Just got word that an interview I did at Magna Cum Murder last year is up on YouTube. You just type in "Peg Herring," and there I am, talking with a very gracious host who asked all the right questions. It's very nice. Well, actually, it's a little creepy.
Writers are not known for being spotlight-seekers, with of course some notable exceptions. Most of us would prefer to sit before our magic boxes and talk to ourselves. I like doing my presentations, of course. I'm in control, and it's a lot like teaching, except at the end people come up and thank me, which never, ever happened in the classroom. Still, the question arises, How far into the realm of publicity will I go to sell books? There's less control in an interview or an article, and once it's over, it's out there forever for the world to see.
The problem is, there are lots of books out there, so yours is just another title unless it repeats enough times to hook a reader or a book buyer. P.T. Barnum said that seven was the magic number: the seventh time a person hears a name is the time that convinces him to buy at ticket or a book or whatever. I don't know about that, but I'm certain it's more than one, and it certainly isn't zero.
So we have to try to be famous, a little, even if it makes us feel funny. My face on the internet, my picture in a newspaper, my voice on the radio, all are things that might make a person like me shiver with dread. Do I look old? Did I come off as too silly, too prim, too casual? It could make me crazy.
Or I can look at it as part of the job. I recently saw in one of those awful celebrity magazines a picture of someone, maybe Matt Damon, walking through an airport. The caption read, "...carries his own luggage."
Now that's the sort of attention I don't want, but I'm sure it's part of the job for people like him. Whatever it takes to get people interested is what we have to do. So, note to self: stop worrying and just do it.
Oh, and don't forget: tomorrow is P.J.'s final guest blog. She says she's going to complain.