The perils and problems of promo

Jo here, still without updated CBK pictures. Am I busy? You bet I’m busy. Here’s a busy picture.
Franticladyletters_1

Not just writing-busy. The trouble with a garden is that it grows things. I’ve done the scarlet runner beans. We’ve picked the grapes and trodden them. (Not really, but they are fermenting.) Now it’s the tomatoes, given that the weather’s turning cool and wet.

But today my MIP (manuscript/mess/monster in progress) came together in a completely magical way, which means all is temporarily right with my world. πŸ™‚

But the title says promo. That’s because something happened on the way to the forum. This forum. I paused to look at my e-mail. Not to read it. To clear some of the backlog from the year of living busily. I found a gentle reminder of the deadline to put an ad in Romance Sells. The deadline was today. So I had to run off there and do it, which diverted much of the coherence and energy I might have brought here.

Coherence and energy? Who am I kidding? Especially as I tend to do my Wednesday as Wednesday creeps up on the clock over here on the west coast. If I leave it until the morning it’ll be noon for some of you. And that’s only the some of you on this continent.

If I were cool, calm, and organized I’d compose and polish a blog entry in advance, but though I aspire, I rarely achieve.

But the MIP did magically click together today. Did I mention that?

Romance Sells is a nifty promo tool done by RWA. For a modest amount we can put a one-page ad in a magazine that goes out to a gazillion — well, many thousands — of booksellers, thus encouraging them to order our books for their stores and also hand sell them to appropriate customers. This is what we all want for our books. Well, I suppose we all want to be Oprah picks, or featured on some similarly popular TV show, or just to have the hand of fortune whap us, like Dan Brown or Jo Rowling.

Maybe. I’m honestly not sure if I’d want that intensity of success. I’ll probably never find out.

Back to promo. The publisher, of course, does market and promote the books, but the intensity of their efforts varies, so many authors, especially in romance, have taken some control by doing some themselves. Some buy ads in a variety of media. Some arrange signings in local stories. Most have web pages and mailing lists so they can keep in touch with their readers and really enjoy that. These days, many also have blogs.

We Wenches are enjoying our collaborative adventure and especially the intelligent comments here, but we are mostly doing it to draw interest to our books. When it comes down to it, for authors, it’l all about the book. We sweat over our books. We murture our books. We adore our books. And we want lots and lots and lots of readers by read them and think they’re one of the absolute best novels ever written. We are like mothers with their children. We have no moderation on this. πŸ™‚

Did I tell you my little darling sat, crawled, and took its first steps, all in one day? It’s so delightful.

So what I wondered is, what promotional activities have interested you in a book? We all have the books we’re going to buy anyway. But why have you picked up a book/author that was new to you?

With me, it’s nearly always buzz. If I hear enough people talking about a book, especially from different places on line, I’ll check it out. I discovered WARPRIZE that way, and THE SMOKE THIEF, and many others over the years.

I love excerpts. If a book catches my interest for some reason I’ll go to the author’s website to find an excerpt. If I like her style, I’ll buy the book.

I rarely buy by cover, but sometimes a cover will get me to pick up the book for a closer look.
COVER —>Trarfrsm_2

So, what hooks you?

My little darling? I thought you’d never ask. It’ll be out next June called LADY BEWARE, but at the moment it’s not out of nappies, so definitely not ready to be out on its own. Off to bed so I can get back to it tomorrow.

No, this isn’t me, not even on a relaxed day. But as some advertizers think naked women sell products….Nakedladyonbook_1

Jo πŸ™‚

48 thoughts on “The perils and problems of promo”

  1. Congratulations! I guess that means I have until June to get caught up on your books. πŸ™‚
    I’m also mostly influenced by buzz. Sometimes even negative buzz intrigues me enough to check out a book. I’ve heard good and bad things about The Smoke Thief, and it’s on my mental list for the bookstore. I assume you liked it since you mentioned it with Warprize?
    I also try new authors because of who their friends are. I followed a couple of the Wenches to this site and now the Wenches I haven’t read are on my TBR pile, as are the Honorary Wenches.

    Reply
  2. Congratulations! I guess that means I have until June to get caught up on your books. πŸ™‚
    I’m also mostly influenced by buzz. Sometimes even negative buzz intrigues me enough to check out a book. I’ve heard good and bad things about The Smoke Thief, and it’s on my mental list for the bookstore. I assume you liked it since you mentioned it with Warprize?
    I also try new authors because of who their friends are. I followed a couple of the Wenches to this site and now the Wenches I haven’t read are on my TBR pile, as are the Honorary Wenches.

    Reply
  3. Congratulations! I guess that means I have until June to get caught up on your books. πŸ™‚
    I’m also mostly influenced by buzz. Sometimes even negative buzz intrigues me enough to check out a book. I’ve heard good and bad things about The Smoke Thief, and it’s on my mental list for the bookstore. I assume you liked it since you mentioned it with Warprize?
    I also try new authors because of who their friends are. I followed a couple of the Wenches to this site and now the Wenches I haven’t read are on my TBR pile, as are the Honorary Wenches.

    Reply
  4. Jo here.
    Mary, I loved The Smoke Thief. Dragons in 18th England. A perfect combination. I haven’t read the new one yet, but I will.
    Yes, I’ve been intrigued by negative buzz too sometimes.
    It’s raining today. Can’t do any garden clean up. Gloating? What, me?
    Jo

    Reply
  5. Jo here.
    Mary, I loved The Smoke Thief. Dragons in 18th England. A perfect combination. I haven’t read the new one yet, but I will.
    Yes, I’ve been intrigued by negative buzz too sometimes.
    It’s raining today. Can’t do any garden clean up. Gloating? What, me?
    Jo

    Reply
  6. Jo here.
    Mary, I loved The Smoke Thief. Dragons in 18th England. A perfect combination. I haven’t read the new one yet, but I will.
    Yes, I’ve been intrigued by negative buzz too sometimes.
    It’s raining today. Can’t do any garden clean up. Gloating? What, me?
    Jo

    Reply
  7. I’m attracted by buzz, too, Jo, especially positive and excited comments from writers I really admire. I’ve picked up a number of books already because one or more of the wenches recommended them.

    Reply
  8. I’m attracted by buzz, too, Jo, especially positive and excited comments from writers I really admire. I’ve picked up a number of books already because one or more of the wenches recommended them.

    Reply
  9. I’m attracted by buzz, too, Jo, especially positive and excited comments from writers I really admire. I’ve picked up a number of books already because one or more of the wenches recommended them.

    Reply
  10. Morning, Jo~~~Honestly, I’m not sure what draws me to a particular work, but I know what doesn’t: bodice-ripper covers. Jacket blurbs are important, now that I really give this some thought.
    Truth be told, I’m a loyalist. If ferret food had your name on it, I’d buy a case.

    Reply
  11. Morning, Jo~~~Honestly, I’m not sure what draws me to a particular work, but I know what doesn’t: bodice-ripper covers. Jacket blurbs are important, now that I really give this some thought.
    Truth be told, I’m a loyalist. If ferret food had your name on it, I’d buy a case.

    Reply
  12. Morning, Jo~~~Honestly, I’m not sure what draws me to a particular work, but I know what doesn’t: bodice-ripper covers. Jacket blurbs are important, now that I really give this some thought.
    Truth be told, I’m a loyalist. If ferret food had your name on it, I’d buy a case.

    Reply
  13. Tomatoes? (the Seattle girl asks incredulously) Aren’t you somewhere Victoria or Vancouverish? How do you get tomatoes to thrive in this climate?
    I pay little attention to ads in RT or splashy bookstore displays. I go by friends’ recommendations, online buzz, and in the case of nonfiction, author interviews on NPR, the Daily Show, or the Colbert Report. I look at reviews, though usually I use the review to get a sense of the premise, writing style, etc. rather than relying upon the reviewer’s grade. Also, if a favorite author of mine recommends another author–I’m not talking about cover quotes so much as comments on blogs like this, etc.–I’ll nearly always give him/her a try.
    An eye-catching cover sometimes makes me pick up a book, but I never buy on cover alone.

    Reply
  14. Tomatoes? (the Seattle girl asks incredulously) Aren’t you somewhere Victoria or Vancouverish? How do you get tomatoes to thrive in this climate?
    I pay little attention to ads in RT or splashy bookstore displays. I go by friends’ recommendations, online buzz, and in the case of nonfiction, author interviews on NPR, the Daily Show, or the Colbert Report. I look at reviews, though usually I use the review to get a sense of the premise, writing style, etc. rather than relying upon the reviewer’s grade. Also, if a favorite author of mine recommends another author–I’m not talking about cover quotes so much as comments on blogs like this, etc.–I’ll nearly always give him/her a try.
    An eye-catching cover sometimes makes me pick up a book, but I never buy on cover alone.

    Reply
  15. Tomatoes? (the Seattle girl asks incredulously) Aren’t you somewhere Victoria or Vancouverish? How do you get tomatoes to thrive in this climate?
    I pay little attention to ads in RT or splashy bookstore displays. I go by friends’ recommendations, online buzz, and in the case of nonfiction, author interviews on NPR, the Daily Show, or the Colbert Report. I look at reviews, though usually I use the review to get a sense of the premise, writing style, etc. rather than relying upon the reviewer’s grade. Also, if a favorite author of mine recommends another author–I’m not talking about cover quotes so much as comments on blogs like this, etc.–I’ll nearly always give him/her a try.
    An eye-catching cover sometimes makes me pick up a book, but I never buy on cover alone.

    Reply
  16. Ads are wasted on me, I never even see them. I dont read reviews. my flow chart is as follows –
    Have I liked other books by this author? If yes, buy. If this is a new author to me – Is this a storyline that interest me? Do I generally like books on this publishing imprint? If yes, buy.
    If it’s a new author to me and I don’t like the imprint, flip randomly through the book and sample a page here and there – wing it.
    Sometimes I’ll read a ‘oh you must read…’ book but I’ve been burned a lot, mileage between readers varies – so I have to really trust the suggestor. I will seek out and buy a book if I’ve run across the author somewhere online and liked their blog/interview whatever – but that’s not happening as much as it used to (kids!) and I have stopped buying an author cause they annoyed me silly – so it’s a two way thing I s’pose.

    Reply
  17. Ads are wasted on me, I never even see them. I dont read reviews. my flow chart is as follows –
    Have I liked other books by this author? If yes, buy. If this is a new author to me – Is this a storyline that interest me? Do I generally like books on this publishing imprint? If yes, buy.
    If it’s a new author to me and I don’t like the imprint, flip randomly through the book and sample a page here and there – wing it.
    Sometimes I’ll read a ‘oh you must read…’ book but I’ve been burned a lot, mileage between readers varies – so I have to really trust the suggestor. I will seek out and buy a book if I’ve run across the author somewhere online and liked their blog/interview whatever – but that’s not happening as much as it used to (kids!) and I have stopped buying an author cause they annoyed me silly – so it’s a two way thing I s’pose.

    Reply
  18. Ads are wasted on me, I never even see them. I dont read reviews. my flow chart is as follows –
    Have I liked other books by this author? If yes, buy. If this is a new author to me – Is this a storyline that interest me? Do I generally like books on this publishing imprint? If yes, buy.
    If it’s a new author to me and I don’t like the imprint, flip randomly through the book and sample a page here and there – wing it.
    Sometimes I’ll read a ‘oh you must read…’ book but I’ve been burned a lot, mileage between readers varies – so I have to really trust the suggestor. I will seek out and buy a book if I’ve run across the author somewhere online and liked their blog/interview whatever – but that’s not happening as much as it used to (kids!) and I have stopped buying an author cause they annoyed me silly – so it’s a two way thing I s’pose.

    Reply
  19. Jo here.
    Interesting twist about what turns us off as readers. I admit I’m turned off by too aggressive promo. Hey, I’m English. We don’t admire pushy. We interpret it as desperation or greed or both.
    (Anyone else here English? Am I right?)
    So someone who’s all over the web with “Look at me! Buy me!” gets negative points.
    OTOH, I try to remember that being a genteel violet doesn’t work, either. If we don’t tell people we have a book out even our devoted fans may not find it. As a reader I often find a book’s been out for a while and I didn’t know.
    Tomatoes. They ripen late up here. I’ve been eating ripe ones for about a month and some of the ones I brought it are almost ripe, so they’ll ripen inside. It’s the slow start that holds them back. I don’t have a greenhouse. I have started them early inside, but I find the ones I seed outside catch up pretty quickly.
    I do best with the ones I grow against a south facing wall. It’s probably not worth the trouble really, but I love truly ripe tomatoes, and also varieties other than the ones mass produced for the supermarkets.
    Jo πŸ™‚

    Reply
  20. Jo here.
    Interesting twist about what turns us off as readers. I admit I’m turned off by too aggressive promo. Hey, I’m English. We don’t admire pushy. We interpret it as desperation or greed or both.
    (Anyone else here English? Am I right?)
    So someone who’s all over the web with “Look at me! Buy me!” gets negative points.
    OTOH, I try to remember that being a genteel violet doesn’t work, either. If we don’t tell people we have a book out even our devoted fans may not find it. As a reader I often find a book’s been out for a while and I didn’t know.
    Tomatoes. They ripen late up here. I’ve been eating ripe ones for about a month and some of the ones I brought it are almost ripe, so they’ll ripen inside. It’s the slow start that holds them back. I don’t have a greenhouse. I have started them early inside, but I find the ones I seed outside catch up pretty quickly.
    I do best with the ones I grow against a south facing wall. It’s probably not worth the trouble really, but I love truly ripe tomatoes, and also varieties other than the ones mass produced for the supermarkets.
    Jo πŸ™‚

    Reply
  21. Jo here.
    Interesting twist about what turns us off as readers. I admit I’m turned off by too aggressive promo. Hey, I’m English. We don’t admire pushy. We interpret it as desperation or greed or both.
    (Anyone else here English? Am I right?)
    So someone who’s all over the web with “Look at me! Buy me!” gets negative points.
    OTOH, I try to remember that being a genteel violet doesn’t work, either. If we don’t tell people we have a book out even our devoted fans may not find it. As a reader I often find a book’s been out for a while and I didn’t know.
    Tomatoes. They ripen late up here. I’ve been eating ripe ones for about a month and some of the ones I brought it are almost ripe, so they’ll ripen inside. It’s the slow start that holds them back. I don’t have a greenhouse. I have started them early inside, but I find the ones I seed outside catch up pretty quickly.
    I do best with the ones I grow against a south facing wall. It’s probably not worth the trouble really, but I love truly ripe tomatoes, and also varieties other than the ones mass produced for the supermarkets.
    Jo πŸ™‚

    Reply
  22. I bought THE SMOKE THIEF at the literacy signing (after hearing so many good things about it). I love all things 18th century, but the paranormal premises keeps pushing me out of the story. I just have trouble suspending my disbelief.
    Maybe if I pretend it’s not a romance I’ll have an easier time . . .

    Reply
  23. I bought THE SMOKE THIEF at the literacy signing (after hearing so many good things about it). I love all things 18th century, but the paranormal premises keeps pushing me out of the story. I just have trouble suspending my disbelief.
    Maybe if I pretend it’s not a romance I’ll have an easier time . . .

    Reply
  24. I bought THE SMOKE THIEF at the literacy signing (after hearing so many good things about it). I love all things 18th century, but the paranormal premises keeps pushing me out of the story. I just have trouble suspending my disbelief.
    Maybe if I pretend it’s not a romance I’ll have an easier time . . .

    Reply
  25. I have a strange mechanism for picking out new books. Generally, I have my favorite authors and will usually look for those. If I’m in the mood for something new – and this is the honest to God truth – I randomly grab one off the rack.
    There are a few factors that might make me put it back and choose another. The cover is a biggie. No bodice rippers for me either. Also, if I’ve read several by that particular author that I didn’t care for, I’ll pick another one. I usually skim the back first to see what it is about and if it’s set in a place or time period that I find uninteresting, I’ll also get another one. Otherwise, I buy it, take it home, and read it.
    This has gotten me some books that I didn’t care for, but quite a lot that I did. And the last one that I picked up this way was actually THE SMOKE THIEF.

    Reply
  26. I have a strange mechanism for picking out new books. Generally, I have my favorite authors and will usually look for those. If I’m in the mood for something new – and this is the honest to God truth – I randomly grab one off the rack.
    There are a few factors that might make me put it back and choose another. The cover is a biggie. No bodice rippers for me either. Also, if I’ve read several by that particular author that I didn’t care for, I’ll pick another one. I usually skim the back first to see what it is about and if it’s set in a place or time period that I find uninteresting, I’ll also get another one. Otherwise, I buy it, take it home, and read it.
    This has gotten me some books that I didn’t care for, but quite a lot that I did. And the last one that I picked up this way was actually THE SMOKE THIEF.

