Seeking Super-sales-dom?

really difficult book display

Image by jessamyn via Flickr

Natural born introverts do not make great salespersons, much less dynamic front persons.  That is what I keep telling myself—what the scared part of me would really like to believe.  Best to focus on writing stories, shy-retiring Jack argues; that is what’s really important to youNot financial remuneration.  Funny, don’t you think—how self-delusion is a bit like schizophrenia, with the different aspects of one’s personality carrying on conversations, setting forth arguments and counter-arguments, vying for center stage?  Yeah, well you go right on hiding your light ‘neath that bushel, Mister Milquetoast, Jack’s evil twin counters, and maybe one of these days’ you might crack a hundred readers on Amazon!

The guy’s right, of course!  Indie writers succumb to marketplace avoidance at their own peril—unless, of course, their marketing paradigm is the Emily Dickinson theory of literary promotion (i.e., “just wait till I’m dead, and then you’ll see some figures”).  I, however, am not that naïve (or is it patient?).

Which explains why I’m here, novice blogging, hunt-n-pecking away, hoping (among other things) that I’ll form connections with writers and readers, some of whom might be induced to share indie marketing strategies, swap stories for review purposes, and in a perfect world, even purchase one or two of my stories along the way (a favor I’d gladly return).  It’s a modest hope, I know.  But then, I’m a modest person, a behind-the-scenes kind of guy.  No ‘super-stars’ here.  Not for me—at this stage—to beat any bushes in person, to sass into the local Barnes & Noble with a saucy “Hi, I’m Jack, and I wrote a bunch of stories.  When can I do a reading?”  Lord knows, I admire—and yes, envy—those who can.  But for now, when it comes to self-promotion, this blog (and various other social network forums) is the best I can commit to—stuff that can be handled in text.

So, I guess maybe that makes me a ‘half-ass’ salesperson?  And yes, that’s embarrassing come to think of it—like I’m seriously lacking in ambition.  Then again, one must start somewhere—despite the various impediments of personality.  For now, my ‘somewhere,’ my platform for growth, is the web—Twittering, GoodReading, Facbooking.  Even this lonely blog.  Perhaps you’ll join me here?  Perhaps we’ll even encounter together a strategy for converting milquetoast into pepper sauce, shy and retiring into super-sales-dom?

Stranger things have happened.

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About jaurquhart

Jack Andrew Urquhart was born in the American South. Following undergraduate work at the University of Florida, Gainesville, he taught in Florida's public schools. He earned a Master of Arts degree in English, Creative Writing, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he was the winner of the Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Award for Fiction (1991). His work has appeared online at Clapboard House Literary Journal, Crazyhorse Literary Journal, and Standards: The International Journal of Multicultural Studies. He is the author of So They Say, a collection of self-contained, inter-connected stories and the short story, They Say You Can Stop Yourself Breathing. Formerly a writing instructor at the University of Colorado’s Writing Program, Mr. Urquhart was, until 2010, a senior analyst for the Judicial Branch of California. He resides in southern California.
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4 Responses to Seeking Super-sales-dom?

  1. ggallen says:

    It works because that is how we met and I was led to your wonderful writing! I was just discussing this very topic with a friend this weekend. Self promotion is always difficult, but sometimes: we just have to bite the bullet and go for it. And you have an amazing ‘product’ that many people need to hear about…and read!

    • jaurquhart says:

      You’re right, Gregory–about biting that bullet. I’m working on it–jawing away, some might say :-). Can’t tell you how grateful I am for all your encouragement, Mister Man.

  2. peterhobbs1 says:

    I have always had a hard time speaking well of myself. I always considered it to be bragging, and bragarts always turned me off. I am not sure how to do this effectively as an indie author. Even to get a publisher requires a lot of extrovertness on our behalf. I think my son could do it, he will either be a preacher or a lawyer ~shudders~ but he is extroverted. Me, I will just keep chipping away, hoping to continue to meet nice folks like yourself Jack, because even if we don’t become rich as authors we will become rich because of these friendships.

  3. jaurquhart says:

    Hi Peter. Identify completely with what you say. So difficult for me to even consider tooting my own horn (not that it deserves much breath). A combination of Southern upbringing and genetics in my case. Ex-wife, God bless her, has loads of chutzpah, so I’m hoping our two kids will benefit from her heritage. In the meantime, I’m basking in all the wonderful friendships I’ve been making via social media. Thank you for yours!

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