By: Lizbeth Selvig
Congratulations to "Julie O" the winner of Lizbeth's giveaway! Thank you to all who participated.
Sorry to bother you. I just wanted to tell you that last month I finaled in the RWA RITA contest, and soon this month I’m going to start running some little promotion contests. Maybe, if you want, if you ever had time, you could come and visit my Facebook page and see what’s up.
Are you hooked yet? What? No?
I’ll have you know that in Minnesota, where I was born and bred, that first paragraph contained some pretty powerful horn-tooting. Plus, it has the perfect kind of apology to make it palatable. My agent and my editor both tell me starting with an apology is not to tolerated. But it’s hard to change Norwegians in the middle of a stream.
What I mean is, it’s been very difficult to learn to promote like a real author while my grandmother’s Norwegian blood courses through my veins begging me to apologize at the slightest hint of self-aggrandizement.
Add together this Scandinavian propensity for self-deprecation and my Minnesota birthright and that’ll explain why my aversion to self-promotion is locked in at the DNA level. One of the things “Minnesota Nice” really means is that we’re taught to praise others while putting ourselves down, even though we really want praise too. It’s complicated, but other Minnesotans get it. We totally know how to handle a properly constructed compliment.
First you give it, after which it’s brushed off, then you give it again with an, ‘oh-don’t-be-so-modest’ type addition, then the person shrugs and says something scintillating like ‘yeah, thanks, it is cool I guess.”
This necessary repartee confuses anyone else in the world because it smacks of passive aggressive fishing for compliments. But we are totally sincere. The DNA thing is real.
Let me explain, and I’ll use the RITA example because, well, I’m a rebel, and my grandma—Heaven rest her soul—is not going to read this.
Let’s say someone—friend or relative, it doesn’t matter—greets me and says, “Congratulations on that RITA final.” Here are a couple of appropriate responses along with what they mean anywhere else in the world:
“Oh, gosh, thanks. It was a big surprise—I got so lucky with the judges!”
Translation: “I was jumping up and down I was so surprised. My peers really liked it!”
“Oh, well, thank you. Isn’t that quite a fluke?”
Translation: “Oh, thank you!”
See inside, real Norwegians are going, “Holy cow, I’m so happy; they like me! Squeee!” just like any normal person. But if they were to say something like that out loud it might make them look puffed up and unapproachable. Or it might be vain.
Heaven knows, we don’t want to be unapproachable. Or vain.
This is why, up until now, I haven’t much mentioned my RITA final—it’s uncomfortable from my DNA on up. Unfortunately, being undeserving and self-deprecating doesn’t get an author’s very darn far! I’ve learned over time that the only way to get new readers is for writers to be efficient and tactful self-promo experts. Yeah. Still working on that.
Hi everyone! I’m so excited to introduce you (or maybe re-introduce you) to my 2014 RITA finalist book, “Rescued by a Stranger.” I’m prouder than I can say to be in the Long Contemporary category with seventeen of my biggest romance author heroes (below). I hope you’ll check out my story! Hey, it’s a RITA finalist. Toot, toot!
(I’d also invite everyone to check out and Like my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/lizbethselvigauthor. And I hope you’ll sign up for my newsletter at the same time, because I have new book news coming out very soon and I’ll announce it to my newsletter crew first!
That wasn’t really so hard. Now tell me what things sometimes hold you back or make you nervous, excited or embarrassed. I’ve got a set of my first two e-books for one randomly drawn commenter.
Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST May 2nd. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@JustContemporaryRomance.com with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.