Saturday, October 25, 2008

An awful salesman

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'm an awful salesman.

We just came in from a walk. Someone stopped me on the way and asked about the book. They wanted to know where to get it. I told them and then, after they had gone on, it occurred to me I have a card with my web site address on it. I could have given her one of those, but I just didn't think of it.

When you go to seminary, they make you take personality tests to be sure you don't have quirks which disqualify you from being a minister (a tactful way of putting it, I guess). Anyway, I took this test called the Myers-Briggs personality inventory. I think that's what it was named. I didn't look it up, and it has been more than twenty-five years.

The test seemed silly to me. It had a lot of things that didn't seem to have any purpose at all. But when I debriefed it with the psychologist who gave it, he said, "You'd rather write something than talk to someone." And he was right. In fact, that test was right about almost everything about me. Most people see me as gregarious, but actually I'm sort of retiring. And that's especially true with strangers or when I am promoting myself. Promoting yourself seems so hubristic (if there is such a word). To put it briefly, I'm an awful salesman.

I read a St. Martin's/Minotaur author on their blog. She talked about how she enjoyed writing the books but had a hard time selling them, doing things like signings. Well, I'm the same way. I love to write, and when I was in the ministry, I worked very closely with people, but those were people I dealt with every week and came to know well.

If you write me a note or ask me a question I'll answer. In fact, I would relish the opportunity to talk with people about the book. But I won't push my book on you, even if I meet you walking. I'm an awful salesman.

If you would like to respond to this post, please leave a comment or go to my web site where there is an email address. Thanks.

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