A Not-So-Modest, Rather Desperate, Pleading Proposal

I. Need. Help.

No, seriously. I need help. Like, bad. Like, way bad. Like, as bad as horror movies need plot lines. As bad as capitalism needs a desperate and disenfranchised workforce. As bad as politicians need term limits. As bad as my oldest cat tells me he needs canned cat food RIGHT NOW, woman!

Neil Gaiman gets it. 
See, here’s the deal: I’m a writer. A shy one. Well, maybe not shy, exactly, but severely introverted. Know how to bump me into panic attack mode? Shove me into a crowded room for an extended time or, worse yet, make me talk on the phone. Oh, dear lord. Happy place… need my happy place. Anyway, what should introverted, writerly types do all day long?

Exactly – write.

But sadly, in this day and age when it seems just about everyone is publishing their life works and small publishing companies with no marketing departments or promotional clout are giving little nobodies like me a big opportunity to get published, I’m not only supposed to write but to – gulp – market myself.

Just to be clear, I don’t want to market myself. I want to park my large and lovely bee-hind in front of my computer and peck out a percussive song on my keyboard. I’m not big on socializing, don’t love the idea of making myself into a commodity, am not a major fan of the capitalist advertising system. I've tried protesting this. I've tried not doing it. I've tried holding my breath and pouting till someone does it for me. Sadly, for me, none of this matters, because if I want to sell at least enough books to elicit more than a yawn from the IRS, I need to get to it, get over it, and start promoting.

So, okay. I’ll do it. Except, well, I don’t know how. And this is where my three faithful readers come in. I’m throwing myself on your mercy and begging for advice. How, how can I promote myself, get my name out there, do something to attract attention from peeps who aren't my beloved sisters?

In exchange for help or advice or whatever it is you give me, I’ll do something nice. I don’t know what that is. Write you a poem, maybe? Name a character after you? Donate to an animal rescue in your name? Give you help and advice on any of the topics I've mastered: sociology, feminist theory, academia, progressive activism, punctuation, cats? Name my firstborn after you? (Just kidding, honey! Ahem.)

Consider this a back alley, and consider the left half of my jacket open, offering you all the worldly delights you can imagine for the low, low price of your help or advice vis-à-vis authorial marketing. It’s the gen-yoo-wine article, my friend, and can be yours today.

So, um, help? Pretty please?


  1. I use fairyland to connect with people, and surf a few web sites (bitten by books is a good one). Don't overuse twitter. I hate reading tweets too often advertising books. Use goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/author/program?auto_login_attempted=true). You HAVE to get lots of good reviews on amazon. Give books away in exchange for reviews - you can do that on amazon. Offer a prize to a random reader. Hold contests - for something cheap. But hype it.

    1. Thanks for the awesome ideas, LJ! I just asked 11 review sites to review me, and one has already agreed. Yay!

      I'm on Goodreads but am horrible at doing what they advise and keeping up on the boards I'm supposed to join and subtly promote myself. I have an author page on there, though, at the very least.

      I'd love to offer prizes to random readers, but I don't know where to advertise. I figgered asking review places would be a nice first start.

      I want to hype the heck out of it, but I don't know how. Any more ideas? Sorry. I don't mean to sound too greedy, esp since you already gave me some awesome ideas. I'm just so unsure how to go about doing this. I need to marry a publicist. Well, and a veterinarian.

      Thanks again!

    2. I looked at the site Lynne sent me. (Bless her heart!) It suggested making a press release and sending it to the BSU Alumni Association, the UCSC AA, local papers, and so on. I asked Kris, and she said it's gauche for someone to write a press release about themselves; she said she'd write one for me.

      What do you think?

  2. No, don't overly promote on Twitter but do chat and interact. Fairyland is good for making connections. Find blogs that like guest posts (Lauri's book reviewer list also tells you sites that like to hold interviews and host guests). Check out Love, Lust and Lipstick Stains - they do an author of the month spot. There are lots of Facebook groups to promote in - try looking up LR Cafe Group and Marketing for Romance Writers. If you have print books, try doing a giveaway via Goodreads. Do a Twitter contest offering a little giveaway when you reach a certain number of followers (don't do this with your Facebook page as FB has rules against that). Try offering a free short story (self pub and make sure you put all the blurbs for your other books in the back, with all your social media links).


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