    Reply
  27. I have a strange mechanism for picking out new books. Generally, I have my favorite authors and will usually look for those. If I’m in the mood for something new – and this is the honest to God truth – I randomly grab one off the rack.
    There are a few factors that might make me put it back and choose another. The cover is a biggie. No bodice rippers for me either. Also, if I’ve read several by that particular author that I didn’t care for, I’ll pick another one. I usually skim the back first to see what it is about and if it’s set in a place or time period that I find uninteresting, I’ll also get another one. Otherwise, I buy it, take it home, and read it.
    This has gotten me some books that I didn’t care for, but quite a lot that I did. And the last one that I picked up this way was actually THE SMOKE THIEF.

    Reply
  28. Ads don’t move me and reviews, unless by someone I respect, do not garner my attention.
    I’m with Wenchling Igvernon, if it has a WW’s name on it or their ‘seal of approval’ I’m buying it. (but I prefer dog food over ferret *g*)
    –the littlest wenchling

    Reply
  29. Ads don’t move me and reviews, unless by someone I respect, do not garner my attention.
    I’m with Wenchling Igvernon, if it has a WW’s name on it or their ‘seal of approval’ I’m buying it. (but I prefer dog food over ferret *g*)
    –the littlest wenchling

    Reply
  30. Ads don’t move me and reviews, unless by someone I respect, do not garner my attention.
    I’m with Wenchling Igvernon, if it has a WW’s name on it or their ‘seal of approval’ I’m buying it. (but I prefer dog food over ferret *g*)
    –the littlest wenchling

    Reply
  31. “I’m turned off by too aggressive promo. Hey, I’m English. We don’t admire pushy. We interpret it as desperation or greed or both.
    (Anyone else here English? Am I right?)”
    Sounds right to me, though I’m not English (though from the UK). There have been authors whose books I’ve gone and looked for/picked up and read when I saw them because of their contributions on All About Romance. That’s how I got to know about your books, Jo.
    If the author seems like a polite, friendly person with interesting things to say about romance in general, then that makes me more interested in reading her books. I’m not particularly interested in authors’ private lives, so I prefer to read blogs/sites which focus on the books.

    Reply
  32. “I’m turned off by too aggressive promo. Hey, I’m English. We don’t admire pushy. We interpret it as desperation or greed or both.
    (Anyone else here English? Am I right?)”
    Sounds right to me, though I’m not English (though from the UK). There have been authors whose books I’ve gone and looked for/picked up and read when I saw them because of their contributions on All About Romance. That’s how I got to know about your books, Jo.
    If the author seems like a polite, friendly person with interesting things to say about romance in general, then that makes me more interested in reading her books. I’m not particularly interested in authors’ private lives, so I prefer to read blogs/sites which focus on the books.

    Reply
  33. “I’m turned off by too aggressive promo. Hey, I’m English. We don’t admire pushy. We interpret it as desperation or greed or both.
    (Anyone else here English? Am I right?)”
    Sounds right to me, though I’m not English (though from the UK). There have been authors whose books I’ve gone and looked for/picked up and read when I saw them because of their contributions on All About Romance. That’s how I got to know about your books, Jo.
    If the author seems like a polite, friendly person with interesting things to say about romance in general, then that makes me more interested in reading her books. I’m not particularly interested in authors’ private lives, so I prefer to read blogs/sites which focus on the books.

    Reply
  34. Jo: ‘(Anyone else here English? Am I right?)’
    Well, British, living in and partly brought up in, England, and yes, you are dead right.
    Understatement is an art form in English (not necessarily British) culture; it is also a crucial part of Good Form, and it completely baffles outsiders sometimes, because it can require behaviour that they regard as misleading false modesty.
    For example, if you are chatting to a new acquaintance at a party about some very arcane topic that interests you, and he seems rather well informed, you might ask, ‘so, have you read a lot about this, then?’ You have no idea that he is one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject, and the author of the standard work you have been quoting. If he is American, he will probably reply, ‘Yes. Actually I am one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject, and I wrote the book you have been quoting’. If he is a well-bred Englishman, he’ll probably say, ‘Oh, well, I have done a little work on it’.
    I strongly recommend a highly readable work of social anthropology by Kate Fox: ‘Watching the English; the hidden rules of English behaviour’ (London, 2004, paperback 2005). A fine example of entertaining, yet scholarly, writing.

    Reply
  35. Jo: ‘(Anyone else here English? Am I right?)’
    Well, British, living in and partly brought up in, England, and yes, you are dead right.
    Understatement is an art form in English (not necessarily British) culture; it is also a crucial part of Good Form, and it completely baffles outsiders sometimes, because it can require behaviour that they regard as misleading false modesty.
    For example, if you are chatting to a new acquaintance at a party about some very arcane topic that interests you, and he seems rather well informed, you might ask, ‘so, have you read a lot about this, then?’ You have no idea that he is one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject, and the author of the standard work you have been quoting. If he is American, he will probably reply, ‘Yes. Actually I am one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject, and I wrote the book you have been quoting’. If he is a well-bred Englishman, he’ll probably say, ‘Oh, well, I have done a little work on it’.
    I strongly recommend a highly readable work of social anthropology by Kate Fox: ‘Watching the English; the hidden rules of English behaviour’ (London, 2004, paperback 2005). A fine example of entertaining, yet scholarly, writing.

    Reply
  36. Jo: ‘(Anyone else here English? Am I right?)’
    Well, British, living in and partly brought up in, England, and yes, you are dead right.
    Understatement is an art form in English (not necessarily British) culture; it is also a crucial part of Good Form, and it completely baffles outsiders sometimes, because it can require behaviour that they regard as misleading false modesty.
    For example, if you are chatting to a new acquaintance at a party about some very arcane topic that interests you, and he seems rather well informed, you might ask, ‘so, have you read a lot about this, then?’ You have no idea that he is one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject, and the author of the standard work you have been quoting. If he is American, he will probably reply, ‘Yes. Actually I am one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject, and I wrote the book you have been quoting’. If he is a well-bred Englishman, he’ll probably say, ‘Oh, well, I have done a little work on it’.
    I strongly recommend a highly readable work of social anthropology by Kate Fox: ‘Watching the English; the hidden rules of English behaviour’ (London, 2004, paperback 2005). A fine example of entertaining, yet scholarly, writing.

    Reply
  37. three things that hook me
    – the writing (The sentences have to be long enough)
    -the character development
    – the period.
    Now can someone perhaps explain to me why I can only tolerate romances set in England from the 1700 to 1900? it may be that I just want more Jane Austen– or what? Of course, I will read anything authors I have come to like have written, including your work Jo, and MJP. But, even with authors I know well, I have trouble with the novels set in modern times.
    On another note,
    I grew up in NYC, but somehow with a European sensibility. — so blatent self promotion is foreign to me. One is supposed to be mildly and intelligently self-deprecating and the listener is supposed to be smart enough to figure out the strengths implied in one’s ability to be accurately modest. Needless to say, as I have moved around the country, this style doesn’t come off as well in places where expectations are different.
    Merry

    Reply
  38. three things that hook me
    – the writing (The sentences have to be long enough)
    -the character development
    – the period.
    Now can someone perhaps explain to me why I can only tolerate romances set in England from the 1700 to 1900? it may be that I just want more Jane Austen– or what? Of course, I will read anything authors I have come to like have written, including your work Jo, and MJP. But, even with authors I know well, I have trouble with the novels set in modern times.
    On another note,
    I grew up in NYC, but somehow with a European sensibility. — so blatent self promotion is foreign to me. One is supposed to be mildly and intelligently self-deprecating and the listener is supposed to be smart enough to figure out the strengths implied in one’s ability to be accurately modest. Needless to say, as I have moved around the country, this style doesn’t come off as well in places where expectations are different.
    Merry

