Tuesday, 6 May 2008
Me, Myself & I
With the publication date for my first novel drawing closer, I've been preparing to go into promotions mode, mostly by reading as much as I can on the subject and making notes. I have to be honest here: the idea of going out and promoting myself or my product used to freak me out massively. When I first began this blog it was with trepidation and trembling at the mere idea of putting myself 'out there'. It was so bad that I didn't make the blog public for several weeks while I tried to find the nerve to engage the world wide web. Suppose it was a disaster? Suppose nobody came? Suppose people did come but turned out to be awful purveyors of negativity like I've seen in other places?
Wordtryst is almost a year old and it has been nothing but good. Never, not once, has any visitor been anything but positive and supportive. I now have a sense of community that I didn't have before. The interaction with other bloggers has brightened my days and lifted my spirits. It has entertained and informed me way, way beyond my expectations. I credit this positive experience with the startling realization that I no longer dread the promotion process; on the contrary, I look forward to it. People have been kind. Surely they will continue to be thus, and if I should encounter the dark side it'll be with the knowledge that negativity is the exception rather than the norm.
I found a really helpful page on writer Sheila M. Goss's website that I decided to print out. It's based on a workshop she offers, I gather: Promoting Your Finished Book on a Budget. The budget part caught my attention; 'on a budget' is actually a euphemism for 'with little or no money' where I'm concerned, as it must be for most beginning authors out there. Ms. Goss discusses the following points:
Word of mouth
Promotional items (bookmarks, flyers, postcards, business cards...)
She also includes a number of useful links on the page, many related to promoting multicultural/African American books, which is great for me, but others, such as those for sourcing free websites, can be useful to writers of any genre.
Published and about-to-be-published writers who've done their homework will be familiar with all or most of the topics covered. What I like about this page is that it brings all of the bits and pieces I've garnered elsewhere together in one place. Some of the link are to places I'm familiar with, but others aren't, so I've been able to expand my resource base. The page also contains the article How to Do a Website on a Budget, another on blogging, links to examples of author blogs and more.
Sheila M. Goss is the Essence Magazine bestselling author of My Invisible Husband, Roses are Thorns, Violets are True, Paige's Web, and Double Platinum. Her articles and short stories have appeared in national magazines.