Posted by: Kerry Gans | January 19, 2016

Becoming Visible: An Introvert Tackles Marketing

Invisibility is my superpower.

I am the person at the party that no one notices.

I am the person whose emails go unanswered.

I am the person who sales clerks overlook to serve the person next to me.

I am the person in the corner, against the wall, in the shadows.

Please note that I am not complaining about this—I have worked hard my whole life to avoid the spotlight. My invisibility is hard-earned. It is a wonderful superpower to have for observing life, watching people, and overhearing bits of conversation—great for the writing side of things.

But now I have a book out. (Yay!). I need to market the book.

I need to go against a lifetime of instinct and be the center of attention.

I need to become visible.

And that’s terrifying.

I’m doing the marketing things I can do comfortably. Social media, reaching out to bloggers, doing interviews, creating a book trailer. The safe things. The semi-visible things.

But I’m procrastinating on the big items. The high-visibility items. The school visits and the library events and the book fairs and conventions. The spotlight events that scare me to death.

I know I’m procrastinating. I know my anxiety disorder well enough to see what I’m doing. I’m putting final touches on my school presentation, and soon will have no excuse not to book some. I am planning a launch party, and will have a firm date very soon, making that inevitable. So a time will come when I can no longer avoid the spotlight.

I will become visible.

Why am I so afraid? Good question. The school visits scare me because of the unpredictability of the interaction. Will the kids get involved? What do I do if they don’t? How do I control the presentation while making it a back-and-forth? After all, I chose not to be a teacher for a reason. I’m good with people one-on-one—with a group, I quail.

A library event or book signing would be more controlled, but in those cases I get hit with another anxiety—imposter syndrome. Who am I to be speaking to these people? What can I give them that’s special? I wrote a good book, a fun book, but it’s not Earth-shattering. I simply feel unworthy to be standing in front of people and pontificating on anything.

And yet, becoming visible is my job. I must advocate for my book, because no one loves it like I do. No one has as much invested in it as I do.

I must face my fears. Become comfortable with less control. Quiet the voice that says I am an imposter. Stop being paralyzed by the spotlight.

I must do these things to become successful. To truly move from “writer” to “author”. I must find my voice away from the page. Find a way to connect with my readers.

I need to become visible.

Even if I’m terrified.

 

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Responses

  1. I feel your pain. Toast masters is a group that deals with our problem. When I get an agent, I plan to join & hire a publicist. Congratulations! So happy for you. You can do this and you will.

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    • Thanks, Eileen! Just need to jump in with both feet at some point.

      Like

  2. I feel the same way! Most authors are introverts, yet we’re supposed to go forth and market ourselves. You brought up an interesting point, about truly moving from “writer” to “author.” That helps – thanks very much! All best to you, Kerry.

    Like

    • Thanks, Candace! Best to you, too. It helps so much when we support each other.

      Like

  3. I feel your pain because I’ve shied away from signings and other “visible activities.” Easy to put off. I express myself much better in writing than I do in person. I’ll even chat with a small group, but talking to strangers is tough. Sigh.
    Barbara of the Balloons

    Like

    • Yes. But it is part of this life we claim to want, so I guess I’d better get on with it!

      Like

  4. […] Becoming Visible: An Introvert Tackles Marketing […]

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