“Every woman knows that prim is proper/but every showgirl knows that prim will stop her!”
Today’s wisdom comes by way of Mel Brooks in The Producers musical.
I realized, as I was trying to analyze why I haven’t managed to better promote my own work, that I have been hamstrung by the very idea of self-promotion. (I can preach it, but if I don’t practice it, then I’m just hypocrite, so it behooves me to figure out why I don’t.)
I did one of the readings for my First Communion. (Let’s all hop in the way-back machine so I can take you to a time and place where I was a practicing Catholic. I’m still somewhat bitter about not being able to be a priest. Il Papa, please get on that before they assassinate you.) The reading was about praying and not listening to those who pray in public on the street corner. Aw, Hell, I better find the actual chapter and verse. Matthew 6:5.
And as I have just gone to look that up, I realize that while I remember the “don’t trust televangelists” was the thrust of the memory. I also internalized Matthew 6.1. “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them.” This is why you’ll rarely see me talk about my charitable works. (This doesn’t include those people whom I have strong-armed into helping me.) Or the fact that our company is partnering in charitable works. Ten percent of the royalties for my book Cherry Blossom Express go to the National Historical Trust. (For work supporting the preservation of data on the Japanese Internment.) I have not trumpeted that fact and I really should.
I should belt it. Help me, help the Trust, and it’s all good right? And yet, my entire self cringes at the idea of telling people about it.
Just the way it cringes about screaming about my book from the rooftops. My friends books? Oh, Hell yes, I can promote those until the cows come home. From These Ashes by Tamela Ritter. Undiscovered Country by JM Beal. (One link to B&N. One to the Evil Overlords Amazon. Just to be fairish.)
My own work? I would rather spit out my own teeth.
So, my biggest step? I asked a blogger to review a copy. (Disclosure: JM threatened to do it *for* me, which was worse.)
That was the first one, but it cannot be the last.
Time to pull off the top and work the tassels while I belt out my song.
Tasteful self-promotion here we come.
*gulp* Please throw money not tomatoes.