Monday, October 29, 2012

Showing Off! (Shame on me...)


An acquaintance rushed up to me last year and said, “I didn’t know you had a new book out. You didn’t tell me!”

She’d already bought it, bless her, but it struck me how hopeless I am at all this promotional stuff. If someone who lives less than two miles from me doesn’t know, how can I expect people on different continents to find out about it? Part of the problem, I’m sure, is that I’m a shy retiring Brit. We don’t like to blow our own trumpets. Every time I mention a new release, I hear my mother saying in a sharp voice “Stop showing off, Shirley!”

I make a rare visit to Facebook and Twitter when I have a book coming out, and I let people know via my blog – and that’s it. I know from experience that if I contacted the local newspaper, they’d do a very nice piece on me and my books. What puts me off? The fact that I also know from experience that the local radio station would see it and get on the phone to me. Words can’t describe how much I hate being on the radio. I get so nervous I struggle to remember my own name never mind the titles of any books I’ve written.

The time aspect puts me off too. Social media, especially for people like me who can never think of anything interesting to say, is a huge time-suck. There are blog posts to be written, websites to be updated, newsletters to be sent out, a Facebook status to update frequently, tweets to hurl into the universe – aargh. I tell myself that I’d be better off spending that time writing. I also tell myself that Ruth Rendell isn’t on Facebook or Twitter. But then my inner voice replies with a sarcastic “She doesn’t need to be, she sells plenty of books without all that. No one’s heard of you…”

Love it or loathe it, writers have to promote themselves these days. So here goes…

In a fortnight, Dying Art, #5 in my Dylan Scott series, will be released and I’m determined to tell the whole world about it. Well, maybe not the whole world, but certainly you lovely people, and people who live near me. Wish me luck!

Portrait of a mystery

Dylan Scott vowed never to return to the dreary town of Dawson's Clough. But one visit from a beautiful ex-lover and he's back in Lancashire, investigating a possible murder. The police think Prue Murphy died during a burglary gone wrong, but her sister isn't so sure—and neither is Dylan. After all, the killer overlooked the only valuable thing in Prue's flat.

So who could have wanted the quirky young woman dead, and why? Dylan's search for answers takes him to France, where he discovers Prue's family didn't know her as well as they thought they did. And the more he digs, the more secrets he unearths—secrets someone would kill to keep buried…

(Coming to a device near you November 12. For more info, visit my website.)

How about you? Are you confident at selling stuff, including yourself, or are you a lost cause like me? More important perhaps, do you have any tips for those of us who’d rather hide under a stone?

12 comments:

Cathy Perkins said...

First, congratulations on your new release!

I'm clearly in the same camp as you are, since I have a book releasing Friday - and I've done next to nothing. Guess I better go update a few things!

Rita said...

Add me to the group. It's dificult finding a balance in promo.
Congrats on the new book.

Maureen A. Miller said...

I remember your name for you. Just call and ask. :)

And I can't get enough of Dylan Scott!

Congratulations on the new release, Miss Shy Retiring Brit. :)

Toni Anderson said...

The retiring Brit thing is a killer, Shirley. I wasn't married to a loud boisterous Irishman I might still be in the closet about what I do :) I think doing the promo you are comfortable with is key. And you can always be out when the radio calls!!

Hugs--and I love Dylan's adventures!!

Marcelle Dubé said...

Another Dylan mystery! How wonderful! Shirley, I'm with you on the not blowing your own horn thing -- I'm terrible at it. It feels downright Un-Canadian to brag. However, that doesn't mean I can't brag about you! Congratulations!

Shirley Wells said...

Cathy, thanks. Ah yes, I think you need to update a few things. :) Good luck with your new one!

Rita, I find it almost impossible to find. And thanks. :)

Gladys, thanks so much. I'll call!

Too funny, Toni. I must admit that my hubby tells more people about my books than I do. I should employ him. :) Thanks!

Thanks, Marcelle. I can brag about all our other great writers too. I feel far more comfortable doing that. :)

Anne Marie Becker said...

I'm right there with you under that rock. LOL I've had two books out, and do a few blogs around release time, maybe an ad here and there, but other than FB and Twitter, I try not to toot my own horn too much. :) It certainly isn't a comfortable thing for me.

BabsMcG said...

LOL be loud and proud! As you know I love your books, and like Maureen cant get enough of good old Dylan! My device is ready and waiting!

Ivy said...

The more you do it, the easier it gets. You can always turn it on & off. That's what I do...I'm horribly shy but make myself chat etc..
Dylan is next on my list, can't wait!

Shirley Wells said...

Anne Marie - it's a good job we have a nice big rock to hide under. :)

Aw, Babs, thank you so much. Loud and proud - hmm, it's just not me. :)

Ivy, I can't believe you're shy. There are so many of us, aren't there? I'm sure you're right about the more you do, the easier it gets. I'll try to remember that.

Wendy Soliman said...

As one shy Brit to another, I know exactly what you mean about putting yourself forward.

I've loved all your books so far and have the next one sitting on my kindle, waiting for me to get to it.

Shirley Wells said...

Thanks so much, Wendy. Hope you enjoy it!

When you're not putting yourself forward, I hope you're busy writing Charlie Hunter's next adventures. :)