Ahhh the dreaded promo.
Having spent most of my life in sales, I (arrogantly) felt I was up to the challenge of taking on my own promoting. After all, I have a formal education in sales techniques, a not-so-shabby history of being a top producing team member and after all, how hard could it really be?
(Just when I think I have the world by the tail, the universe likes to let me know where I really rank in the scheme of things. Shifty Mother Nature and her sick sense of humor! But I digress..)
So with my wealth of knowledge and experience to guide me, I immediately began setting up my marketing plan. Website? check! (Although it is one of those inexpensive jobs created by yours truly and it's painfully obvious that web designing was NOT my calling-don't laugh or I'll put you in my next book!) Blog? check! Marketing materials? yep! Joining more chats and groups than I could ever conceiveably keep up with? Oh, you bet!! But you want to know what I learned about all of my previous experience? It was easy because I was pushing someone else's product.
Oh, it's easy for me to sell something for someone else, no problem! After all, it's not my baby, my creation, my bare soul exposed for all the world to see. I was bombarded with the startling realization that just when I thought I had worked through all of my adolescent insecurities, they rushed back like that enourmous zit that appeared for 8th grade picture day! (Remember Mother Nature and her sense of humor?) Suddenly I found myself floundering trying to push not just my own work, but to sell myself on the idea that I might actually be a writer!
It was horrible! In fact, the first few times I told people I was a writer, I actually cringed! I felt like a poser! A fake! Someone was going to spot me any moment and shout "There she is! That's the imposter!"
But I kept going, and you know what?
I've learned a lot about my ego on this journey and the advice I will give all the newbies is this: Push yourself. Whatever you have to do. No matter how much it hurts. No matter how much you try to talk yourself out of it. Trust me. You will be richer and wiser for the experience.
Do I blog every day? No.
Do I even manage to write every day? No.
But what I try to do is focus on what I can do, what I need to improve on, and where I'd like to be later on down the line. I have given away copies of my book, I have done postcards and bookmarks, I have been fortunate to guest blog with some wonderful people and the more I talk about my work and what I do, the easier it becomes and I really have begun to believe in myself !
Do I have any new ideas for promotions that will send you to the top of the bestseller list? Sorry.
(And even if I did, don't you think I would already be there? >grin<)
Do I know any 'ancient Chinese secrets' to make YOUR promo'ing easier? Nope.
Do I believe you can do it? ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY!
Trust me, if I can do it, anyone can.
Hang in there. I never get anywhere as fast as I like, so take some time, learn the ropes and let's enjoy our journey!
Autumn Shelley is the author of "Blood Moon" a paranormal romance featured in 'Taming of the Wolf' from the Wild Rose Press. Check out her website at: http://www.autumnshelley.com/ or her blog at autumnshelley.blogspot.com