Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hello, is this mike on??

How many introverts do we have in the room? Ah yes, silence. Nobody raises their hand because they're too shy. I know what you're thinking. If I raise my hand, somebody might look my way. Worse yet, they might ask me to stand. Or...er...sss...ppeeek!
Anybody?
Yes, I can relate to this. Oh, so well.
I was painfully shy as a child. I had no siblings, spent hours talking to my dogs and dolls, and creating my own imaginary world. Not surprising for a writer in the making I suppose, but in retrospect, I wonder now how many opportunities I missed along the way because I did not want my voice to be heard. I was the one practically on the floor at a show where audience participation was rampant. I rarely said much in class.
Simply put, I did everything in my power not to be noticed.
Not much has changed over the years. I can't boast to being a terribly outgoing person. I don't like being forced to speak. I'm not comfortable in group settings. It takes me a while to warm up to people, and I guess that might make some think I'm a little snooty. I'm not, really, I'm just...well, weird.
How then, with all these wonderful attributes going for me, do I stand a chance of being able to promote myself as an author? I have no idea, and frankly, it concerns me.
Marketing is vital. Being able to say, "I've written this book, I know you're just going to love it!" is not prideful, it's necessary. But it's so not me.
At the moment I'm trying to think of ways to get folks interested in my Vietnam book. If it goes to print, I want support behind it. I realize that a lot of authors won't let too many people read their work before it's published, but I don't fully agree with that. I want to know that what I'm putting out there is good, and others like it. Like a political campaign, I'd like to have a support system in place before I even hit the road.
That means I have to get out of my comfort zone and ask people to read my book.
I have to say that so far I've not had much luck. I'm not sure what I'll do if I ever get to the point of needing endorsers - for all the talk I've heard about writers making time for one another and supporting each other, my experience over the last few days has unfortunately proved otherwise. Maybe it's asking to much of someone to read a manuscript that as of yet has no guarantee of being published. But then there are the few good souls who prove their worth and graciously agree to read it. Because of people like that, I will keep knocking on doors. I will keep writing this blog for the few who read it. And I will convince myself that I have a product worthy of your support.
I do! Really!!
So what about you? Are you in the process of marketing or promoting yet? Where do I start?
I can already feel my gut clenching just thinking about it.
That said, please support me and my book.
There, that was convincing, wasn't it?

6 comments:

Terri Tiffany said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your book--learned alot as well as a writer. I highly support others reading our work to help us in this process.
And yes, I understand about being shy. Your description was me>

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I love how honest you always are here. I think I'm a fake extrovert. I get refreshed and feel most at peace when I'm alone, but I've learned how to put myself out there, almost to a surprising point. I like to risk. It's proven worthwhile.

As for marketing...I get you on this. I've found I'll put myself out there trying to connect...sometimes I'll get a response and sometimes not so much. I try to develop the relationships that take and pour into those while still putting myself out there. It's a crazy business...this publishing deal, but some of the connections I've made make all this risking worth it.

I'm open to read a manuscript. I love reading.
~ Wendy

Heather Ivester said...

Hi Cathy,

I came in for a visit through ACFW. I can definitely relate to your shyness. It's one reason I've always been such an avid reader. I'm a quiet person, always happier with a book in my hand.

But I love people -- and being a mom has forced me to be out around LOTS of people of all ages.

To help me overcome my introverted nature, I try to focus on ONE person. When I speak to school groups, I feel energized when one student raises his or her hand and asks a question. Then I can go from there. :)

Cindy said...

I am glad you're still moving forward even though it's hard to step out there. I know how you feel and that's how I've been my whole life.

When I first started writing, I thought it was the perfect job because I didn't have to put myself out there. I thought I could just write and people would read my work without knowing who I was and I wouldn't have to do anything more. It sounded great.

Well, that's not what publishing is all about and I've had to slowly put myself out there even though it scares me to death. Take it one day at a time with the marketing and try to make a goal sheet to focus on different forms of media each week. When I was in this phase (for the small press :D), I had pages and pages of notes--trying to find endorsers, like you mentioned, and easier things. I tackled them all by making a check list and approaching them one by one, week by week.

All the best with this new endeavor! Blogger buddies are especially supportive with this kind of thing so all you have to do is ask :)

Jamie D. said...

I've been marketing for awhile now, while getting ready to both self-pub and submit to publishers. Marketing is one of those things that needs to start as early as possible, in my opinion, because it takes a long time to build the kind of good connections with people that will help to sell a book (or anything). The internet is a godsend for us introverts...we can spread our name a long ways without ever leaving our house. :-)

I think the most important part of marketing is building up a network of people who will happily help you spread the word when you need them to. As I mentioned, it takes time. And I've found the best way both to connect with people and to get over that reluctance is to focus on *them*. Focus on what other people are doing, support their endeavors, and they'll be happy to reciprocate. :-)

I have a couple of guest posting opportunities weekly on my blog...if you're interested, email me at jdebree8@gmail.com, and I'd be happy to set up either an interview or guest post spot for you. :-)

jenness said...

So how did I get so lucky, that you warmed up to me from the first forum comment? Is it because I'm so incredibly charming...or did you feel sorry for me? lol.
As for marketing, word of mouth is the main thing. And having a good book. You'll do fine, just fine.