I have never been afraid of a little self-promotion. Maybe it started when I was 15 months old and my baby sister was born, and I needed to remind my parents I was here first. Or perhaps it was in high school when I ran for student government and had to outline my plans and strengths on stage, in front of the entire student body. Or maybe it was after journalism school, when I got my first byline and figured out part of being a journalist means getting the word out about your words. Regardless, I’m all for self-promotion…as long as it stays to this side of becoming what I like to call “Ms. Braggy Braggerson” (<= is this how I should spell ‘Braggerson’?).
We all know this Braggerson person — she posts on social media often enough you’ve committed her avatar to memory. She also does this without ever seeming to brag about anyone else — never retweeting another author’s exciting news, or having a conversation that doesn’t involve her own book/show/news/stuff, or simply commenting about something not-so-great that might have happened so others can virtually fist bump her in solidarity. Nope. She’s vomiting her news all over the place, clueless that she might actually be hurting her cause.
So while I understand and embrace the need for self-promotion as an author/journalist — especially when there are fewer people tasked to do it on your behalf these days — I draw the line at bragging. Or at least I hope I do — if you catch me becoming this Ms. Braggerson please send me an email with a link to this post. I promise I’ll listen.
Having said all of this, I do struggle at times to talk about myself or how to talk about exciting news. I have been known to say, “I’m sick of my own voice” and mean it. I don’t love being the center of attention, and the thought of doing a reading, or talking to a large group about my book(s) makes me break out in hives. So I guess the truth is I’m a work in progress, and I’m figuring all of this out as I go.
I love Amy’s rule about self-promotion: if you promote your own stuff, balance it out by promoting someone else’s great news as well. I try to do this already, but am going to be more conscientious of the balance thing — especially as I approach my book’s birthday, which can turn any mild self-promoter into a nightmare bragger.
I have three other rules I follow when talking about myself or my writing on social media:
First, I only tweet it out, and put it on Facebook ONE TIME. None of this ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) from this gal, because let’s be honest here — if you missed it, that’s okay.
Second, I put my writerly stuff on my author page on Facebook, which is where one would expect to find book news. And I also use that page to support other authors, or to post articles I think might interest writers and readers alike.
Finally, I tell my mom, because she’s hands down the best promoter I know.
Also, I’m always looking for tips on this and pretty much everything else — So how do you find the balance between sharing and bragging?
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