    Reply
  39. three things that hook me
    – the writing (The sentences have to be long enough)
    -the character development
    – the period.
    Now can someone perhaps explain to me why I can only tolerate romances set in England from the 1700 to 1900? it may be that I just want more Jane Austen– or what? Of course, I will read anything authors I have come to like have written, including your work Jo, and MJP. But, even with authors I know well, I have trouble with the novels set in modern times.
    On another note,
    I grew up in NYC, but somehow with a European sensibility. — so blatent self promotion is foreign to me. One is supposed to be mildly and intelligently self-deprecating and the listener is supposed to be smart enough to figure out the strengths implied in one’s ability to be accurately modest. Needless to say, as I have moved around the country, this style doesn’t come off as well in places where expectations are different.
    Merry

    Reply
  40. Jo here.
    AgTigress wrote: “For example, if you are chatting to a new acquaintance at a party about some very arcane topic that interests you, and he seems rather well informed, you might ask, ‘so, have you read a lot about this, then?’ You have no idea that he is one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject, and the author of the standard work you have been quoting. If he is American, he will probably reply, ‘Yes. Actually I am one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject, and I wrote the book you have been quoting’. If he is a well-bred Englishman, he’ll probably say, ‘Oh, well, I have done a little work on it’.”
    LOL! Absolutely. Though I think he’d have to cough up that he wrote the book or he would look strange.
    “Actually,” he says apologetically, “I wrote BEEKEEPING AND THE PATTERNS OF CHINESE AMERICAN POLITICS IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. Glad you thought it worth a look.”
    She’s suitably impressed, but if he were to give the American style she’d suspect he was a fraud or had a pathologically inflated ego.
    I love it when authors catch that nuance in their English-set books, as of course, the Wenches all do,
    Jo, who’s written a few historical romances, on and off, and had a bit of success with it. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  41. Jo here.
    AgTigress wrote: “For example, if you are chatting to a new acquaintance at a party about some very arcane topic that interests you, and he seems rather well informed, you might ask, ‘so, have you read a lot about this, then?’ You have no idea that he is one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject, and the author of the standard work you have been quoting. If he is American, he will probably reply, ‘Yes. Actually I am one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject, and I wrote the book you have been quoting’. If he is a well-bred Englishman, he’ll probably say, ‘Oh, well, I have done a little work on it’.”
    LOL! Absolutely. Though I think he’d have to cough up that he wrote the book or he would look strange.
    “Actually,” he says apologetically, “I wrote BEEKEEPING AND THE PATTERNS OF CHINESE AMERICAN POLITICS IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. Glad you thought it worth a look.”
    She’s suitably impressed, but if he were to give the American style she’d suspect he was a fraud or had a pathologically inflated ego.
    I love it when authors catch that nuance in their English-set books, as of course, the Wenches all do,
    Jo, who’s written a few historical romances, on and off, and had a bit of success with it. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  42. Jo here.
    AgTigress wrote: “For example, if you are chatting to a new acquaintance at a party about some very arcane topic that interests you, and he seems rather well informed, you might ask, ‘so, have you read a lot about this, then?’ You have no idea that he is one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject, and the author of the standard work you have been quoting. If he is American, he will probably reply, ‘Yes. Actually I am one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject, and I wrote the book you have been quoting’. If he is a well-bred Englishman, he’ll probably say, ‘Oh, well, I have done a little work on it’.”
    LOL! Absolutely. Though I think he’d have to cough up that he wrote the book or he would look strange.
    “Actually,” he says apologetically, “I wrote BEEKEEPING AND THE PATTERNS OF CHINESE AMERICAN POLITICS IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. Glad you thought it worth a look.”
    She’s suitably impressed, but if he were to give the American style she’d suspect he was a fraud or had a pathologically inflated ego.
    I love it when authors catch that nuance in their English-set books, as of course, the Wenches all do,
    Jo, who’s written a few historical romances, on and off, and had a bit of success with it. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  43. Merry,
    It’s interesting that you prefer books set in England between 1700 and 1900, and also that a lot of people feel the same way.
    “England” as a concept has many subtle qualities. I don’t really have time to go into it, but it’d be fun to blog about one day. A lot of it is fantasy, but it’s fantasy based on reality.
    All countries have their personality.
    The 18th and 19th centuries, however, do have qualities that appeal to many. They are “modern” in many ways and the politics, science, and way of life are not wildly different to life today.
    This, too, is illusion, of course, but it makes the translations we authors have to do somewhat easier.
    Jo πŸ™‚

