Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Power Of Your Voice: YOU ARE A BRAND!

Hi there! Today we're going to talk about being outgoing! What's that? You're a writer and you hate talking? You're shy? You don't like people and that's why you're a writer and you hovel away in a pile of blankets?

Well my friend, shove those blankets aside because it's time to embrace humanity!

C'mon, join the human race! Embrace the sunshine!
 Let's say for the sake of it, you did it! You got a publishing company to accept your work and your little writer soul is weeping tears of joy (and sadness because you sold your soul to the devil for this chance and it looks like it worked....)! Someone other than your mother/best friend/deli guy down the street  thought that you have talent and are worth publishing! Yes!

But then you realize that you've ignored that little fine print in the contract. The one that says: You have to do your own promotions, because we're not really going to do that. Yup. That's all on you, baby! Hope you have good social skills and paid attention in the communications class you had to take in college. What? You didn't? You were like me and bullied every day at school and hid in the library? Oh. Well.


You see, in this day and age, even if you get picked up by a Traditional Publishing House, you are expected to do 90% of the promoting. In fact, before you even submit to most Trad Publishing or Online Publishing Houses (not to be confused with self publishing), most will ask if you've got a 'platform'. What they mean by this is if you have a strong presence on Twitter, Facebook, a blog, and well...anything else that would be good for you to promote on. Because promoting is now YOUR job--not theirs.

Surprised? I was! And while it's true that you did have to promote yourself even back in the good ol' days, the Publishing Houses were doing a lot of promotional work and having you go on tours. Not so much anymore. So if you're terrified of people and thought that a writing career was a good way to just do something you love and not interact with the human race.....yeah. That's just not going to happen anymore.

Your face is now a brand my friend! You are expected to interact with the world and comment on things and BE something other than a writer. If that terrifies you then getting your book recognized is going to impossible. In this age of technology and insta-everything you will wither and die if you aren't willing to connect to people.

But isn't that why you write? Because in books you connected to characters?

That's why you shouldn't be afraid of people. Especially readers, who want nothing more than to read your book and get to know the person who wrote it! Haven't you ever wanted to meet your favorite author or know what they're doing or thinking? No? It was just me? Well fine! The point is, to promote yourself you need to try and be outgoing. And I don't just mean by commenting on someone's Blog or Vlog or Twitter. I mean you have to not be afraid of talking about your book to strangers at a coffee shop or grocery store.

I know that's the look you're giving me right now!

Perhaps the thought of promoting scares you. That's okay! But realize that you're going to need to do it if you want your book put in the hands of more than your 10 closest friends and your parents. That means you have to go out into the world (both online and off) and talk. Promote. BE INVOLVED. So I've mad a small list for you of things you can do to promote your work (and do so not spamming people!). 

1. Get used to talking about your book. For instance, when I go to a coffee shop I'll strike up a conversation with the guy at the register (yes, I'm that person) and when they ask what I do I say I write. And they always ask what I write. ALWAYS. Now is a good time to tell about your book! (instead of pushing it!)

2. Make friends with people on Twitter and BookTube. And I don't mean do it because you can get something out of them. Do it because you like the person and you guys like the same books. Eventually when one or both of you get your books published you can help each other out by talking about their book on other sites (like your twitter or Facebook)

3. Be willing to do Blog Tours. Even if you hate them. Even if you suck at them. Even if your dog is cuter and better at them. Just say yes.

4. Be willing to give out a few copies of your book for free. Or at least to places where they can give you reviews that you can put up on amazon. Those reviews man. They'll make or break your book.

So that's all I have for you today! I know it's not what you were hoping for. I know that if you like hiding in libraries and under blankets this's a scary concept. But I believe in you!

Do you guys know other ways to promote yourself? Did you know that you're face is now a brand? How do YOU like to market yourself? Let me know in the comments! 

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