If the businessmen drink my blood, like the kids in art school said they would, then I guess I’ll just begin again. — Ready to Start, Arcade Fire
If there was one piece of advice I could have used when I was first published, it would have been to manage my expectations. As an old creative, but a new author, my sense of self-awareness was severely lacking in 2015. Of course, anyone should be proud to have a book published — sitting down to write one isn’t easy. However, the fact is, anyone can write one.
Being published in indie publishing is a lot like starting in acting, none of us are experts, everyone is trying to get noticed, and it’s not at all glamorous. Although it is an honor and privilege to be published, to get your book in the hands of the people, to find your readers, takes some elbow grease. This means…you become a salesperson.
“Oh no! Anything but those sleazy salespeople! They try to get people to buy things! I’m an artist, that’s what I am!”
My editor used to call people like that “too-precious-for-this-world” and in 2015, I was just that. To stand for hours at a convention and carnival bark my book was degrading, beneath me in fact. No one wants to be sold. I thought. I don’t want to bother people, I just want them to buy my book! I’m a writer, not a used car salesman! Six years later, I’m singing a completely different tune.
Intimidation is Just a Feeling
What I didn’t want to admit to myself was that it wasn’t “bothering people” that I feared, it was their possible reaction to my bothering them that intimidated me. Why? Well, I was very sensitive. I wouldn’t want anyone to get mad at me.
It’s not events that disturb us but our judgements about them. — Epictetus
Sure that happened. It made me feel small, embarrassed… It kept me from speaking to as many people and sales began to suffer. After a while, though, I was sick of being hurt by people I didn’t even know. What I would say in my head anytime nervousness would arise before speaking with a stranger, is the first tool: