Like Wearing a Strait Jacket

I am paralyzed by fear.

My first book comes out next month—just four short weeks away—yet I’ve barely done any promo for it. Why? Because I’m scared.

Normally, I don’t mind being an introvert. It’s so much a part of who I am, that I’ve learned to live with it and overcome the parts of it I don’t like. But it’s really getting in the way of my promotional plan.

My fear has many facets. One is that people other than my CPs and editor will actually read my book. Yes, I know this is a good thing. It’s actually the point of getting a book published. But what if they don’t like it? What if certain people want to critique my steamy love scenes? What if my conservative family/friends/co-workers are offended by those steamy love scenes?

I have some great ideas for promo. I wrote much of this book at a certain coffee shop near downtown Seattle. I could hold a booksigning there. They know me by name. But that would require me asking the manager about this. What’s the worst that could happen? He could say no. BFD, yes, I know. But still, I haven’t gotten up the nerve to ask yet.

A friend of mine who has a big naughty toy party every year offered to have me sign books during the party this year, which is right around my release date. She hasn’t brought it up in a while, and I hesitate to remind her. Why? Because I’m afraid she’ll have changed her mind or think I’m bugging her. Even though I really don’t believe either of those scenarios, I still haven’t reminded her.

I have a favorite independent bookstore that I’ve been meaning to talk to about ordering my books and having a booksigning there. Haven’t done that either. You know why.

I haven’t posted any excerpts on any of my loops.

I haven’t contacted the owners of many of my favorite blogs to see if I can be a guest.

I haven’t put together any bookmarks, postcards, ANYTHING to pre-promote my book.

I feel like I’m wearing a straight-jacket. I really, really, really want to do all these things I’ve mentioned, but my hands are tied.

Anyway, my hope is that by putting my fears in print, it’ll motivate me to get off my introverted a$$ (gosh, I wish it really WERE introverted; it would fit much better in my jeans) and get promoting!

I also hope my fellow shy writers will have some tips for me. And my not-so-shy-writer friends can give me the proverbial butt kick I so desperately need.


  1. Hey you...I plan on buying Borrowed Stilettos on release day, so you have this sale in the can, no promo required. ;) I also planned to email you soon about doing that blog interview we talked about. Believe me, I understand the fear. You're an awesome writer, Becky, and once those reviews/reader reactions start rolling in, you're going to wonder why you were ever nervous at all. But I know exactly where you're coming from!

    No tips, other than to just do what will gain you more benefit than cause you stress. For example, regarding your friend who offered to allow you to sign books at her party...she wouldn't have mentioned it if she didn't like the idea. She probably just figured you weren't interested, so she didn't mention it again. But that would be a really fun way to get your book into readers' hands! Bringing the subject up with her would probably be a little easier than asking the coffee shop manager to do a signing there, although I think that's a terrific idea, too, and would give him tons of cross-promotion.

    *hugs* Be proud, girlfriend. I can't wait to read it!

  2. Thanks for the comments, Cari. When I read over my post, I think, "Girl, you have issues." But maybe others out there can relate.

    I keep thinking of the Cowardly Lion. That's me.


  3. Do online promo (guest blogs, interviews, giveaways, etc). It's very easy because you can edit what you say, and you don't have to look anybody in the eye or even dress up. :-)

  4. Hey Avery--thanks for coming by. Even online promo is daunting--I'll think, "Why would anyone want to hear what I have to say?" Yet, I love to read other debut authors' words. Maybe I just need to add tequila to my daily diet. Would that get me out of my proverbial shell?

  5. Beck,
    This is the time to get out of your comfort zone and stretch a little. The worse someone could say is no. But you know what? Everyone is looking for that cool gimmick to make their business stand out among the multitudes. Put yourself into their shoes: wouldn't you think it'd be cool to have an author want to team up with your company? Everyone loves to cross promote.

    I think I told you this, but it's worth repeating. While shopping for Xmas gifts for my agent and editor at my favorite winery, I mentioned to the tasting room manager that I'd sold my book. I told her about a scene where the heroine takes a bottle of Viognier to the hero's house. When I wrote it, I imagined it was their wine she took with her.

    The tasting room manager got all excited. Wants to do a party/promo thing with their wine + my book. Then the next day, I got an email from the winery owner saying they'd love to team up with me to do a promotion. When I mentioned this to my editor, she got excited and said she'll let HQN's promotion department know about this.

    So see?? It was all because I took a chance and mentioned my book.

    If you consider it from their point of view, trying to keep in mind why it'd be good for them, it'll make it easier to step out and say something.

    And if you don't do it, grab me and I'll do it for you!

  6. Okay, Laurie. You're hired. I hope you work for cheap. IE: free.

  7. I'm another one who has been looking forward to buying this book. I mean you sold me with the cover. ; )

    I understand.. I'm not exactly outgoing and this promo thing is outside (way outside) my comfort zone.

    I'd also like to have you on my blog when the time comes, if you're interested.

    Take comfort, I'm sure it will be a smashing success.

  8. You can do it!!!

    I love your idea of doing a book signing where you wrote much of the book. Very cute. And think of all the business you'd drum up for the coffee shop! I'm sure they'd say yes, so I hope you have the courage to ask.

  9. Lynne--Okay, we can be on each other's blog. Let me know when you can be on mine, and I'm available anytime. :)

    Kate--I haven't yet gotten up the courage to approach the coffee store mgr, but once I have book in hand, i'll give them a signed copy, and hopefully that will lead to talking about a signing.

  10. Rebecca,
    You know the reasons I've been absent over the last few months, and I'm trying now to catch up with all the wonderful encouraging information on your how's everything going? Have you approached the coffee shop manager yet?

    I sincerely look forward to reading your book. It's a great title, fun theme, and the book cover rocks.

    As someone who has never been in your shoes (yet), all I can tell you is to take what you need to do one thing at a time, one day at a time. Maybe it won't feel so overwhelming that way.

    Tess Thieler

    PS: And no I don't have a website yet... but I've been doing some serious reserch on it so at least I've gotten to that step. lol