I’m an introvert or an ambivert (a person whose personality has a balance of extrovert and introvert features) or I’m an introvert who learned to manage in an extroverted world. It all depends on the definition. Regardless of how it’s categorized, I have introvert features that make marketing a book very difficult. And, yet, I have to do it. This weekend, in fact, I’ll be inflicting my introvert awkwardness on a Facebook Takeover Event hosted by Saguaro Books, the publisher of my book, The Travelers. (If that’s not a fantastic pitch to get you to come to the event, I don’t know what is!)
What’s a Facebook Author Takeover Event?
Good question. I’m glad you asked. Because I had no idea either. (On top of being an introvert, I’m very new to social media.) Thus making the concept even more terrifying. Although once I found out what it was, that didn’t exactly allay my fears.
You see, a Facebook Takeover Event is where a group of people, in this case, the authors from Saguaro Books, post comments and interact with fans via Saguaro’s Facebook page for a set amount of time. See below for a flyer for the event.
(Side note: I’ll be on at 1:20 MST, PDT/4:20 ET. And for anyone who is confused by that time difference, it has to do with wonky mountain zone time stuff that happens in Fountain Hills, AZ, the location of my publisher. Other mountain time zones are still just 2 hours behind eastern time. Yes, I agree it makes no sense. Whoever controls those time zone changes must have an interesting sense of humor.)
Why is a Facebook Takeover Event so terrifying?
Well, the idea of an Author Takeover Event might not be terrifying to everyone. But, it’s very hard for me to talk about myself, especially in large groups and particularly to strangers. I’m terrible at networking. A sense of dizzying, crushing anxiety overtakes me when I have to simply ask a person for directions. And I certainly don’t like being the center of attention.
When I was first promoting my book, my publisher asked for a recent picture of me and I sent this gem on the right. Their response? “We need something where we can see your face.” Sigh. I could no longer hide in the shadows.
To an outsider who meets me, it probably doesn’t seem as though I’m so introverted. I manage to pull myself together for social gatherings and appearances. However, it’s a learned skill rather than an innate one.
I usually end up stumbling into some super embarrassing story about a time I fell down the stairs at a convention and knocked down two elderly ladies like they were bowling pins.
But it takes a lot of effort and I usually end up stumbling into some super embarrassing story about a time I fell down the stairs at a convention and knocked down two elderly ladies like they were bowling pins. To make matters worse, they then had to help me get up.
I don’t even like to bother waiters with pesky questions like, “I have a gluten allergy, do you have anything I can eat?” I force myself to do these things but the introvert in me would rather risk days of sickness than ask a question to a stranger. (In retrospect the reason for my failure in my initial career choice of public relations should have been abundantly clear.)
These personality traits make something like an Author Takeover Event a bone-chilling proposition, on par with spending the night in a graveyard, and one that has already kept me up at night. I’m plagued with the same fears as when I started this blog. Why would anyone be interested in me? Who cares what I have to say? Soon they’ll all figure out I’m a hack and this book publishing thing was a complete fluke and I should crawl back into my little introvert hole and never come out.
Phew, introvert anxiety is exhausting.
So how did I handle it?
When I first found out about this Author Takeover Event, I panicked and went to my go-to panic-resource: research. I read through other past takeover events. It was only mildly helpful. Mostly I noted how engaging and witty people were in these posts.
I’m not witty.
I’m not quick with responses. I’m the person who thinks of the great comment or comeback two days later and circles “what could have been” around in her mind obsessively.
When I do manage a quick response, I usually regret it. Just this past weekend, I happened to be talking to a woman about the city of Madrid and quipped that “It had the charm of Barcelona but without the charm.” To which she responded something akin to “You’re crazy. It’s a wonderful city. I live there.” Yep, that’s me. Foot in mouth, awkward, really shouldn’t be allowed in social situations K. L. Kranes!
So, with my go-to research failing me, the next step in panic evolution? Beg for help. I reached out to my extroverted friends, every introvert needs them, they’re essential for introvert survival and I asked for help. Since they’re wonderful friends, they all came back with great suggestions and ideas. But putting these ideas into practice still seemed daunting.
Then came the panicked text to my sister, who as an introvert herself I knew would understand my fears. She also happens to have a marketing degree and is extremely creative. Oh, and she loves YA fantasy books like mine. She and my marketing savvy best friend are my book marketing lifesavers.
So what’s next?
Still brimming with anxiety, I know I now need to promote this event. This blog may be a bit of an unconventional way to do that. But I’m pretty unconventional.
Self-promotion is another one of those introvert nightmares. At every book signing or panel, every book event, I ignore the drum of my heartbeat in my ears and the hot flush on my face. I put on my biggest smile and words come out of my mouth. Half the time I have no idea what I’m saying and how they don’t come out as “Smp blap bleep blorp” I don’t know. I manage to make complete sentences and push through it. Afterwards feeling completely drained.
Half the time I have no idea what I’m saying and how they don’t come out as “Smp blap bleep blorp” I don’t know.
I hate to sound ungrateful because I’m not. The people who organize and come to these events took time out of their busy days to support me. I am very grateful for that (probably more than they realize). Unfortunately, gratefulness and appreciation cannot suddenly change me from an introvert to an extrovert.
So, with that, if you’d like to see the potentially comical debacle where I attempt to participate in an Author Takeover Event hosted by the publisher of my book, The Travelers, please come join me!
There will be other authors you can interact with as well, many of whom are witty and wonderful and will manage not to make fools of themselves. I, on the other hand, have probably made sticking my foot in my mouth an art. So if you’re a fan of watching train wrecks, I’m your girl. Or if you’d just like to get to know some authors and their books, please come join the event!
Plus maybe I’ll post cute pics like this one of dogs with my books. I mean who doesn’t love an adorable picture of a dog?