Every once in a while, like most people in the creative arts, I indulge in a little shameless self-promotion. But this morning I was thinking about that phrase – why is self-promotion supposed to be something one is ashamed of, so that if one does it, it’s a shameless act?
As any visitor to my blog or web site will correctly deduce, I believe in my work. I know that it connects with readers, and has changed lives. I’m not ashamed of those facts. As a matter of personal philosophy, I hope that I never trumpet them so loudly that other people can’t be heard. It’s a big world, with room for lots of music.
There’s little to be gained from raising myself up by standing on others. I also believe in lesbian love stories, in their value as part of our community definition, and I believe that a woman’s heart is as suitable for literary treatment as any other theme.
I support several professional organizations and causes to varying public and private degrees. Some I promote (again, privately and publicly) because I believe the cause is good, and it’s the right thing to do. On my public site, the promotion of some is a matter of enlightened self-interest. If my goals and the organization’s overlap, why would I be ashamed to promote it and therefore my work? As it gathers steam and achieves its goals, my own goals have a chance of succeeding as well.
In the case of GCLS, for example, it’s the only organization and event that’s about lesbian books and nothing else. I love the convention because it’s where the girls are, and I always get a wonderful sense of renewal and energy when women gather, laugh and share their enthusiasm for lesbian literature.
One of my proudest affiliations is with my publisher, Bella Books. I know that sounds disingenuous since I recently joined the staff, so what else would I say? The decision to join the staff, however, was heavily influenced by my pride as one of its authors. Had I reservations about how it does business, its philosophy of the marketplace and future plans, I wouldn’t have accepted the challenge. I recently participated in the acquisition of my first manuscript and the feeling is simply amazing!
The impetus for this blog was actually to promote Bella’s new web site. As I prepared the entry, I thought, “What the heck – a little shameless self-promotion to start the day.” But I’m not ashamed in the least. The new home page spells out who Bella Books is and what Bella Books is about, including the long-held commitment to protecting their users’ privacy.
So, a little unashamed self-promotion to start the day: Bella Books has a new web site!