A while back, I was talking to this guy and I let it escape *coughs bragged * that I’m a published author. He was impressed, asked me if he could read it, and of course, I forwarded him both books + the short story, with the promise to gift him with an early copy of the final book when it’s completed.
While we talked, and he checked the books and the reviews on goodreads, he said he’d like to arrange a small gathering for me to introduce myself and my books to help with marketing.
I, of course, introvert that I am, said no way.
My mom said I was a fool (gotta love family bluntness), that there was nothing to be shy about, and that I was letting a great opportunity go.
And I know that.
But I’m just not wired that way. I can be the joker in the room filled with friends and family members, I can be outgoing whenever I meet someone new by accident. But put me in a situation where I’d be questioned by a room filled with strangers about a particular subject and I’d simply blank. I know, because that actually happened to me before – at work when I was presenting a project to half a dozen donors. Granted, it wasn’t my project or my presentation, but the fact remains that my mind simply disconnects and I can’t, for the life of me, grasp a coherent thought when I’m put on the spot.
I’ve been asked by family members “what’s your book about?” and my answer is always, “Hmmm. It’s fantasy.”
“Yeah?” they’d ask, “What kind?”
And I’d say, “Urban fantasy?” Are they asking because they’re trying to be polite? I always wonder.
And when I’m asked to elaborate, I go on about this girl who’s maybe half human and half fae, but she isn’t really half human but something else. And she’s taken to a facility where scientists conduct all kinds of experiments on her but she manages to escape nine years later. But the book opens after that. And she’s being attacked by hired mercenaries that the scientists send after her and she’s trying to find her mother to find out why they’re all trying to capture her, but her mother, well, she isn’t who she thought she should be.
Here I’d stop, because the room’s gone quiet and I can feel everyone’s eyes on me – and I have this sense that the ones who don’t think I’m a little loony (there’s not one single reader among my friends and family) are actually wondering if the book is as bad as I make it sound.
And remember, those are the friends and family who consider me the joker of the bunch
So when this guy said he could put together a small gathering of readers to help me out, my answer was a resounding no.
I can’t do that, even though I know it’s a great opportunity passing by.
Is it a necessary step for an author? A quick internet research said that it’s a great tool one should explore – and that’s actually sad. I just want to write and be read, I don’t want to be famous, and I don’t want to make a lot of money – though the latter would actually be nice.
Would you do it – stand in front of a bunch of people and answer their questions about something that took you years to complete? Or, better yet, have you ever attended a book event where the author made the story sound uninteresting and boring?