Saturday, December 09, 2006

Konrath's Pimping

I was over at JA Konrath's blog today, and he has a great post about pimping other author's books, when promoting your own.

Coming from the music field, I have to say that there is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, that comes close to the success of word of mouth. Maybe getting on tv, but I don't know anything about that arena.

See, I think as artists, we are always striving to be better. Part of that striving to be better is really saying, deep down, that there's a part of our craft that we'd like to improve. And if it has room for improvement, it's not perfect.

I always say that art is striving for unattainable perfection.

And so, when I'm selling myself, that little voice in me is always thinking, "But this part isn't so great. This bit could have been better. I could do that a lot better." It brings out all my fears and insecurities and worries.

Because I don't want to misrepresent myself, and if I have just the teensiest little fault, I hate to say, "Buy me, I'm good."

As Tess Gerritsen said, "Pimping for one's friends is a lot easier than pimping for oneself!"

It's so much easier to gush enthusiastically about a friend that you know kick's ass at their craft. It's so much more honest and you don't have to push away your own insecurities.

That's not to say that one SHOULDN'T be able to sell their own stuff. It's just not a skill I'm all that good at.

My point, though, is that I've spent most of my career getting other people gigs, rather than myself. I can think of ONE gig that I got myself, for myself. It just doesn't work that way.

I don't know if it's karma, or what, but you can't go wrong, pimping others. What goes around, comes around, and there is plenty of room for everyone.

4 bonus scribbles:

Edie 12/09/2006 09:29:00 PM  

Spy, I so agree. I love it when someone I know sells. I tell everyone I know who's a reader -- and even a few I meet while standing in line somewhere. And the more writers I know, the more it's happening. :)

spyscribbler 12/10/2006 07:07:00 PM  

Isn't it the truth? Everyone's selling! It definitely makes it feel like a doable goal.

Bernita 12/11/2006 09:52:00 AM  

Certainly is easier.
I always feel like a snake oil salesman just writing a query letter, fergawdssake.

spyscribbler 12/11/2006 01:35:00 PM  

No kidding! I mean, when I send in a story or something, I really want to say, "I'm sorry, I did my best. I hope it'll work, but see, I chose to try this and this. It probably could be better, but it's the best I can do at this point."

I have to grit my teeth and force myself not to say anything! I know I'm supposed to be and act all confident in my work, so I try, but the truth is that I always want to do better.

And yet, if we changed that feeling, what would motivate us to keep pushing ourselves to be better?