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Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

I'm An Author, Not A Brand!

Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett


I musing on this topic today when I saw a link to this manifesto from Maureen Johnson.

As some of you may know, I spent the weekend at an SF convention. I sat on several panels, and observed what authors do to promote themselves. I won't say a lot of what I saw was wrong .. it's just not me. I'm not the dressing up in costumes type, at least so far as promoting myself goes. A hat to cover the wayward hair is about as far as I go. Yes, I help put on a radio show at some conventions, but that's really not about me the author. It's about having fun with a group of people. I don't use it as a platform to promote myself. I'll answer questions about something I've written if someone asks, but I have my radio hat on. (Again with the ratty hair.)

Do I compartmentalize myself too much? When I go to a panel, I think they want to hear me talk about writing, or whatever topic the panel is about. Or more likely, they go to listen to someone else and tolerate me. I go to learn from other authors. And yes, I go to learn from readers. Hey, it's nice to hold a book up at the start of a panel, but I'm not going to beat the audience into buying it.

The best panel over the weekend wasn't about books in particular or writing. It was about how fandom had changed our lives. Instead of introducing ourselves and nattering away we started by having the members of the audience introduce themselves and tell their stories. As much as I hate to use a phrase such as "life-affirming," it may fit in this case. We heard story after story of people who were happy to find someone just like them. Stories of long-term marriages made in fandom. Con virgins just happy to have found a place where they can be themselves. It was very cool.

And I digress. But it was a life-affirming digression, no? ;-)

I'm not putting down the authors who "brand" themselves or seem to go overboard on the shameless self-promotion. If it works for them, that's great. It's just not for me. These days it just makes me feel awkward.

Maybe I'm just getting old.
Tags: Writing

Filed under: Writing            
6/10/2010 3:27:34 PM
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