As a person, I've never been the most confident. At school, I never offered the answer to a question in class, even if I knew the answer. I never volunteered to read aloud, even though I can read perfectly well. I never asked the guy out, never made the first move. Never believed I was pretty or thin, or clever enough.
Simply, I always thought someone (or everyone) was better than me.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about arrogance here. Just a basic level of confidence.
This has carried on into my publishing career, and I have come to realise that one of the bigger problems with my book sales is just that I don't have enough confidence in my work.
Have you seen those amazing authors who post with such enthusiasm about their own books? I don't mean the pushy, "buy my book now!" people - just those who are so happy with what they are putting out there, they ooze confidence (even if it's faked, because let's face it, releasing a book is always terrifying!).
I released my first book in 2012. I was thrilled with it. I still love it now - I love all of my books. But when someone says to me, "Hey, I bought your book, I can't wait to read it!", although I always say thank you, I often can't stop myself from saying, "Oh, you didn't have to do that, you probably won't like it, it's not that good."
This isn't something I say to fish for compliments - it's like a safety net. If they really don't like it, at least they won't tell people I go around bragging about a book that is crap. I DON'T think my books are crap, but I can't bring myself to be too positive about them.
But this is NOT the attitude. Not the attitude that will sell a book.
This brings me to my new book.
Nobody Knows - my baby, and the book I have seriously high hopes for.
I don't want to start promotion for this book with negativity in my head. I want to be the author who says, "I wrote this, and it's really great, and I think you would love it!" I BELIEVE in this book. I believe in the story and the characters and I think my writing is the best it has ever been in this book. I have an amazing cover for it, I have a team of wonderful people helping to promote it.
Yet those nagging voices say, "Yeah, but.... what if it's a gigantic flop? Stop bigging up the book, because if it fails, at least the crash won't be so hard!"
I know every writer feels it. I know I'm not alone. But right now I am fighting hard at unlocking my inner confidence and being secure enough to say, "Hi, I'm Kyra Lennon, and I wrote this book. It's about rock stars, and it's about friendships, and it's about the complications that arise when the lines between friendships and love get blurred, and how people who have such tangled pasts try to find their way forward when their mistakes return to haunt them. It has heart. The characters are flawed, but I think you will like them because of that. I love them because of that. I feel like each one of them is a small part of me, and I truly think the best books are those the author has poured a little of themselves into. I am proud I wrote this, and I hope you feel the story the way I do."
Yup, that is all totally schmaltzy, but hey, if I don't believe in my work, I am going to have a hard time convincing anyone else it's worth reading.
Confidence really is the key.
(P.S You can sign up for the cover reveal right here - I'm telling you - this cover is AMAZING! You seriously don't want to miss this!)