Today I went to a small bookstore to introduce myself as a local writer and leave a press kit with the owner. I enjoyed meeting her and gained some wisdom regarding her clientele and what she has learned over the past year as an independent bookstore owner. What I realized upon leaving is this: I feel like a prostitute, not a writer, when I am out in the world selling myself to others who have the power to carry my books and promote them. I love writing and crafting stories which help people relax and escape from the stresses of their lives, but I do not like this business of having to sell myself on the market.

As I have pondered this necessary evil, I am coming to realize that in some way each of us sells ourselves.  Heres some examples:

Job interviews

Performance reviews

Writers when they submit work for publishing

Writers when they must market published work

Professional salespersons, whether it’s cars, clothes, insurance, mutual funds, what have you.

People who seek to buy anything

Teachers who are meeting parents the first time

Professors in every class setting

In each of these settings, we are trying to assure that we are to be trusted as an expert, as reliable or dependable, etc. We not only are saying we are the best and therefore should be hired, or chosen to have an item purchased from us, we are saying TRUST ME.

Yet in a world where nothing is guaranteed, and things are so uncertain, do we have the right to insist that someone trust us. Why do others expect us to? Why should I be expected to go out and convince a store owner to buy my works for their shop? Isn’t that what the marketing department of a publishing house is for?

Maybe I say all this because I am being forced out of my comfort zone, which is hiding behind y laptop screen in the privacy of my writing room, and out into the public eye. All I know is, this is one area in the writing world I hate.Submitting comes a close second. At least with the submission process, you are rejected from a distance, not dismissed face to face, not given that infamous “I’ll call you line” where you are left wondering “Did I not look right?” “Should I have worn a different outfit or Did I say something stupid?”

I love crafting works of words, but boy,  do I really hate selling me! I am glad to come to the conclusion that not just writers and job seekers have to sell themselves repeatedly, but in small everyday ways,  we all do.

How do some of you about this world we are living in when it comes to getting people to trust you,  and what do you do when you have to sell yourself?