Practicing my Shameless Self-Promotional Skills

Posted by on May 30, 2008 in Writing | 12 comments

Earlier this week I Google-searched the title of the anthology that will contain one of my short stories. It’s called Two of the Deadliest, and I hoped to discover its publication date, originally set for 2008. You’ll see I’ve updated my sidebar: April, 2009. Sigh.

Besides the pub date, my search also returned results for many well-known novelists who have mentioned their short stories on their websites, only they do a better job of promoting themselves and the anthology than I do. They actually mention the titles of their stories, for one thing, and maybe a sentence or two about their stories. This got me thinking…

Self-promotion: A skill that doesn’t come naturally to me.

End result, I need to exhibit a little shamelessness. It’s not like I have oodles of fiction credits under my belt yet. I mean, really, the following tidbit is big news for a newbie like me:

Elizabeth George, New York Times bestselling novelist, sent me an email asking me if I’d like to write a short story for her anthology, edited by her. I’ll be one of a few newbies included in a section entitled “Introducing….”

Very cool, yes? I ought to fling the news about for the whole world to view. Look at me! Look at me! Which is what this blog post is all about (all the while feeling uncomfortable even though I can be as full of myself as I wanna be on my blog!).

Self-promotion: Not for the faint of heart.

The funny thing is that for the seasoned novelists, the anthology is probably not a huge deal. I imagine most of them pumped out their short stories in under a week while I worked my fanny off over quite a few months to get mine right. Once again, sigh.

Here’s the scoop on Two of the Deadliest: It will be an all-female collection of mystery and crime stories centered around the themes of lust and greed — “two of the deadliest” sins. My story is called “Paddy O’Grady’s Thigh” and features an inexperienced journalist, two Irish Travellers, and one dug-up corpse.

There.

Self-promotion: Not so bad when I cringe and do it anyhow.

12 Comments

  1. Do you know about the Shrinking Violet’s website? They are YA writers, but the whole point of their website is book promotion for introverts. It’s a great site. For the month of May they featured an independent bookstore every day. Check them out here: http://shrinkingvioletpromotions.blogspot.com/

  2. Hi, Lisa! Thanks for the comment on my blog post. I believe that we are in the same proverbial boat, as it were! Having recently completed a novel, I set to work researching what’s going on in publishing, and lo and behold, writers are expected to be public figures now!

    I, too, am a fairly private person, and originally would have preferred to pull a JD Salinger (I don’t need personal fame, for example) but I realized that if I have any hope of getting my novel out there, I needed to suck it up and get myself out there first.

    At first, I found the whole idea to be rather distasteful, but I am actually finding a balance now that I have gotten the ball rolling. I never would have imagined that I would have a MySpace page (MySpace?! I’m 35!!), but I have been pleasantly surprised to see just how many other writers around my age are on there. And it’s actually been kind of cool to meet and connect with other writers whom I would probably never get to meet otherwise. Even though it’s “virtual,” it is a way to build a sort of community.

    As for the blog, well, that’s also something I thought I would never do, but now that I’ve started, it’s actually kind of fun. I’m sure I’ll be discussing this kind of thing again on my blog, so please feel welcome to stop on by again. I’ll do the same. Cheers!

  3. Thanks for responding to me in response to my response to your post! Hah!

    1. I’d prefer to do the Salinger thing, but alas…
    2. MySpace! I’m not ready for that yet! But I know I gotta do it sometime.
    3. Ditto on blogging: never thought I’d do it. I consider it kind of a hobby now, weirdly enough.

  4. I understand your myspace trepidation. Feel free to check out mine to get an idea of how it can be done in a clean and simple fashion. You can also visit the profiles of some of my “myspace friends” and see what other writers are up to. Here’s the link:

    http://www.myspace.com/robertwalkeronline

    Also, why can’t I find a link to your novel on your page here?

  5. Thanks for your comment on my blog! I followed your link back and found this post and all I can say is… oh how I relate about self-promotion. When the time comes I don’t know how I’ll do it. I always feel uncomfortable giving details about the good things.

    That said, CONGRATULATIONS on getting your story in that anthology! The book (and your story) sounds really good. I want to read it.

  6. I like your blog. I’ll be back. When it comes to self-promotion, I wish I were a natural ham…

  7. Hey, does it help if I add your link to my blog? I have readers (but generally, a lot of lurkers – which is perfectly fine.) Anyway, I’m determined to stick with the blog thing – it’s my favorite writing exercise.
    Congrats on the Eliz. George antho.!!!

  8. That would be great! It’s funny that you suggest that today because yesterday I finally got my blogroll going and have since been thinking about that kind of thing…

  9. All of us HATE self-promotion…so you’re in good company. But blogging–now that’s something else again. Congratulations on your success, and on getting started with blogrolls and commenting and the like. It really is fun, isn’t it? It’s a whole new world….

  10. Thanks for visiting, Sandi. I see from your site that you’ve got published books out there in the world–that’s a lot of self-promotion. From my point of view, that makes you a bit of an expert!

    Blogging is pretty crazy; I gotta watch out it doesn’t suck me in too much…

  11. Joelle!

    Just retrieved your comment above from my spam folder! Why did it land there anyhow?!?!?

    Will leave a message on your blog…

  12. Robert,

    Your second comment above landed in Spam as did Joelle’s. I don’t what’s going on. There were six other perfectly fine comments in there also…First time this has happened.

    I’ll leave a message on your blog also…

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