I took part in a conversation today in a few writers groups about the proper ways to promote yourself and your work. I am far from being an expert so I found the information exchanged interesting and was happy to see that as a whole we all agreed that there is a major difference between sounding professional and coming across and a self-absorbed egomaniac. The question I was focused on was when we cross that line.
I, like many of my fellow authors, struggle with a crippling low self-esteem battle everyday of my life. I can blame it on my PTSD or issues with my dad or whatever psycho babble "professionals" would spout in response to my feelings but the truth is as a group we are by and large an insecure bunch. So when I try to promote myself I find that I overthink everything. I am always wondering who exactly will even bother looking at what I am posting and studying other's advertisements until I am analyzed them to death. I can pick something apart until I have dissected things that probably only exist in my own mind but it does not necessarily help me further my own goals.
Assuming I decide to take a deep breath, close my eyes and hit share on something I will still make it as quick and painless as I can. Part of this is because I am not technologically savvy so I do not know how to do much more than just hit share and publish. I haven't even figured out how to customize this blog or get more than 1 follower though I am trying. I am talking with my friends that do know how so that hopefully someday I can learn. I also share simple things because deep down I hope people will like but I am also sure it will be overlooked.
So at what point do we cross over and talk about our work to the point that we look ridiculous and like we are overhyping ourselves? I think the consensus was that if you sound like you are giving a review of your own book that comes across as amateur. It is one thing to share reviews that your readers give or quote testimonials but when you make them up or speak as a reader yourself it can be taken wrong even if it is just a way to try and drum up support. It is never a bad thing to showcase your work it is just important to make sure you come across with the impression that you are the creator and others are the ones that are enjoying it.