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Last week, I told you the naked truth about “schmoozing.” This week my naked truth topic is schmoozing’s ugly sister: “self-promotion.”
Technically, schmoozing is self-promotion, but it’s self-promotion within a like-minded group of people. But plain old self-promotion, the kind I’m talking about, is what we do outside the schmoozing scenario. And as difficult as schmoozing is, straight self-promotion is harder—and every bit as important.
As writers, we just want to write. It’s tough enough being bogged down by the normal responsibilities of daily living without adding a sales job to the must-do list. But here’s the thing, buttercup. If you don’t promote yourself as a writer/author, who will? How will the word get out? It’s fine to hit the schmooze button every now and then and chat it up with other writers, but if your dream is publication, you better be building a groundswell of readers. Your future publisher will expect you to arrive with an entourage.
Some obvious means of self-promotion include maintaining a website and/or blog, joining Facebook and Twitter; passing out your business card to anyone and everyone; getting to know librarians and bookstore owners/managers; attending open mic nights for poetry/short story readings. Brainstorm and you’ll think of plenty more.
So what about me? Here I am on a rant about self-promotion and the best I have to offer is my little blog and a static website. I don’t even tweet! (Honestly, I’m still patting myself on the back for schmoozing last week.) The whole self-promotion thing is still a puddle I’m learning to splash in. I know I have to do it, and I will. But just like at the neighborhood pool, I’ve got to start small, toes first.
What about you? Do you spend time promoting yourself and your work? Besides the usual methods for self-promotion, have you developed something brilliant you’re willing to share? C’mon, buttercup. How do you self-promote? Tell us. Schmooze a little.
See you next for Book Blurb Friday!