Wednesday, August 16, 2006

another thing...

I know it's not my day to post but I just wanted to bring up two topics.

First of all, after my Amazon rant I began to feel a bit of worry. Am I exposing too much of my non-success? So much of promotion and publicity is "spin." Sometimes it's more important for a book to look and seem like a bestseller than it is for it to actually be one. Like movie ads that say, "This movie was amazing..." and if you go look up the review the actual line says, "This movie was amazing because it was so bad." That's what's so weird about marketing, it's the slanted viewpoints that you give out. What do you guys think?

The other thing I wanted to bring up was with all these recent posts revealing my, um, not-neat side was an episode in my defense...

Once, a group of us (professional author/illustrators) were giving a talk to illustration students. We all went on and on about how hard the profession was, how you had to be dedicated, etc. Pretty run of the mill stuff, until one of the illustrators said that "Illustration is not a good profession for girls. You have to work long hours, etc. and women like things to be neat and clean." Awkward silence. And then, I think Jarrett said, "You haven't seen Grace's house."

Ah, that's me. I'm all about equal opportunity messiness.


Meghan McCarthy said...

I agree Grace. Sometimes when enough people talk something up they make that something into what they were hyping about. I'm sure publishers do it all the time--say how great the book is and how successful it is before it actually is. I certainly don't publicize my books well. I SHOULD be walking around talking up my books but I don't. Sometimes I do the opposite. I always wonder if appearing more confident would make my books sell better. Perhaps. Who knows. I still feel that it's best to be honest and open. I know I feel better when I am. So if my book sales are crap then I'm going to say so. Sales might not improve but I feel better not putting on some fake facade.

this, dear readers, is what my editors probably can't stand about me!


Agyw said...

Grace I know I come off as arrogant often (in the classic Jon Lovitz phrase "Get to know ME!"). But I've had a few incarnations, and more often than not made other people tons of money. I loved what they did/sold and was able to hawk it and then some. But up until this endeavor I've had a devil of a time selling myself. Even when I was very good at what I did (calligraphy and certain fields in antiques).

The difference now, I really do write about what I love. I know if this present project is published, and there's a good likelihood it will be, I'll have no qualms of helping it along as much as possible. But then I think it's a fun story, as well as an important one (I blab about it all on my blog at live journal so I won't go on about it here, but it's something that really goes to the very heart of me). And I think that's part of the difference for me and a lot of others. It's a very small distinction, because I'd daresay that any of the people I've met in person or cyberly would say they are writers/illustrators because they need to be. But it's a job, as well to them.

Though I'd not eschew professionalism, it's so much more than that. Tess Gerritsen has some interesting points on her blog and one of them is exactly how it NEVER STOPS. Meghan had touched upon that and I'd been ruminating on that ever since. I mean it permeates absolutely everything I do, my waking and sleeping moments (often I posit questions when I go to sleep to "figure" them out, surprising how often it works).

This isn't a depressing thing, just an opportunity to see if there's anything you would choose to do differently. I would say that all the women in the Blue Rose Girls are way-above-average talented lot, with the discipline and drive to go as far as they choose.

Whether it's promoting literacy skills and a world struggling to educate all children (Never underestimate the power of a book-- all it takes is for a kid to fall in love with ONE book and they can become avid readers in search of ANOTHER book to love), or spreading a message that opens the world, it's all good. Perhaps if you see your "mission" and decide to accept it, the promotion thing will fall into it's proper place and not feel so discomfitting? Okay, this post WON'T self-destruct, but it probably should for all its wordiness, eh?

Grace Lin said...

Agy, you never come off arrogant--ever!

I was going to answer with a long comment but then I realized I have nothing to blog about on my day so I'll just save until then!