“He who toots not his own horn, gets his own horn not tooted.” – Madge Stenger (1900-1986)
Wise words from a wise woman who I often wish I’d had the pleasure of meeting. Having just published my first novel, I’ve been thinking a lot about self-promotion. As a self-published author, it’s unavoidable. And even going through a traditional publishing house, more responsibility is falling on the author to promote his or her work these days. In my previous life doing marketing for a living, I actually helped promote several authors – both traditionally and self-published. I feel very grateful for those experiences because they gave me a preview of what I’d be doing.
The other night, my fiancé and I were chuckling about something my daughter says at dinnertime. Every night, we each share our favorite part of the day. One day, when my fiancé’s favorite part included an activity with my daughter, her response was an eyelash batting and very charming, “it’s about me!” Because we all laughed, this performance has been repeated nearly every night. We encourage it and she, the talented drama queen, does not disappoint.
Anyway, we were talking about this as part of a conversation about self-promotion. Many people hate the idea of having to talk about themselves, especially to sell themselves. But I think self-promotion gets a bad rep. There’s really nothing wrong with promoting ourselves and our businesses – small businesses would never survive without it. And with the sheer volume of books for sale, an author is going to have a hard time being seen without employing some strategic marketing techniques. That being said, I think it’s possible to promote your work without being perceived as a narcissist and it’s really not that difficult. After all, as writers, what do we want? People to read our work and to connect with it. So as we focus on promoting our works, we simply need to stay focused on the people we’re hoping to reach.
By my estimation, the key to successful self-promotion, that won’t make an author feel like a creep, is engagement. Being engaged with your audience can be as simple as responding to emails and comments on social media positively and in a timely manner. Giving readers a glimpse of your life and views, and showing interest in theirs creates a lasting connection. A few months ago, I was fortunate to have a chance to chat with Pretty Baby author Mary Kubica online. We talked about the challenges of being a mother and an author. Her words and her attitude resonated with me and, though she was already an author I enjoyed reading, she’s now on my radar in a much more personal way.
So on that note, dear readers, you’ll be hearing a lot from me as I promote my new book and other writing I’m doing. I appreciate your support and I look forward to hearing from you. Don’t be shy. Send messages. Ask questions. Leave comments. We’re in this together and my work as a writer and author isn’t just about me. It’s about you!
Let It Snow
The kids and I walked out to the bus stop this morning in about 2 inches of beautiful, undisturbed snow. My daughter was studying the snowflakes landing on my jacket and dancing around trying to catch falling flakes on her tongue. My son was creating tracks in the snow, kicking around as much as he could while waiting for the bus. It was a magical morning.
Growing up in southern New Mexico, snow nearly always meant school delays and closures. I remember seeing a few flakes in the morning and getting all prepared for some snowy fun. The funny thing is that we often only ended up with ½ inch of snow on the ground. But in New Mexico, that was enough to stop life as we knew it. We’d spend all day in that tiny layer of snow, building all manner of snowmen and forts, having snowball fights and freezing our rear ends off.
When it snows here in Boulder, I just stuff my kids into coats and snow boots and send them on their way. I can’t help but picture The Christmas Story where the little brother Randy is so bundled that he can’t put his arms down. It’s not quite that old here and I’m not too prone to over-reaction when it comes to being out the snow, so my kids can move freely. But I admit, I always chuckle a bit when they come running inside, freezing cold, peeling off wet, frozen clothes and begging for hot chocolate.
I kind of like the snow.
I'm generally pulled in a million different directions and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Here's a glimpse of my life - hope you enjoy it! And if there's a big lapse between posts, well, that's the way life goes in Amy's world.