where the writers are
Public Nudity or Self Promotion
James At Beach.jpg

Perhaps one of the hardest pieces of being a writer is going through the act of self promotion, which can sometimes feel something like walking into a crowded room of strangers and slowly undressing because in order to be effective at promoting yourself--whether it is online or in person--you have to be very open to letting people in. You have to be able to stand in front of a room of people and let them see something of you that attracts them enough to think that you may be interesting and that your writing in turn might also be interesting.

I am generally a very private person who prefers to spend quiet nights at home laughing with my wife and kids than running around to various gatherings in order to work the room and network. Yuck. That said, I do very much enjoy giving readings. It has been a while, but to me reading is the equivalent of a musician performing. In both cases we spend a few hours or more in our quiet creative place composing the piece we want to perform and then we must find a venue and stand in front of an audience and display our work. This is good.

What I find difficult, is walking around a room and trying to pass out a promo card or entering into online discussions with the single and crass goal of trying to garner some benefit for my writing. I don't do this often (really I don't; I am fun at parties; I swear), but sometimes we writers/loners have to step out of our comfort zone and do things that could broadly be described as networking. I prefer communicating, but...

3 Comment count
Comment Bubble Tip

We shouldn't have to do it

Self-promotion, that is. Isn't there some service a writer can hire to go out and schmooze for us? I quite agree with you. Although I'm quite a social butterfly, nothing makes my neck prickle more than walking up to a complete stranger and saying "hi, I'm a writer and I think you should look at my stuff."

Comment Bubble Tip

I'm not a writer

and until Gina (http://www.redroom.com/author/gina-collia-suzuki) published her first book I had no idea how much writers have to invest their time and energy into self-promotion.

I have to admit that even as a salesperson of over 22 years, I do wonder how I would manage if I were in your's, Gina's, Evelyn's or any other writer's shoes. For whatever reason it's a lot easier to promote someone else, as I do for Gina whenever I possibly can, and it's rewarding as well as an awful lot of fun too!

Saying that though, despite Gina's thought that she is 'not very good' in public, I think she lights up a room when she enters it and when she talks about the subjects that she knows so well and are a part of who she is as a writer and a person, I think people cannot help be charmed, captivated and mesmerized by her. I *am* biased, but I still believe it to be true and I would hazard a guess that you, Evelyn and any writer who is passionate about what they write about, are much the same too. :)

Comment Bubble Tip

thanks for your comment

and for putting some perspective on the issue