It’s the first Wednesday of the month, so it’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – and offer encouragement to other fearful beings. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month and visit at least a dozen new blogs. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.
Since I’m relatively new to the group, I have been remiss by not acknowledging our fearless leader and organizer, Alex J. Cavenaugh (sorry, Alex). Here are this month’s co-hosts:
Heather M. Gardner http://hmgardner.blogspot.com/, Christine Rains http://christinerains-writer.
A few days ago Dr. Wayne Dyer died. I didn’t agree with everything he said or did, but I had a lot of respect for the way he believed in himself and encouraged the rest of us to do the same.
Dr. Dyer wrote 30 books in his lifetime. When he published Your Erroneous Zones in the 70s, he traveled the country with books in his trunk, looking for radio and other interviews wherever he could find them. He had a vision he wanted to share and wasn’t shy about sharing it.
We writers are often shy marketers. I know I am. Many of us are much more comfortable sitting in front of our keyboard than talking to people about our work. Plus, some of us have some old hang-ups about getting paid to make art.
My first book, When a Grandchild Dies: What to Do, What to Say, How to Cope, did well because it had a niche audience and I was able to connect with the Centering Corporation, an excellent organization that distributes a catalog of bereavement literature. This was great news, but it made me think book marketing was easy.
As a novelist now, I recognize it takes a lot more work to get noticed. I’m not talking about the hard sell here. There’s nothing more obnoxious than having an author blam me with BUY MY BOOK! tweets. I’m talking about thoughtful steps: taking time to get reviews and build buzz before releasing it into the world…then following up. Building relationships with people. Supporting other authors in our promotional efforts (I’m thinking giveaways here).
If we are able to reframe the marketing process from “selling” to “sharing,” maybe we can overcome the insecurities that go with book promotion.
I’ve run across a number of “how to” books and videos, some of which are more helpful than others. I’ll share some of those at another time. For today, let’s just think about how we can become “okay” with the marketing part of our work. Sharing our stories, we engage with a dialogue with our readers that can be deeply rewarding…as well as profitable.
Are you comfortable with marketing your work? If so, how did you get there?