It’s a funny thing, being both the creator of such an intimate and personal product as a book and the one who has to do most of its peddling. This contradiction — asking authors to throw what’s often deeply private smack into the public realm for commercial purposes — can have strange effects on behavior, such as making us go suddenly tongue-tied when we actually have to use that one-line description we’ve practiced ad nauseum. (Sound familiar?)
And that’s just one example. At two recent events – the AWP conference in March and Grub Street’s Muse & the Marketplace conference this past weekend, I was reminded of another that’s been a bit of a pet peeve of mine, since it’s a big publicity faux pas: It can be summed up with these two simple words. “My book.”
On panel after panel, I heard authors talking about this amorphous…thing…they referred to as “my book.”
Each time, I cringed. “Doesn’t it have a name?” I wondered, “A title? Something to give it an identity beyond: ‘a very personal endeavor I’ve slaved over for years that’s become inseparable my very existence?’”
Which leads me to this quick, ridiculously simple promo tip for every writer out there (bonus: using it is cost-free!):
Always refer to your book by its title.
Or by an abbreviation of the title if it’s long. Especially when