…Or ‘tooting my own horn’ is not something I am particularly comfortable with. But after my recent book signing, I am quickly discovering it’s the only way to market my book, so I’m really trying to get my trumpet blaring (whilst cringing on the inside!)
I know what some of you are thinking… is this wallflower the same girl who sings fearlessly on stage in front of any size audience? Well yes, but it’s kind of different when you’re worship leading and pointing to Jesus! The idea is for me to disappear, and Him to take center stage, so to speak. My own trumpet is (hopefully) a non-issue!
I’m chewing on this in light of my book signing at Chapters last Saturday. In spite of the lack of confidence I thought I had in promoting TEARS TO DANCING, it turns out I had an absolute ball! For my friends in the U.K. and elsewhere, Chapters is the big guy in bookstores here in Canada, and I was flabbergasted to be invited to hold such an event.
Especially so close to Christmas- could it have been more perfect? My story is set at Christmastime, and has a definite festive flavor, so I was elated… especially when I found a PURPLE NUTCRACKER to put on my table display! If you’ve read TEARS TO DANCING, you will understand my joy, if you haven’t – well, you probably should! Just saying!
However, I did have a slight setback and minor breakdown last week when I discovered an order of 40 copies of my book had gone missing in the U.S. somewhere. Nobody knows where. It’s a mystery. My replacement order was sent priority and was promised to arrive three days AFTER the book signing. Outstanding! A little lesson in trust and patience methinks. Thankfully, I was able to muster together just enough for the big day. Plus the added bonus of a few more grey hairs… not that you’d know (thank you for thinking “I’m worth it”, L’Oreal!)
So on Saturday, armed with bookmarks of beauty, an unending supply of dark chocolates, my ‘faffing’ paraphernalia for my table display, a couple of teen boys for muscle, and my pile of books, I set up next to the Christmas trees in our biggest bookstore. I quickly shed the muscle, as they looked more like armed bodyguards sitting behind my table, and I bravely flew solo selling my wares.
The mall was heaving with organized early Christmas shoppers, and I took the advice of a learned author, and instead of hiding behind my nice, safe table, I mingled with the people. I gave out bookmarks, offered chocolates, and chatted to anyone interested about my book. Before I knew it, there I was blowing my own trumpet with ease!
I sold 22 copies (which I am THRILLED about), signed even more, gave a zillion bookmarks away, had my photo taken with some lovely customers (gotta love the paparazzi!) and generally had a wonderful experience. I have never seen so many friends from different areas of my life all in one place before, except perhaps my wedding. I SO appreciate the support and encouragement from each and every one… you know who you are! THANK YOU!
So why is self-promoting so very daunting? Is it too deeply drilled into me that as a Christian I should never put myself out there for attention? Am I afraid to celebrate the gifts that He blesses me with? Am I not supposed to be humble and void of pride? Will I be zapped for tooting my own horn?
My issues could stem from never having a “business” to promote before. Can I talk about my kids’ accomplishments? Anytime- I’ll bore you to death for hours. Can I brag about my wonderful hubby? He’d particularly love that, but yes- I’ll tell you how amazing and accomplished he is. Can I promote my book? I’m blushing already. Much to learn, much to learn.
At Chapters, even though I might have been tooting my own horn to some extent, I truly want to give God the glory. You see, He gave me TEARS TO DANCING, and He opened every single door along the way. It’s a story of hope found only in Him, and I pray for every single person who will read it.
What a privilege and what a ride! Hopefully, this is just the beginning. My trumpet-blowing, businessman husband is chomping at the bit for me to get my promoting head in gear now that I’m on a roll. Apparently, sitting at my desk writing isn’t the whole shebang. Who knew?!
Okay, I think I’m ready to make some noise.