A reader of this blog wrote a very nice comment in which she suggested I be more aggressive about promoting and marketing myself. It’s a reasonable and intelligent suggestion, but…
Self-promotion and aggression were both unheard of my family. If I had won the Pulitzer or the Nobel or an Oscar, my parents’ reaction would have been, “That’s very nice and we’re proud of you, but let’s put the award away in the closet so people don’t think we’re too taken with ourselves.” As for aggression, when I first started studying karate, the first time I dropped a man while sparring, I immediately said, “Oh, I beg your pardon. Are you alright?” I thought the sensei would come unglued; most what he said was in Japanese, but I didn’t need an interpreter.
So, with that in mind, it is with great diffidence that I take computer in hand and, in the words of my advisor, “…beg all my blog readers to review my books on Amazon, or wherever one can submit reviews for eBooks.”
Word of mouth sells books—and just about everything else—better than any advertising campaign ever devised. No one has ever accurately determined what causes something—a book, a blog, a movie, a video, a toy, whatever—to catch the public’s imagination, but for those things that don’t “go viral,” and start selling themselves, word of mouth is what most people rely on. If my friend, the screenwriter Dan Bronson, whose taste in fiction is very like mine, tells me about a book he likes, I am far more likely to buy that book than I am because some critic from the New York Times likes it.
So, if you like my books, positive reviews would be greatly appreciated. If you don’t like them, a diplomatic silence would be equally appreciated; perhaps even more so.