reading, which was only marginally less stressful than a root canal (but more painful), and no radio interviews—thank you thank you thank you.
Instead I stayed at home in my jammies and did a twenty-one stop blog tour while trying to maintain my own website with eighteen more blogs and six e-newletters. (Do you have any idea how difficult it is to say almost the same thing forty-five different ways when it wasn’t that interesting in the first place? I didn’t think so.)
All that blogging was stressful enough, so I certainly applaud Maggie’s ability to handle that and signings, and face-to-face interviews and write books, while still having a life. We can all learn from someone who has been in the trenches, lived to tell the tale, and become highly successful in the process.
But there’s another take on that story, which is what I’m addressing today.
Book 2 of my trilogy, OPEN COUNTRY, was released yesterday. It’s part two of the Wilkins brothers’ family saga, with the same New Mexico 1870s setting, and many of the same characters from PIECES OF SKY. Book 3, CHASING THE SUN, out in January 2011, will continue from there, concluding the trilogy with an epilogue (I hope). And last week I contracted with Berkley for another series, so I’ll be busy for quite a while, doing what I love to do, which does NOT include any public appearances.
The point is, you can leap headfirst into the deep end of book promotion, (which might greatly enhance the branding of your name and increase your book sales), or you can timidly dip a toe in the baby pool, then scurry back into the safety of the shadows. Either way you’re a success since you’re one of few invited to the party.
So. For any aspiring authors reading this right now, here is my message to you: write.
That’s all you have to do for now. Just write. Put from your mind all the other stuff, the pressures, the marketing plans, the demands of being a finally published author. When it happens, you’ll do what you will. And for those of us who are also introverts, and who would rather eat dirt than put ourselves through an intensely public marketing campaign, we can still be authors—maybe not as successful as Maggie Brendan—but we can nonetheless lead productive lives happily plugged into our computers and shielded from the public eye. Like moles. Besides, that way if Oprah or the Pulitzer Prize Committee tries to contact us we’ll be home to take the call. A win-win.
I know, I know. It’s a cowardly approach. But the point of all this struggle is to do what brings us joy (as long as it’s legal, of course). And if writing brings you joy, then write—if being thrust into the limelight doesn’t, then don’t go there. And if you’re courageous enough to go out into the world with your book in hand and your smiley face on the back cover, then march on, my friend, with my admiration and blessing. Just don’t feel like to you have to. That’s what I’m saying.
It’s all about the joy.
PS: Thanks for inviting me to drop by today. I love this blog and have gleaned many a pearl of wisdom and enjoyed lots of chuckles reading the wonderful offerings from such gifted writers. I’m thrilled to be able to add my two cents.