Saturday, January 31, 2009

Shameless Self-Promotion for Everyone!

Yes, I’ve been a bad girl over at Cooking Up a Storey this month, but with the debut of my new column in the Erotica Writer’s Resources section, I’m all goodness. Maybe it is a wee bit naughty to slap some neon on my underpants (I wonder if Adrienne would let me borrow her matching boots?), but when you’re doing “Shameless Self-Promotion,” that’s just part of the job.

I’m really excited about writing this column, which is kind of an invitation to other writers to sit down at my kitchen table and talk about the confusing, scary and often overwhelming task of promoting our work. I don’t want to repeat everything I discussed in "Dreams and Realities: Our Journey Begins," but after you’ve read it, if you have any suggestions or responses, please leave a comment. I do want this to be a conversation! I have some sake left over from the Kyoto party and a few of the erotic wine cups that were not taken by admiring guests, so pull up a chair and let's chat.

The topic is so huge and I’m definitely no expert, but I am fresh from the trenches (or rather still wallowing in the mud). I had a few questions for readers of SSP. So far do you think I’m spending too much time on “deeper” issues, like why your work is worth the energy to promote and what your fantasies of success are? These were big issues for me and I want to offer more food for thought (that's me, always thinking about food!) than just list “useful” tips which could be found anywhere. Not too many how-to books talk about the psychological journey, and I thought it might be interesting to touch upon it and get us all thinking about what lies behind the apparently simple public act of selling our work.

I also wondered what you thought about my networking suggestion. Word of mouth and getting up the courage to contact other writers for advice truly led to the majority of my breaks. Frankly, I haven’t had much luck with MySpace, but maybe I don’t get how to use it. Facebook got me in touch with some old friends and some bought my book, but the real value was getting in touch with the friends. Actually, one of the best things I did—which I forgot to mention in the column—was post my bio on ERWA’s “Circle of Friends.” I met some wonderful people that way and got to know Adrienne, who is tops in generosity, eloquence and support. Any thoughts on the best ways you’ve found to connect—other groups or web sites?

Also, don’t forget to check out M. Christian’s perfectly complimentary column on how to meet people and make friends in the blogosphere. The Maestro is the source of much helpful knowledge and inspiration for me and he knows his stuff.

Here's to a year of shameless self-promotion for us all!


Neve Black said...

Hi Donna,
You're an angel. You're generous, helpful, supportive and right there to offer a helping hand.

I appreciate the advice you've given to me; extending your warm heart and spirit to help promote my recently published first novel.

Thank you.

Donna said...

Well, Neve, I have to say I am SO impressed with what you've done so far as a first-time novelist. It took me about six months to get up to speed and you've gone right out there and done some cool events right out of the gate. You're an inspiration to all new novelists--let me know how it goes from here!

Jeremy Edwards said...

I'll sit at your kitchen table anytime! I'm really looking forward to this series.

Spamword: sonesses

What a pretty word!

Donna said...

Yes, the feminine for soners!

Jeremy, I know you will (and already have) contribute so much to the discussion. You are an inspiration to me with your positive and proactive approach to promotion. (Trying reading that one aloud for "p" practice!)

I look forward to your thoughts and suggestions.

Jeremy Edwards said...

: ) Thanks, Donna! You know I'm in awe of the talent, style, and energy you bring to promoting—and to everything you do!

SusanD said...

Congrats on the new column, Donna, and the awesome pic! Spamword-puspiri. I think Jeremy is on to something.

Anonymous said...

What a great column. I don't have a book published, of course, but the wisdom and insight you share with such a tone of warmth and kindness seems like it would be such a support if I were navigating that arena. How wonderful of you to take this column on to share your experiences and help out other writers.