Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Exposure~ And The Threat Of The Sweet 'Old Ladies'

Being that I have always been a very private person, it was and still is challenging to "reveal" myself so-to-speak to the world. When you become an "author" (wow, that sounds so glamorous doesn't it?) you are basically telling people "LOOK AT ME!! LOOK AT MY BOOK I WANT YOU TO READ!!  LOOK LOOK LOOK AT ME--BUY MY BOOK!!"

 Well the endless self-promotion and endless plugs for my books is very difficult for me. Like I stated before I have always been a very private person. I dislike causing a scene, I dislike the spotlight being on me, I dislike drawing attention to myself, I never like to take credit for anything, etc. And as far as privacy...oh how I like my privacy!! Now, if you are related to me or a friend, I am very open and forthright, but if you are an acquaintance or business contact, usually a different story. I can even give you an example of the insecurity I have with exposure: In my office when I had my law practice, I never kept any family photos of myself, spouse, children, etc. You know how most people will have cute pics of their kids, etc.? Nope, not me! I didn't want my personal life exposed.

There was one particular time when I relented and brought ONE photo of my kids to the office...well I was in a meeting with a client and I left my office to make copies and when I returned, I found my client taking a picture of the photo with my kids. Can you imagine my HORROR!!!?? Why did she need a picture of my kids on her phone?? She had just made a comment that my children were so cute and she wanted to take a picture.  This client was harmless, she was an older sweet lady, but STILL!!! That's a little creepy OLD LADY!!!!! But what if it wasn't that sweet old lady? What if it were someone else with a criminal background? And as an attorney representing close to 1000 people in my years, although I didn't practice criminal law, I had many clients that had criminal backgrounds--everything from aggravated assault to child pedophilia. Well after that incident you can guess what happened--my cute little pic with my kiddos went bye-bye! LOL
Ok so if you didn't know by now, now you know how I do not like exposure and I do not like the spotlight. So back to my original point of having to expose myself (and a little of my family as well) as I make my way through the "book world." Like I said it has been challenging! I can definitely identify with and understand the authors that choose to go "anonymous" or choose "pen" names as opposed to their real names. I'm sure everyone has their different reasons for doing so. However, I often wonder how authors market themselves that choose to remain "anonymous" or choose "pen" names? Isn't part of selling your book also selling yourself in the process...or is it not? Of course if you have a big name publisher backing you, I think the question might be mute in that instance. However I have seen indie authors as well try to go anonymous, and many have pen names (I wish I knew the percentage of authors that use pen names). When you are a no-name indie author, like myself, you almost feel like you have to reveal yourself in a way. At least I feel that way. Of course I could be wrong about that, but it does make for an interesting discussion.

I have to admit...I too have a pen name, or at least a quasi-pen name and I think you already know the reason as I pointed out above...lest I run into any more of those sweet old ladies! ;-)

God Bless!
T Denise Clary


Unknown said...

Great post! I feel the exact same way about it. I'm private in real life and online as well. But when you self publish- you HAVE to try to get some exposure. It's a dilemma!

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way and glad you brought this up. I wish more people would weigh in on this topic and how they deal with it.


T Denise Clary said...

Yes!!! IT IS a CONSTANT battle as I continue to struggle with it!!