    Reply
  44. Merry,
    It’s interesting that you prefer books set in England between 1700 and 1900, and also that a lot of people feel the same way.
    “England” as a concept has many subtle qualities. I don’t really have time to go into it, but it’d be fun to blog about one day. A lot of it is fantasy, but it’s fantasy based on reality.
    All countries have their personality.
    The 18th and 19th centuries, however, do have qualities that appeal to many. They are “modern” in many ways and the politics, science, and way of life are not wildly different to life today.
    This, too, is illusion, of course, but it makes the translations we authors have to do somewhat easier.
    Jo πŸ™‚

    Reply
  45. Merry,
    It’s interesting that you prefer books set in England between 1700 and 1900, and also that a lot of people feel the same way.
    “England” as a concept has many subtle qualities. I don’t really have time to go into it, but it’d be fun to blog about one day. A lot of it is fantasy, but it’s fantasy based on reality.
    All countries have their personality.
    The 18th and 19th centuries, however, do have qualities that appeal to many. They are “modern” in many ways and the politics, science, and way of life are not wildly different to life today.
    This, too, is illusion, of course, but it makes the translations we authors have to do somewhat easier.
    Jo πŸ™‚

    Reply
  46. I am one of those shallow people whose head is turned by hype. If it’s big and splashy and colorful, it will make me stop and look. With my background in Marketing, I am always interested in the latest marketing gimmicks, so hype catches my attention. But then hype always did get my attention.
    Like many of you, I’ll take recommendations from friends. But I’m influenced by hooplah, too, as well as word-of-mouth. A case in point: Last month I bought The Cloudspotter’s Guide by Gavin Pretor Pinney, based on favorable comments from various blog sites. For some reason, everyone was discussing clouds last month. I looked it up on Amazon and was so enchanted by the unanimously enthusiastic reviews that I bought the book. It is charming, funny, informative, and downright interesting. I’d never have known about the book but for the buzz.
    Book cover art is a science unto itself. For instance, advertisers have long known that red gets your attention, which is why you see so many ads (and book covers) with red in them. BTW, why don’t they list artist names anymore on the copyright page like they used to? I realize many covers are now computer generated, but there are still artists out there doing great, original covers.

    Reply
  47. I am one of those shallow people whose head is turned by hype. If it’s big and splashy and colorful, it will make me stop and look. With my background in Marketing, I am always interested in the latest marketing gimmicks, so hype catches my attention. But then hype always did get my attention.
    Like many of you, I’ll take recommendations from friends. But I’m influenced by hooplah, too, as well as word-of-mouth. A case in point: Last month I bought The Cloudspotter’s Guide by Gavin Pretor Pinney, based on favorable comments from various blog sites. For some reason, everyone was discussing clouds last month. I looked it up on Amazon and was so enchanted by the unanimously enthusiastic reviews that I bought the book. It is charming, funny, informative, and downright interesting. I’d never have known about the book but for the buzz.
    Book cover art is a science unto itself. For instance, advertisers have long known that red gets your attention, which is why you see so many ads (and book covers) with red in them. BTW, why don’t they list artist names anymore on the copyright page like they used to? I realize many covers are now computer generated, but there are still artists out there doing great, original covers.

    Reply
  48. I am one of those shallow people whose head is turned by hype. If it’s big and splashy and colorful, it will make me stop and look. With my background in Marketing, I am always interested in the latest marketing gimmicks, so hype catches my attention. But then hype always did get my attention.
    Like many of you, I’ll take recommendations from friends. But I’m influenced by hooplah, too, as well as word-of-mouth. A case in point: Last month I bought The Cloudspotter’s Guide by Gavin Pretor Pinney, based on favorable comments from various blog sites. For some reason, everyone was discussing clouds last month. I looked it up on Amazon and was so enchanted by the unanimously enthusiastic reviews that I bought the book. It is charming, funny, informative, and downright interesting. I’d never have known about the book but for the buzz.
    Book cover art is a science unto itself. For instance, advertisers have long known that red gets your attention, which is why you see so many ads (and book covers) with red in them. BTW, why don’t they list artist names anymore on the copyright page like they used to? I realize many covers are now computer generated, but there are still artists out there doing great, original covers.

    Reply

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