Thursday, August 17, 2006

Obnoxious Self-Promoters

Some writers carry self-promotion to obnoxious levels.

Consider a series of postings by writers in a bulletin board memorial to someone who recently passed away, and who counted a large number of writers among his friends and acquaintances.

It was disgusting to see the number of writers who added a list of their novels to each message. I know, I know--those were signature lines. But it still makes the in memoriam statements read like:

"Wow--he was a great guy. I'll miss him. By the way, buy these books that I wrote!"

I wonder if these writers hand out book promo at funerals, and maybe take advantage of such captive audiences to do a reading?

It can get worse. Back in the 1980s a well-known SF fanzine published a special issue to honor a certain legendary writer. Included in the issue were solicited tributes by fellow writers--one of whom hijacked the tribute and turned it into a personal promotion.

How? By jamming the "tribute" with references to the offending writer's own work, such as "... and I'll never forget [honored writer]'s [book title], which inspired my own [egotistical writer]'s [MY BOOK'S TITLE with publisher and date appended]. And my character in [ANOTHER BOOK'S TITLE with publisher and date appended] was inspired by [honored writer], as was the protagonist in [YET ANOTHER BOOK'S TITLE, etc.]" The writer (whom I will not identify even by gender, lest I inadvertently add to its "fame") did this for each and every book it had ever published!

Someone died; it’s about them, not you. Leave your ego--and insecurities--at home.

Copyright © 2006, Michael A. Banks

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