“Howdy! Over here! Read me! I’m fabulous! Read me me me now!” holler the American writers.
“Um… excuse me, if it’s no trouble, I have some writing available, and… no, never mind. Forget I said anything. Goodbye forever,” whimper the British writers.
In my short time bumping noses with American and British writing talent I have noticed two rather predictable trends towards self-marketing. When it comes to advertising one’s writing the transatlantic clichés are true! Americans are vociferous and eager to flaunt their literary acumen, while the Brits suck down their tongues and tell no one they write. Like nervous kiddie-snakes! What pineapples and pickles, ja?
Why should this be, you silly crow-slappers? Brits understand the need for continual self-marketing in the rapaciously overcrowded literary marketplace as well as Americans! And since 90% of writers in Britainland deal with American litrags and publishers, you would think this trend a lazy falsehood. But no. It’s true. I’ve seen it with my own goggles. Ich habe nette Schutzbrillen!
Conversely, it’s more common in Americaland for someone to write something and hurl it off to a publisher without first editing or sharing it with others. Jah Wobble! In Britain, it’s more common for someone to write something, dismiss it as useless toolpoop and leave it to fester in a fusty cupboard forever. Silly planks! There is an equally worrying imbalance in this showiness vs. humility juxtaposition.
So… what is the right amount of self-promotion? Some folks devote their blogs to waggling their literary credits (deeply irritating). Some people turn into self-promoting spambots and suck the occasional pleasure out of reading their work (pointless and unendearing). Some folk tell close friends and no one else (pointless). There is much übülation!
I say… harness the power of the social networking sites and gently point people in the direction of your work when it’s ready! Do not filch the fish when it is not a grown cod, nah? If you’re a mega-talented superstar with stories coming out every week, hold off on the promoting for a few weeks then refresh people’s memories later. Kick the wagnut of selflove into Bootania.
Practice meekness and chaste-love when it comes to plugging the self. As we say in my homeland: Das füvübüm mucha pump! (Do not overfeed the snake who longs for kibblesnot).
Good luck, slippershells!