Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Help Me Pimp Me...And You!

Maven Darcy BurkeI've found it's easier/more comfortable/more fun/easier to pimp other people's books than my own. At my chapter's readers' luncheon last spring, I talked at length about both Maven Erica and Maven Lacey's books. (Maven Lacey was there and can confirm.) About mine? Nada. Later, Maven Lacey says to me, "Doh! I didn't even think to jump in with pimpage on your book!" From there, we formulated a plan in which we would pimp each other and ourselves, because honestly one is easy and one is, well, hard.

Anyone who's ever met me will tell you I love to talk. About myself, my kids, my experiences, and slowly, but now surely, about my writing and my book. But, it took awhile. Why? I wish I knew. Even though I like to talk, I don't like to blow my own horn or make a big deal or, gasp, brag. Unfortunately, promoting yourself requires you do all three.

I think being with other writers really helps. They are naturally (and genuinely) interested in what you're writing. Listening to you gush about your book means they can comfortably gush about theirs. And listening to other people self-promo is a great way to feel more comfortable about promoting yourself. I encourage you to practice as much as possible.

After going to more chapter meetings (be sure to read my last week's post for why else chapter meetings are so important), I became more comfortable promoting myself and my writing. Writing for this blog has also helped. Case in point: after starting this blog, I decided to post updates to my website home page. I guess I realized it's okay to bring attention to yourself - in fact, the more the better! (Ahem, visit my website, please. Read the excerpt for Glorious, please. Tell all your friends/agent/editor about Glorious, please.)

Now that I've pimped myself a bit, it's your turn. Tell us why we must read your book, visit your website, haunt your blog. And make it good! You never know who stops by MavenLand!

P.S. Today is my daughter's first day of first grade. My goodness, where did the time go?


Celeste said...

Eh-hem. Yummy. I just read your excerpt, Darcy.

And yes, it IS SO hard to pimp your own website or blog (while I don't mind a bit chirping about a friends stuff, which I just did yesterday). So I was determined to answer this question, but since I am nervous about protecting my uncopyrighted work (because it is brilliant, of course, and everyone would want to steal it, and would get HIGH six figure advances for it), and since I'm trying to stay fairly vague about the yummy details, I'm afraid I have no yummy excerpts posted which would draw the mavens' snarkliness upon my internet pages.

I'm getting another cup of coffee. And I'm gonna think about this little conundrum a little more. Oh, how to pimp ME...?

B.E. Sanderson said...

Awww, first day of first grade. Take lots of pictures and remember it well. Time flies from here on out. Seems like only yesterday she was getting ready for the big day, and now she's starting 9th grade.

I'm like you, Darcy. I love to talk about everything, but I can't seem to work up a good head of steam to talk about myself or my work. Heck, I used to be a salesperson, but I don't know how to sell myself. That's something I need to work on, I guess.

B.E. Sanderson said...

Umm... seems like only yesterday she... means my daughter.

Ack. Need more coffee.

Erica Ridley said...

Hi Darc! Like you, I find it difficult to talk about my stories. Even when the listener is interested. Conversations go like:

Pal: So, Mutual Acquaintance tells me you're writing a book.

Me: Yes.

Pal: What kind of book?

Me: A novel.

Pal: What's it about?

Me: A tooth fairy.

Pal: Is it a children's book?

Me: No.

Pal: Can I read it?

Me: No.

Pal: Will it be in bookstores this side of the apocalypse?

Me: Hard to say.

Pal: Okaaay. /wanders off

Me: /bangs head against nearest wall

belinda (worderella) said...

Reading the other comments makes me feel like some sort of shameless self-promoter, but... here goes anyway, haha.

People should read my blog because I post reviews on the books I read. I tell other writers why they should read the book; I post well-written excerpts from the book as well. My blog also gives advice on writing in general. I talk about my research for my historical fiction, and sometimes I vent about my frustrations with the lack of traditional romance in the bookstores today.

I try to make it interesting, but I don't know if I've succeeded...

Darcy Burke said...

Thanks Celeste!! Do consider your condundrum and get back to us. I'm dying to hear just a needn't give away all your secrets!

B.E., I knew who you meant. :-) And congrats. High school's a big deal!

Erica, snort!

Belinda, it works, it works! I'm off to check out your blog now, but since you didn't leave a link, I have to google...

beverley said...

Congratulations Ladies!!! Winning is so much fun!!!!

terrio said...

I am not a salesperson by any stretch of the imagination. BUT, I think I would have an easier time trying to sell my work. I can put the book out there, talk about the book, show off the book (eventually I hope) and pretty much give all the attention to the book. Then stand back and be ignored and invisible just the way I like it. LOL!

I do have a blog. I use it to discuss writing but as I'm still early in the writing process and still learning, it's more about life and how to fit the writing into the everyday crazyness that is my world. I believe if you click on my name, you'll be able to get there. I have a small blurb or excerpt from the WIP on there somewhere but it's going through major changes so I guess I'd better get an update on there soon!

And my daughter started 3rd grade yesterday. When did I become the mother of a 3rd grader?! I had a baby. Not a walking contradiction that loves Zach Effron and rolls her eyes at me all evening. I want the baby back.

Celeste said...

I'm baaaack. I'm done thinking! I didn't come up with an answer to your question, but I did come up with an interesting CURE for WRITER'S BLOCK. I wrote six pages yesterday.

Jacqueline Barbour said...

Hey, Celeste, maybe you can sell your cure for writer's block as an additional means of self-pimpage. I'm sure it would be a very popular product :)!

I think I've gotten better at pimping myself (at least Internet-wise) since Cobblestone picked up Carnally Ever After. Having something you can actually *sell* makes trying to sell it easier.

That said, when I'm "networking" with other writers, I usually find myself talking about the other Mavens' stories more than my own. But I figure if they do they same for me, it probably all comes out even in the end :)!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Well, the reason to hang around my place is Trevor Wolff, of course. He's inspired fan fiction although I still have no deal for his story to be published, and he drops by the blogs of his favorite groupies.

Steals their bras, apparently, too. But that's expected from Trevor.

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