Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I'm no longer 32. Can I still crush it?

The book I ordered came. Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk, the one I post about here.

I've got several questions after reading it. Like, how can such a little book be so loud? I felt like the author was yelling at me the whole time. His photo on the back flap-- dark, intense eyes staring out at the reader-- unnerved me, and I almost took off the cover. But I couldn't, because I always use the flaps as bookmarks. Even though I didn't need a bookmark with this one. It was so short, I read it in one sitting, while Gary stared me down the whole time. Okay, I get it already! Stop yelling at me!

But do I get it? Do I know how to crush it? Do I even want to crush it? His whole philosophy is to build your personal brand through social media so that advertisers will come find you and throw money at you and you will then be rich beyond your wildest dreams.

Like that scene in the movie, Julie and Julia, where she comes home to a zillion messages on her machine from agents, media moguls, Oprah, Walt Disney...pretty much everyone wants to throw money at her because of her cooking blog.

So apparently that can happen to me if I build my personal brand here on this funky giraffe blog. Oh yeah! I want to be rich beyond my wildest dreams! Then I can do stuff I don't do now. Like check into a really cool hotel-- the third floor, Soda Springs-- and write my next novel.

Still, I don't really believe it. I don't believe ad people will throw money at me and agents will leave messages on my phone. I'm not sure I even want that. My blog title "Reclusive Writer" is there for a reason. Because I really am reclusive!

So if I don't believe it, then why am I up blogging at midnight? Isn't that what loud, intense Gary told me to do? Was I hypnotized? Or maybe it was that diet Coke I drank at 9 p.m.

Crush it? I'm not even sure what it is I'm supposed to be crushing. And I still haven't figured out how to brand myself, or tattoo myself, or whatever the heck it is. I'll sleep on it and think about it tomorrow. Peace Out.


  1. Melinda GardinerMay 5, 2010 at 11:40 PM

    Well Geez, I don't know how to CRUSH IT either, but I suddenly feel the need to. Is that anything like discovering what "the secret" is? I'm still trying to figure that one out as well. As far as getting a vm box full of messages from agents and publishers...I'd be happy with one in particular - wink, wink.

  2. wow. i would never look twice at that book.
    not because i don't think mr. intensity has valid things to say, just his methods don't appeal to my personality.

    and i guess my goal has never been getting the attention of advertisers. i want to get the attention of readers (and, of course, an agent and publishing house). i don't want my "personal brand" splashed everywhere, inundating the subconscious of the public because some advertisers had deep pockets.

    but i guess i'm just weird that way.

  3. This whole promotion thing certainly is a learning experience.
    I certainly have a long way to go.

  4. I'm just laughing here. I can totally relate.I don't buy it,either. You're doing better than me, so let me know when people start throwing money at you. Then I'll know I'mnot far behind.

    I was also blogging at midnight...and 6am is too early to be up agian, so off to bed with me for another hour. And I also always use the jacket as a book mark!

  5. I am very wary of those salesy types. Sure it works for some people, that doesn't mean it's LIKELY for the rest of us.

    Kinda like winning the lottery. Anyone can enter, we all have an equal chance of winning, but will we really?

    It is important to build a brand, to be consistent. I would say do it because it's who you are and not because you're searching for those millions of media dollars.

  6. I say don't crush it. It's a shouty enough world and we like your giraffe.

  7. Don't think I could crush it either. I like my privacy. But I know I need to promote. Damn.

  8. I'd say a recluse writer could probably draw a great deal of attention from the readers. There would be so many questions about the author the reader would want more, and more.

    Thoughts in Progress

  9. Hi

    The book sounds like a horror read! :-)

    I think I'll seek sanctuary and have a lie down in your lovely From the Shadows to the Page section..!


    Take care

  10. When you promote like that, I think you only make yourself out to be conceited, vain, and annoying. I like the subtle approach myself. It may not get me where I want to be any faster, but I'll get there eventually. I'm stubborn that way. Without being loud.

  11. Kitty, LOL!!

    Ann, Conceited, vain and annoying-- ugh who wants to be that? This guy gets accused of it frequently so he says he's willing to apologize whenever necessary.

    Mason, Yes! I'm with you there. I'd like to be the new J.D. Salinger. Only first I have to write the new Catcher in the Rye.

    Alex, I like promoting in my own way and making it work for me and what my goals are. He did it his way, with video blogs and Facebook and made it work for him. I could no more do that than I could walk up to the local tv station and ask for an interview.

    mise, It IS a shouty world isn't it? Why isn't everyone throwing money at quiet people?

    MissV, That's basically his premise, then he took it the step further and said You can do it too and make more money than you ever dreamed of. So then people get off the track and go after the money instead of realizing they need to be authentic to who they are. That's the problem with books like this.

    Tamara, Looks like we're really crushing it with these hours we keep!

