Monday, December 21, 2009

Me, Me, Me, Me

"Girl Before a Mirror" by Pablo Picasso @ Art.com

These days I have a real problem with promotion. There I said it and I wasn't struck down by lightening. I am, however, struck by my own bull s#*!.

My next short story will come out this April in the anthology, Orange County Noir. When I first saw the cover, I immediately searched for my name. There it was! When we began scheduling events, I'd get that little "what a minute" feeling when my name was at the bottom of the press release or I wasn't asked to participate in certain events. Its painful and a little embarrassing to admit that I am "one of those" authors who are always seeking her spot in the limelight. But its the truth.

Back when the publisher let me go and then later my agent, I learned that self-centeredness makes for a very painful and small world. In light of that lesson, I stepped back from promoting my wares, shifted this blog to showcase other authors, artists and musicians and went back to my writing. So along comes Orange County Noir and here I thought I'd worked through all that ego stuff. But it was there waiting and as I began my promotion plan, it pounced.

Don't get me wrong. I'm grateful to have published my stories and the readers who have enjoyed them. I love what I do and that I'm able to make a living through it. I don't mind sharing my experiences through the blog and I realize that promoting the book is part of the whole enterprise. But how does one get the word out about the work without promoting oneself?

I'm not sure. Maybe its enough to be aware of my ego when it chimes in with: they could've put your name before that guy's, or couldn't they have used a larger font? Hopefully its enough to go into the planning and execution with the idea that the work is the star, not me the author.

To stay aware of the landmines inherent in promotion and marketing, I've posted this quote above the laptop and in the promo plan and may possibly tattoo it on my left wrist:

"Writers should be read, but neither seen nor heard."
-Daphne Du Maurier

I'll let you know how it goes.

7 comments:

Margo Candela said...

I've always admired your work ethic, Mary, and you work hard at what you do. Is a wanting little acknowledgment such a bad thing? Think of it that way, you did the work, you should get the recognition.

Mary Castillo said...

Acknowledgment is cool but giving myself acknowledgment is tiresome. I was thinking of writing dirty books under the name, "An Anonymous Senorita."

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