Thursday, March 3, 2011

Are you Shy?

Shy has never been a word to describe me. I can stand before a crowd and talk about almost anything and feel right at home.  I attended Toastmasters for a while...not so much because I needed it, but because I wanted to improve my speaking abilities. I had a great time, met some new friends and learned more than I expected.

My mother once told me I've never met a stranger. In my opinion, a stranger is only that until you introduce yourself and get to know the person.  Of course, there are some people I wish I had left as a stranger, but that's another post.

The Internet has provided an outlet for those who suffer from shyness.  Being the faceless person behind email posts allows one to let their personality shine and interact in ways they normally wouldn't.  So, what's the difference between being afraid to speak up about normal topics and having the ability to sell yourself?

That's where my "shy" gene surfaces.  I've tried selling before, and I suck at it.  Salesmen and women are a rare breed, and there are some who could sell a match to someone standing near a house fire.  I've tried cosmetics and jewelry...both items that women love.  While I took classes on how to overcome rejection when trying to book home parties, I couldn't stop taking "no" for an answer.

I knew from classes that if someone says, "Oh, I can't have one at my house, it's too small," I was supposed to suggest holding a party elsewhere.  Or if the woman said, "My husband would hate me," I was supposed to counter with "Aren't you an equal owner of your home?"  I just couldn't do it.  No meant no, and I don't like pushy people, so I've never been one.

Where is all this leading?  I want to know how other authors sell themselves and their work.  How do you justify expecting a reader...especially in this economy, to spend $13.95 for your trade paperback when Wal-Mart sells Nora Roberts for $3.96?  Although I know I'm a good author and have written enjoyable stories, this is where I have a hard time standing up and sounding off.  It would be nice to hear from both the reader's and author's perspectives, so comments are more than welcome.


rdimaggio2010 said...

It's not really a matter of people buying the cheapest books they can find; it's a matter of knowing that your writing is worth it! You have something unique to offer, and you deserve to get paid for it. That's my two cents. :)

Roseanne Dowell said...

I've always been shy. Honest, I have. I know my kids and other people who know wouldn't agree, but there it is. I've never been one to initiate a conversation in a room full of stranges. Infact, I try to stay away from strangers. I have, however, become more bold at some things. I think selling Home Interiors helped. I realized they didn't know what I was supposed to be saying, so I relaxed. I also have become more bold when talking with doctors. I used to take what they said and never questioned them. Now I do.
But, I'm like you when it comes to selling. I couldn't push people to buy Home Interiors and I couldn't prod them into hosting a party. That part of my career was short-lived.
And I haven't figured out how to sell my books either. I post to Face Book, Twitter and post to all the groups that I belong to. I know I sold one book through FaceBook, to a friend of my sons. I couldn't believe he bought a sweet romance. But, hey a sale is a sale. I just hope he enjoyed it. I'm sure he passed it on to his wife. Of course, one of my son in laws reads my books, too. So I guess they're not just for women.
I'd be happy to hear some suggestions about how to increase sales.

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