Modesty is the best policy - if your goal is obscurity

I just checked the comments on my last blog entry about becoming an Amazon reviewer. I. J. Parker and John Dishon questioned why I'd want to review my own book, and warned that it could destroy my credibility. So I'm hereby clarifying: no, I didn't review my own book on Amazon, but I did post some biographical information under the heading "Please allow me to introduce myself." (Mick Jagger's "Sympathy for the Devil" was running through my head, but I didn't source the quote - probably another no no.) I did open by saying that I was giving myself a five-star review, but although I meant it sardonically, the comments made me realize I might be turning off potential readers. I invite people to look up my book Eldercide on Amazon and let me know what you think. I still have the option of deleting my own review, and maybe I should!

At this stage of my life, I've come to think modesty is an over-rated virtue. Growing up in the midwest, I was taught it's bad manners to brag, but ultimately, I believe the advice did me serious damage, as it did many ladies of a certain age. (Think Hillary Clinton, and all the nasty stereotyping commentary on her assertiveness during last year's campaign.) But unless you're dead, it's never too late to change.

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Comment by Julie Lomoe on January 19, 2009 at 5:31am
Thanks for your comments, I. J. and Jack. I decided to delete my Amazon comment about my own book because you're right, it may turn some people off.

Jack, when you say seeing "I see a lot of authors really pushing their books to strangers. It's a turnoff," do you mean at the conventions, on the chat lists, or both? Can you be more specific about how much is too much? For me, pushing an author into a corner (literally) or pitching your work in the bathroom at a conference is too much; other than that, I'm not sure where to draw the line.
Comment by Jack Getze on January 18, 2009 at 10:53pm
Strictly from a marketing man's perspective, you want THIRD PARTY endorsements. Have your friends write a couple of nice reviews. I go to a lot of mystery conventions, I'm on several chat lists, and I see a lot of authors really pushing their books to strangers. It's a turnoff. Don't do it.
Comment by I. J. Parker on January 18, 2009 at 8:20am
Much better. And, of course, modesty is an overrated virtue. Still, it's best not to give people an excuse to think ill of you. Good luck!

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