    Al, When I published my first book I knew zip about promotion. It all sounded horrible, and I didn't want to do any of it. A lot of it still sounds horrible, except for blogging and doing presentations. I like those two things.

    mi, I'm with you. When it went into that direction "to attract advertisers" that's where he lost me. I'm all about living your passion and being authentic but advertisers? You gotta be kidding me. I don't even want Google ads on my blog. Advertisers can go crush it somewhere else. Not on my giraffe.

    Melinda, I remember that secret book!! I never read it so why am I reading Crush It? I mean really! What was the secret anyway??

  12. Keep up with your "crush it" and "peace out" and soon you'll be writing YA!

    I hate this whole branding thing. Blogging is about relationships. If I have something to promote, great. But I have no hidden agenda. Neither did Julie Powell. For writers, I don't know if this whole crush it mentality makes sense. It's a crowded field.

  13. Theresa, I don't think it does make sense for writers because most of us aren't sales people. I can relate to the platform, the authenticity and the relationships. I'm still not sure I understand what branding is or why it's important.

  14. This made me laugh, although really, it isn't funny. Because we have to promote once we publish. And that is quite hard for those of us who are shy and reclusive. I don't like in your face kind of people, and this book sounds like that. I think you have to find your own way, which I'm still struggling to do.

  15. Karen, I'm laughing because I just went to Amazon to check out this book -- and there's a little video there of Gary speaking -- and he is yelling the entire time. I suppose you could call it enthusiasm. If you want a more subdued (and maybe more realistic) book on platform building, check our Get Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz. She is NF focused, but the platform stuff all applies.

  16. I know marketing is important but this is too intense for me. I want to reach people by my words not by flashy marketing ploys or in-your-face tactics.

  17. Never read that one! I did do the branding though.

  18. I'm just laughing here. The yelling part is why I never finished the book. That is a perfect review of his book! After you posted about buying it, I opened it up again. Read a paragraph. Set it down.

    He is certainly true to his personality in everything he does. I think that's the point I came away with: Be your best you. Be true to yourself. Work hardest at THAT.

  19. I just posted a fuller review on Goodreads and gave it 2 stars. I did like his emphasis on authenticity and being passionate in your work and your life. But it was basically a long magazine article, not a book. I could have spent the same amount of time on copyblogger and got more information without buying anything. Checking Goodreads reviews, apparently he has a 3 book deal.

  20. If I wanted to crush stuff, I'd join the WWF and wear skimpy outfits. And bleach my hair. And put people in head locks.

    Didn't writing used to be this solitary, quiet life? That's why I was attracted to it.

    Thank you, btw, for giving me a license to ramble at my own blog. Altho, I know I shouldn't try people's patience. Iffin' I start posting long pieces about my navel, do give me a virtual slap across the blog. (Ouch, that sounds like it might actually hurt.)

  21. KLM,

    "Didn't writing used to be this solitary, quiet life? That's why I was attracted to it."

    Here here! I so wish it would get back to that. And I have issued a formal apology for my insensitive comment on your blog. I learned how to do that from reading Crush It, because apparently Gary has to apologize a lot. Actually I'm pretty sure if I knew him in real life, I would like him.

  22. lol, now I want to see this guy's picture. I hope you don't think mine's too intense!

    I just read your post about your presentation at the library. I'm glad you had a nice time. I wish I could have gone.

  23. Wow! Super interesting post. I'm going to look for that book. And by the way, congrats on passing 200 followers! You go, girl!

    So, this is what I think about this post. Advertising yourself the way he suggests may not work, but what if it does? If it doesn't take that much energy, go for it. You can still be reclusive AND rich! LOL

  24. I know what you mean! Very interesting post. I think there is a lot to gain from using the media properly, but there's also a lot to lose, time-wise. You can try really hard, and still no one will notice. But you can end up with some great deals if you stumble into the right media. My mother writes a travel blog and is active on twitter, and the Rwandan government just asked her to come and stay in Rwanda for a week in return for her writing a post about it on her blog - all expenses paid! Jealous? I know I am:)

  25. I won't be reading that book. Thanks for the warning. ;)

  26. Sounds like a situation where the TITLE of the book is doing all the selling.

    I much prefer to squeeze it firmly, as opposed to Crushing It, myself.

  27. I think you need to do things your way. You already know who has read your book and who has liked your book. YOu need to find a way to reach more people like them. It sounds like you're keeping an open mind and I think that's the best you can really do. It's a stressful thing to think about- having the success of the marketing on your shoulders. Try not to let it get you down.

  28. 'Crush It' sounds strangely like doing something drastic to get rid of something, rather than start something. Hm.

  29. Just keep writing and be who you are--I think if I try to focus on the publishing part of this gig when I am not even published, I'll curl up in a ball and die.

    I want to write and try to get what I've written published. The money, should it follow, would be lovely. But if I were writing for the money, I'd have never started!

  30. Sounds a little too loud for my taste. I'm more like you -- I'm a bit reclusive, definitely not in-your-face, or at least I try not to be.

  31. The book sounds totally unnerving. And I also am too shy for this flashy kind of stuff.