What Exactly Is "The Old Razzle-Dazzle"?

Whether we're considering quality of writing or branding or charisma, the problem is the same: personal differences. I gripe a lot here about writing that I consider bad, but obviously somebody liked/likes it, so I'm different from those people.

Readers look for different things from books, so what I want isn't necessarily what you want. I've learned to smile like Buddha and say nothing when people gush over their favorites, books I wouldn't read if you gave them to me along with chocolate chip cookies to snack on.

As a "personality," a presenter, a book signer, or a sharer of reading and writing thoughts, I'm not sure which razzle-dazzle to pursue. I can accept that some people will be interested in my work and some won't, but how to let them know it exists so they have that choice is the problem. Some things I do to get "out there" work, at least for some people; others fly over their heads like bad paper airplanes, aimed at a mark but not even close to hitting it. For example, last week I made stops at libraries on my way to and from a talk. One librarian was thrilled that I'm local. One was impressed that I have an author page on Amazon. A third was excited about historicals, even more so when I gave her an ARC. And one acted like speaking to me was the biggest waste of time her day could possibly offer. So what's my draw: My subject? My web presence? my giveaways? My state of birth?

One hopes that talent is the real razzle-dazzle, but first comes something shiny to get their attention. If every situation is different, every person unique, then it follows that every author is confused at some point. We want to razzle-dazzle 'em, but writing isn't like show biz: sequins and feathers just don't fit at the library!

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Comment by Peg Herring on October 16, 2009 at 9:47pm
Bass ackwards, just like the rest of us. (Gee, I like to write. Maybe I could sell something...........)
Comment by Peg Herring on October 16, 2009 at 4:24am
...or a fish suit! Herring, get it?
Comment by B.R.Stateham on October 16, 2009 at 3:03am
Must have been the wrong species of chicken. Naw--really, like everything else, you work on the numbers. The more people you contact and are drawn to you/your writing--makes up for those who are not. Can't waste time wondering about those who are repelled from you. Negative energy doesn't cut the mustard these days. As they say in certain sections of the East Coast, 'Fergetabout'em, baby!"
Comment by Jon Loomis on October 15, 2009 at 11:25pm
What, Peg--no chicken suit?

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