It will be hard to follow behind Robin Jay, but I'll give it a whirl.
Last time I posted here I talked about promotion being a full-time job. And as I get involved in more aspects of the industry, I'm sure my comments were right.
I just finished the first draft of an article I am writing for the next issue of Writer2Writer. In that article, I spoke of tracking your time to be more productive. I included a sample sheet from one of my own work days and even I was surprised to see that I spend two hours a day on Marketing/Promotion.
But what do I mean by that?
That is the time I spend networking with people in the industry. I consider setting up author interviews for The Book Connection to be part of that. Then there is posting at various forums and Yahoo Groups about where they can find my work. Can't forget my blogs, which I try to update at least once a week.
And then there is staying in touch with the contacts I've already made. Once someone knows my name, I don't want him or her forgetting it.
It takes a lot of time. It's been a challenging task over the summer because there have been moments when my kids want to chuck my laptop out the window. And one day last week my six-year-old daughter said that I ignored her most of the time. I'm hoping this week's vacation (the laptop is staying at home) will help make up for that.
Sometimes I wish I could be the kind of writer who concerns herself more with creating than with promoting, but every writer has to be willing to promote herself and her work if she wants to make it in such a competitive industry. Long gone is the woman who shied away from telling anyone that she is a writer. I practically sing it from the rooftops now. I can't think of any of my close friends who don't know. And there are even people who I've only met once and might never meet again who know.
Promoting yourself and your work does take a lot of time and energy. But in the end, it will be worth it. How do I know that?
Because one day I posted at a Yahoo Group that I wrote a series of articles covering time management tips for writers, and a few weeks later I got my first paid writing gig. I asked authors if they would be interested in being interviewed for my blog and now authors are seeking me out to be interviewed at The Book Connection. And, because an editor friend I know saw a message about a book review I had posted, I am now reviewing books for the Muse.
Yeah, it's worth it!