Today I'd like to talk to you all about something scary - Pimpage.
You see, I was having a discussion with a friend of mine recently about
pimpage. If you're not familiar with the phrase, that's because it's
not a real word. I can't even remember if I made it up or if I heard it
somewhere else. Either way, it's used to describe marketing your own
writing or the work of others. Basically, you're playing the pimp,
trying to sell books. And yeah, it's not the nicest way to put it, but
it's remarkably apt.
I think we writers - for the
most part - have a tough time with the concept of pimpage. Selling our
books feels suspiciously like selling our bodies. We're opening our
pages to the world so that others can peruse our wares, maybe take us home and fondle
our inner selves a little.
"Hey, baby. Want to see my chapters? They'll make you feel real good, baby."
It's a scary prospect. Which makes it understandable why so many of us are awful at it.
I have a tough time pimping for myself. I always feel like I'm
bothering someone or that I'm being pushy or even that I'm imposing. On the other hand, I have no problem hawking for other people - as long as their work is good.
Way back when, in my old life, I was a salesman. In fact, I was a manufacturers' representative for companies who make electronic components, tools, etc. And as a company, we represented about 20 some lines. Some of the lines were easy to sell. Their products rocked my world. I mean, if you're the kind of person who gets rocked by ergonomic screwdrivers and industrial heat guns and replacement semiconductors (which I am). Easy peasy.
Which is why, if I love a book or I love the author who wrote it, I have no problem pimping their books. I get excited about something; I want everyone else to have the opportunity to get excited about it, too.
Not sure why I can't exactly pony up with the pimpage for myself, though. Again, it comes back to not wanting to toot my own horn. Trust me, it's not from a lack of excitement about my writing. And it's sure as heck not a lack of belief in my work. Maybe it stems from a lack of belief in myself.
What do you think? Are you the kind of person who can easily sell yourself and your books? Or are you like me and can only get the courage up to sell for other people? Maybe we should start a support group for the pimping deficient. ;o)