A comment yesterday on a writer's blog by an author who felt she didn't have the self-confidence to market a book fascinated me because she's already written a book, an act that requires a ton of backbone. This seems to be a big hang-up for many writers, and one reason that many look at a traditional publisher for their work rather than self-publishing. The expectation is that the publisher will handle all the icky stuff while the writer focuses on the next novel or book. From what I have read this is an unrealistic view - most publishers appear to want the author to market their own work, absorb all the expenses and pay for the 'opportunity.'
The author mentioned that she fluctuates - "One day I think the book is amazing, the next, it's all horse manure."
My family will recognize this. On a good day, I have a huge ego and everything is great, or at least, fixable. The other days I hide under the bed, convinced that it's all crap, every word. Writing anything for public consumption is a tremendous act of faith. First, that you have a story or an idea worth sharing. And, if you do, can you translate that idea into written words that will make the reader feel they story. Creativity and craft, the two touchstones of writing, held together by persistence until a book is birthed.
Finally, after you've poured yourself into that story, it's done, and ready to send out to the public - whether through a publisher or on your own. That's your work, your feeling, your joy. And you just exposed it to the masses.
Writing a book and offering it to a reader is a bit like stripping naked on Main Street and shouting "Look at me!" The very act takes guts which is why so many books sit, finished, in the author's upper left hand drawer, where no one will ever see it, no one will see what an amazing thing that you have created.
On the low ego days, the days when 'it's all horse manure," you remember that you're naked, and you have to trust yourself and your instincts and, most of all, your readers.
You don't need more self-confidence to market a book- you've probably got plenty. It only goes from amazing to manure in your head. What you need is more trust in your craft and your readers.