With apologies to Joni Mitchell’s “Free Man in Paris” song about shilling for one’s art. It’s similar to promoting a new book. And I’m stoking that machinery myself with launch parties, book signings, media appearances, and social media postings.
This is all part of publishing a book these days. If you’re not John Grisham, then you have to do all the heavy lifting yourself, regardless if the book is published by an established publisher or by yourself. Please don’t view this as a complaint, it isn’t. There is nothing like going out and meeting your potential audience face-to-face. It’s also not for the faint of heart. You’re out there, exposed. Your work is out there for all to see. What is this all about?
Norman Mailer once wrote and I paraphrase: “A writer must have an enormous ego to believe anyone would want to read what he has to say.”
So, yes, it is about ego.
He also said the following: “Writing books is the closest men ever come to childbearing.” and “When I read it, I don’t wince, which is all I ever ask for a book I write.”
And about pain. And hopefully, acceptance. What do you think?