Monday, September 15, 2014

Five Things or You Can Do It

by Nib

I’m on the downhill side of the Colorado Gold conference. If you’ve never been, you don’t know what you’re missing. A weekend full of writing, writing, writing. Not physical sitting down, fingers to keyboard, but learning, talking, immersing in craft and the business. I attended my first conference in 1994 and haven’t missed one since.

Every year I grab hold of some vital information or inspiration to boost me along my writing path. Last year I got all excited about writing new adult contemporary romance and self-pubbing on Amazon. I tried it. After one and three-quarters books, I decided it wasn’t the path for me. I don’t regret the experiment… much. I wrote a lot of words in a short amount of time, so that is always good.

This year, I focused on my biggest weakness in my writing career. Marketing. To show you how bad I am at this, I had forgotten to take business cards to the Colorado Gold conference. With three books out, I didn’t have one stick of promotional material to place on the freebie table.

I have a natural aversion to promoting my books. I don’t know why. Maybe I fear other people won’t like them. It’s hard for me to remember that professionals in the publishing industry liked my writing enough to invest in it. It also seems that marketing is such an overwhelming maze, with no one knowing what works, that I tend to throw up my hands and retreat.

But no more. I refuse to remain a marketing weenie. Led on by Guerilla Marketer, Julie Kazimer, author of the The Deadly After Ever series with the latest book, The Fairyland Murders coming out in December, I am determined to conquer this fear of marketing.

Julie says to break it down. She suggests we do five things for marketing every day. It can be big things, like calling books stores to set up signings or setting up blog tours. It can be small things, like working social marketing sites or commenting on blogs. She says you can even count leaving your business card with your payment at a restaurant. (Of course, you’d have to remember to have cards with you.)

It’s only been a week since I committed to this. On the very first day, after a business meeting, I pulled out a couple of cards promoting my books. I was very excited when the woman I’d met with emailed me later that day and said she’d bought my book. It’s one sale that won’t make a big difference in my income. But it was the validation I needed.

My next book launches in March. It’s not too soon to start setting up a blog tour and book signings. Because of Julie’s urges, I’ve started putting those events in motion. Five things. Every day.

I work out almost every day. I clean my house, pay bills, all manner of grown up things that require discipline, organization and planning. I worked hard to learn to write well enough to get published. Surely, I can figure out this marketing thing.

I’m jumping back on Twitter. I’m at I think they also say @sbakerwriter, but that will be a lesson for another day. I’m really bad at Twitter. But if all these other people can figure it out, I can, too. So, here’s what, I’ve created my first hashtag #5things. Help me out and if you tweet, send me a message.

I remember when I didn’t know what POV meant. Someone had to teach me about passive language. I can be taught. I can learn how to market my books.

Five things every day.

Who’s in?


  1. I'm in! Does my commenting on your blog count as one? How about if I re-post it to my FB page? Is that two? (We could all do that, couldn't we?) This is a great post, Nib! Thanks for kicking me into gear! (And thank you, Julie! I wish now that I'd attended your workshop.)

  2. It counts! Welcome to my new obsession!

  3. I love your post! So true for me, too. 5 things, right after the daily words, right?

  4. I'm in! Well, maybe one toe. Ha! I don't like marketing either and the only reason I had business cards for the freebie table is because they were still in my computer bag from last year.

    I'm not an organized person and that's my particular downfall. I also have "squirrel" syndrome, meaning I'm easily distracted. But I'm working on it.

    Thanks for the prompt! Oh, I blogged today, the first time in a year. \o/ That was thanks to Yvonne Montgomery for putting me on her blog hop. (I honestly don't care much for blogging)

  5. That woman after the business meeting... that is going to net you because she'll let others know about your writing. Just sayin'

  6. I just finished my five! It was hell easy. And I don't think I was at all obnoxious, either. Win. Win. (Win. Win. Win.) Thank you again, Nib!

  7. I may not squeeze out 5 everyday, but I'm thinking of many more. Next summer I'm definitely going to pair up with the neighborhood kids and their corner lemonade stand and offer a free book with every cup of $10.00 lemonade!

  8. Go, Shannon !

    I figure if you spend a couple or three years writing a book that you may as well tell people it exists (and that's a great read, of course).

    Good Post !

  9. I'm so proud of you. And to see results, like someone actually buying your book rocks. I'm so glad. I love the #5things hashtag. Hopefully we can get a whole lot of writerly peeps (who ALL forget their business cards) to jump aboard and working together. My love of Shannon Baker knows no bounds!