Updated: Jun 4
Long gone are the days where authors could just write their book and let their publisher handle the marketing. Oh, no, nowadays, authors need to be front and centre of the marketing process. These days, authors need to have an online profile. They need to come out of their shell. They need to talk to people. They need to discuss their ideas, their process, their ‘journey’. And worst of all… They need to show their face!
For an introvert or a shy person, this aspect of the writing business is akin to torture.
In Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain said:
Introverts… “listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk but enjoy deep discussions.”
This is me. And I’m shy, which does nothing but compound the introversion.
Talking about myself is difficult. And when I do talk about myself, it’s like a floodgate has been opened. I share too much and have no filter. Uncontrolled words burst out of my mouth in an explosion of embarrassment.
It’s equally hard to post photographs of myself, especially as I get older. The dark circles under my eyes and deep, deep crow’s feet at their edges… It’s not pretty.
And then there’s that guilty feeling whenever I upload a post about my book to Instagram or Facebook. I feel like I’m begging, or worse, exploiting the friendships I’ve built with my followers.
It’s all extraordinarily painful.
So, it’s hard to believe that when my publisher asked me to participate in a joint book launch, I said yes.
My wonderful publisher, Dixi Books, was launching three titles on the same day. As such, they decided to celebrate with a global online book launch. As soon as I said yes, I had to wonder what on earth I was thinking. What on earth had made me say yes?
Well, the answer’s pretty simple really. I’d written a book that I was proud of. I wanted people to learn about it and I wanted people to read it. And the only way that was going to happen was by jumping on board the marketing machine.
Three weeks out from the launch date, we started planning and set an agenda. We talked about technical issues, giveaways, and the importance of keeping things upbeat. And then my anxiety went into overdrive. I knew I’d made a terrible mistake by agreeing to be a part of it. I started having sleepless nights.
The day before the launch, my family and I converged on my eldest son’s house. Everyone arrived to give me moral support. And technical support because I suck at that kind of thing. What can I say, I’d be lost without my kids.
Then the day itself arrived and in a very short time I would be joining authors Joy Norstrom and Mark Tedesco, and Ayse Ozden from Dixi Books, in an event that would be streamed live to the book-loving world.
I was so grateful my family was there with me. And I was fine—right up until the moment we went live. As soon as I realised we were live, my heart started pounding in my chest. I was terrified that I was going to ramble or say something stupid. Then I made a split-second decision. I decided that it didn’t matter if I said something stupid or if I looked like a git, people would either accept me for who I was, or not. It was up to them.
So, I decided I was going to stop worrying and just have a good time.
We had such a good time we went well over the forty minutes we had planned. We each spoke about our book and our writing process. Then we had some fun giving away copies to a few lucky winners. Overall, the event was very well attended, and we had some great interactivity with the audience.
So, now that it’s over, would I do it again?
Yes. I would.
Despite my introversion and shyness, and the fact that I rambled and said stupid things (as I knew I would), I would do it again. We came together in mutual celebration and it was wonderful.
I’m definitely looking forward to the next one.
If you missed it, you can catch the replay here: https://www.facebook.com/dixibooks