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If it’s good enough for Brad Pitt …

September 3, 2010

I wish to share some thoughts on self-recommendation.

I have been browsing the Amazon discussions and have been shocked at the vitriol poured on the heads of self-recommending authors. What is so wrong with recommending your own books?

Is it any different from Hollywood stars making a world tour to publicise their latest film? Even when they know it’s crap. Film stars, authors and sport stars are all out there selling themselves and their products.

So, is it simply the lack of fame that makes Indie authors despised by so many? Their books may not be good, but then I thought Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code was an appallingly poorly written story. But it didn’t harm his sales.

I am a traditionally published author, who, in spring 2010, made the decision to go Indie. Although I have had a best-seller, I am relatively unknown in the US. In Ireland, when one of my books launched, I would do the performing-monkey bit for the publicists and the media.

Now, as an Indie, the promotion of books is up to me, and I have done – the horror – some self-recommendation. Over five months I have posted 19 recommendations, less than four per book.

I’m no Brad Pitt – more of a John Goodman to be honest – but there are times when Brad and I do the same job. When chasing the dollar, you have to holler!

And just as some movies are dire, so are some Indie books. But the gems are out there; only this morning I read a collection of short stories which was superb.

So stop knocking the self-recommendations; we all have to start somewhere. Ask yourself this – was the resume you wrote for your last job interview the honest truth, or did you bend the truth a little in your self-recommendation?

Before I sign off, some advice to the self-recommending authors. Keep it short -unlike this post -, interesting and relevant. I have read recommendations almost as long as some novels. When Julia Roberts gives an interview, she doesn’t wheel out a bunch of fans to say how great her new romcom is. And do not recommend a zombie horror story to a reader seeking a heart-warming love story.

Maybe I have stuck out my head and will get it shot off. So be it.

Good luck and good reading.

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