She first first contemplated a writing career as a poet at age six. That notion ended four years later when she found no ‘help wanted’ ads for poets in the Sunday NY Times classified section, but her desire to write persisted. After graduating from NY University, she headed west to pursue a career as a journalist before switching to fiction. Miko lives on Whidbey Island in Washington. You can find out more about her books and follow her for her latest releases at Amazon.
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Why do so many writers avoid or neglect promoting their work? Take me, for example. Deep down I believe I’m a capable writer, the author of books that are well written and enjoyable to read, literary enough to satisfy the mind, exciting enough to keep turning pages. But will I tell this to anyone? No.
I just did, you say? Not really. When you write something, you can detach from the words. Not so when you say them to someone face to face. With conviction, so they know you’re telling the truth and not exaggerating.
And it’s not just me. I’ve spoken about this to other writers, particularly women, and nearly all agree they have the same difficulty as me being direct when we talk about our work. We can state facts, like having a best seller on Amazon or having won an award. We can describe what the book is about. But if a prospective buyer asked us flat out if our book is good, I’m not sure any of us would answer, “Yes. Absolutely”.
I suspect one reason is what I call the Good Girl Syndrome. I was raised in an era when females were taught to be modest, not only in appearance, but in manner. A proper lady never bragged, no matter how exceptional or accomplished. I think it’s why I find it difficult to talk about the quality of my novels to prospective readers, despite my enthusiasm.
I’m not alone. I belong to a writers group that has banded together to sell our books at local Farmers’ markets. We help each other and sell whatever is on the stand. I only feel comfortable presenting my own books to customers when they ask if any of them are mine, or if we carry historical fiction. A handful of writers plug their own work, often blatantly, and they sell far more than I do. Most of us hang back and let the customers decide what they want to buy, or we talk up each other’s books. Maybe that sounds more sincere.
I’m thrilled when I hear people who’ve read my novels tell me how much they’ve enjoyed them, how they’re looking forward to the next sequel. More than one has urged me to “hurry up and write more”. I’m most flattered when someone far from my target audience compliments my work. Yet somehow I can’t turn that around and use it to encourage others to buy my work. This has led to a theory: In fiction, the good guys win. In life, the good girls lose. But it hasn’t led to a solution.