The Nightmare of Self-Promotion

Given my arguable success in the proliferation of All Things Shriek, Barry Andrews, and his latest mini-project, ANAXATON6, one would think that I'm some kind of expert, but I'm not.

Everything I learned about promotions, I learned by observing the BMG branches across the country, and what they'd get up to in getting the word of a new album by an established artist, or a debut album by a relatively unknown talent. The department I worked in was Point of Purchase, which was responsible for getting in-store play CDs to stores and radio stations, as well as sending promotional tchatchkes like posters, flats, press kits, even frisbees at one point.

All this really came in handy when I encountered the Shrieks for real and true, and began doing what my branch friends were used to doing all that time. Plus, I was able to give advice about promotions, when it was asked for, or when I thought it prudent. It was all a very educational experience.

During this time, I learned that I was actually pretty good at the proliferation of truly deserving talent. I even extended whatever I could offer to Scott McClure of The Joker Blogs fame, working diligently with some other wonderfully talented souls to bring to the world who should be the next Joker, if there is a god.

But I've come to realise that I suck like a pissed-off black hole at promoting myself. I try my damnedest, but I don't think it's every really good enough. I'm one of those people who hangs her head and looks furtively about for the nearest exit, just in case I have to dash out, wailing with horror at the very thought to trying to tell another person why they should read my books.

I think that's one of the reasons I am genuinely fond of Richard Ayoade. He's great in his acting roles, and at panel shows, which showcase his perfect deadpan humour. But, if you ask him about his own work, like the movie Submarine, he starts with the nervous head-scratching (which is adorable, given the unruly, beautiful mess that it is) and the constant eyeglass adjusting. Plus, he has problems making eye contact, which makes most of his pictures look kind of like he's waiting for the aliens to land at any moment.

So, it's not that he's just an absolutely beautiful man, his honest shyness and self-deprecation are traits I relate to on an extremely profound level. I empathise with him, especially right now, when The Augury of Gideon is close to being published.

What would be ideal would be for RA to promote my book, and I could promote his movies, shows, and writing credits. That would be in some perfect world in which I shall sadly never live.

Flogging one's own work just seems so ego-centric. I think that's what distresses me most. I'm not one to hoot and holler about whatever talents I think I have. I'm gratified that some people see some potential in me, just as a bevy of individuals consider Ayoade a brilliant individual. I guess I'm more of a "here's something I hope you like. If you do, please say so in public, that'd be great" kind of person. And that's what I see in Richard Ayoade, and what endears him to me so much, not to mention he's the bastard child of Prince and Urkel.

I kid you not.

 photo princeayoade.png

The more nervous he gets, the more he scratches his head and adjusts his glasses. He's like an textbook case of self-consciousness. I don't see how he does it, really. If I had to go before a camera and talk about The Vampire Relics, I'd be shot off into space for the benefit and protection of the entire human race. Anyway, I need any advice that anyone can give me on how to plug my wares without dying from embarressment. I'd ask Richard, but I have no way to do so, so that's pretty much out of the question.

What I'd really love to do is ask Richard Ayoade how he psyches himself out for interviews and movie promotions at film festivals. The problem with this is I'm sure I'd do two things: wrap around him like an alien face hugger, and hang my head in shyness for even being around him in the first place. I imagine he'd talk to the walls or out the window, and I'd be overly verbose with the floor.

Gads. How can someone overcome being a hang-dog when it comes to their own creations, when they can be so enthusiastic about others'? I JUST DON'T GET IT. If I could only be a fraction as enthusiastic about my own work, as I am Barry Andrews', I may already have a movie deal ~ in a parallel universe.
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