Monday, July 16, 2012

Don't Make My Mistake, Writers: Comfort Zone Baby Steps

Yep. That's right. I ended the last article and made a logo. I know. I have a problem. :P

Moving on,  this one goes out to the shy writer:

Comfort Zone
In the last DM3W, I explained that one of the reasons why I limited my marketing was because I didn't feel comfortable about branching out beyond familiar web surroundings like Facebook. I didn't want to know anything about Twitter, bloggers, book forums, or even Goodreads! But still, here I was, hoping that someone would hear about the story I had to offer. And thus I learned this lesson the hard way: 

One can't expect much when he/she does so little. 

My first day of launch? One sale. Second day? None. Third? None. Fourth. None. Making a long story short, I probably ended up selling over a hundred copies of my book my first month, but I'm sure all of those sales came from family and friends. And why was it just family and friends? Well, the best loved ones tend to supported you, regardless ^_^. So, guess what happened to my sales when all of the people I knew had my book? Yep. Downhill immediately. 

I met Kevin J. Anderson at Dragon Con back in 2010, and he invited me to the Superstars Writing Seminar (shout out to my SWS peeps). I finally went this year, but I really do wish I had taken that offer the first time. I could have been told a priceless amount of info that is so obvious, but surprisingly easy to forget as well: 

In spite of all the high tech we have in the 21st Century, word-of-mouth is still the biggest form of marketing one can do. People need to talk about your book, and who can talk about it better than you can?

Success for a writer requires numerous forms of sacrifices, including stepping out of his/her comfort zone. Or, why not look at it in this manner? Instead of "stepping out of your comfort zone," why not expand it?And take heart, my fellow sweaty palmers. There are plenty of options to help face the anxieties one might face when dealing with the public eye.

  • Talk to your local librarian or indie book store. 
  • Put bookmarks in people's mailbox's around the neighborhood (as long as it's legal in your area :P). 
  • If possible, let your church members know that they have a writer in the congregation. 
  • Find a local writing group where you can find like-minded people. 
  • Have a book-signing launch party with your family and friends.
  • Devise a 20-word-or-so pitch that you can always use when someone asks what your book is about. 
In short, find any fun means to talk about your book. The more you talk about it, the more comfortable you'll be when you branch out to bigger markets.

Either way, I hate having to break it to ya, people, but we gotta put ourselves out there a little bit if we're serious about the writing career. I only gave a few suggestions that I know helped me expand my comfort zone. I didn't touch up on how to use the web that much, but we'll have more on that later. In the meantime, I highly recommend that you research what sort of economic marketing options are available out there for both local advertising and the web. For the web is my ally, and a powerful ally it is. . . >_>. And Star Wars is apparently very influential. :P . 

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