As I've traveled along this road to publishing, I've often heard that the hardest part for an author is marketing. I'm here to tell you - it's true. Authors have the best job in the world! We can imagine and explore worlds all from the comfort of our favorite chairs. We craft words. We plot other peoples' lives. It's awesome! But it's all too easy to remain introverted and quiet and seal off from the real world.
I don't often like to talk about myself with others. Call it humility. Call it consideration. Whatever. I just don't like to burden folks with whatever might be going on in my life at the time. Sure, there are certain friends who are close and would listen to just about anything I have to say. Family is that way, too. But just walking up to someone and unloading about my life - way out of my comfort zone.
Of course, Facebook and Twitter have that covered. We can share whatever we want with the world, but it's different because we are removed. We are sitting behind a computer screen, and the person on the other end has the choice to ignore the clever quips we post.
But face-to-face is entirely different. And I'm having to learn to use my personality to sell my books. As I've written before, one of the hardest questions I get is "What is your book about?" Determining just the right thing to say to intrigue that person isn't easy.
I'm having to rely on my stage techniques to do this. Instead of Ashley-the-Neurotic-Writer, I put on the persona of Ashley-the-Published-Author. It's a character, just as much as any of those I have played in the melodramas I've done. And I'm not being disingenuous. She is part of me (the part I've always wanted to be!) I just have to cling to the thought that someone thought enough of my work to name me the winner of the contest that led to publication. I have to load that confidence into my mainframe brain and let it take over my programming.
Yesterday, I scoured the internet for groups to join. I connected with a few self-publishing groups and sci-fi groups. I'm asking people to spread the word about my book. I'm putting myself on the line by taking on guest blogging opportunities. And this weekend, I will be selling copies of my book at a local event. I'll be greeting people and talking with them about my book.
I step back for a few moments and think, "Wow, this is crazy! How in the world did all this happen?" It's all God. There's no other way I could be doing this. And I have to trust that He will continue to work through this for His glory. I also have to trust that He will direct my steps and my every word - be it spoken or written. Soli Deo Gloria.
9/21/2012 04:25:00 pm
That's so cool, Ashley! Isn't it funny how weird life is when a dream comes true? There's a surreal mix of "just like I thought it would be" and "am I really here?" and "never anticipated THIS feeling!"
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Award-winning sci-fi author * Christ follower, wife, and mom * broadcast content producer. And yes, I am a real duchess. http://amzn.to/2eLTlH3