Am I really the only one who thinks it's ridiculous for professional women to giggle behind their hands and apologize for mentioning that they have new books out?
Apparently so, because I continue to see these silly apologies everywhere, especially in online writing communities. I can only conclude that authors believe this "self-effacing" behavior enhances their public image.
"I know what you mean about the Gorgenstein Method of Plotting," Paula Pretend gushes on a romance writers' board. "It was so enormously helpful when I wrote The Outlaw's Bride that I used it again on my upcoming release, The Outlaw's Baby, which will be out next month and is garnering some fabulous reviews. The cover is to die for -- click here to see it at Amazon, where you can pre-order the book if you want. But I'm getting carried away again, LOL.* Please excuse the shameless self-promotion.
I have a couple of problems with a post like that. First, if an author is proud of her books and wants people to know about them, she should announce that in a straightforward manner, not shoehorn the news into a conversation and then pretend to be embarassed that it just "slipped out". The other thing that bugs me is the assumption that mentioning our books at all reveals a lack of proper modesty.
Give me a break. If we sold cars, wouldn't we put up signs at our places of business, advertise in the newspaper, and even think about doing radio or TV spots? Sure we would. So why do we call it "shameless self-promotion" when it's not ourselves we're promoting, but our books? And what's there to be ashamed about, anyway?
This reminds me of class officer elections in elementary school. Remember? Even if you were running, you couldn't vote for yourself because the ballots weren't always secret and you didn't want everyone to think you were stuck-up. So you voted for your opponent, fully expecting your opponent to return the favor and vote for you.
It would appear that many romance authors are still thinking that way. And that's a shame.
At the moment I have only one book out.** But around this time next year my second one will be released and you'll see me promote it like nobody's business. Probably not so much here on the blog, that's not what this blog is about, but definitely on my website. Also, I will include the book's title and ISBN in my e-mail signature, and you can count on me to mention it in conversations at online forums when and where and as often as I feel is appropriate.
And I won't be apologizing to anyone.
* Internet shorthand for "laughing out loud".
** In fact, it's way out. As in, "out of print".