Self-Promotion: A Necessary Evil?

Sunday, January 17, 2021

     If you listen to a Jason Derulo song, or some of Lady Gaga’s songs, you’ll notice their name appears somewhere in the lyrics. Derulo puts his name right in front, at the beginning. Gaga’s name might be missed, if you’re not listening carefully. After all, it’s only two syllables and often, it blends in seamlessly with the chorus. 


Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah-ah! 

Roma-roma-ma!

Gaga-ooh-la-la!

Want your bad romance!

Shameless, right? I mean, it’s so brazen to just put your name out there, like a miniature billboard, correct?


Wrong. Both Derulo and Lady Gaga are simply promoting themselves… and promoting themselves is something that writers need to do (or do more often).


image by Pixabay


I can hear you whining already. I’m a writer. I’m not savvy when it comes to business. I’m not supposed to be promoting myself. I’m supposed to spend my time writing.


Unless you’re up in the stratosphere with Jodi Picoult, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, James Patterson and John Grisham, you  have to promote yourself. Most likely it will be up to you to set up some (or all) of your book events. You will have to contact newspapers, radio stations and fellow writers to get reviews and publicity. You have to put your name and your book out there, because nobody else is gonna do it.


Believe me, I’m right with you. I’m a teacher (a profession known for attracting people who love their job but hate the limelight). I’m also a writer. If I was a wizard at publicity and promotion, I’d have been making the big bucks all these years.


Yet here I am, working on ways to promote myself, because I have a book coming out this spring. And I want to walk that fine line. I don’t want to assault folks endlessly with pleas to buy my book. Read my book! Review my book! However, I do need to get my book out there (hopefully in clever and informational ways).


I read this post and got a couple of helpful hints. One, I need to really put my personality forward. Sitting behind a table that’s stacked with my books, waiting for people to come up and talk to me will not work.


Another suggestion is to support fellow writers. I’ve been doing this for years. I’m thrilled when a writing friend gets published in an anthology or gets a book published. Writing is a tough business. We writers have to support each other. We have to.


In another post I read, I got some other ideas. An easy thing to do: add my book to my email footer. Each time I send an email, my book’s title (and cover) is being shared. Another idea: write a guest post or article. Bloggers might appreciate you offering to write a post for them, and while you’re helping them, you’re helping yourself by promoting your writing and yourself.


As I continued reading, I started thinking of unique give-aways or possible merchandise that could be connected to my book. Setting up Skype sessions with a class (since my book is a middle-grade novel) or being part of a book club that’s reading my book (either a local group or participating virtually) are also possibilities.


In the end, as a writer, you have to step away from your laptop, think outside of the box, and promote yourself…


… because if you don’t talk up your book, chances are, nobody will.


              If you go to the 2 minute mark, you'll see a sweet old lady rocking out.


Sioux Roslawski is a middle school teacher and a freelance writer. In spring of 2021, her middle grade hisorical novel, Henry's Story: Greenwood Gone, will debut. If you'd like to read more of Sioux's writing, check out her blog.


9 comments:

Dareem said...

I'll love to rrad your book when it's out.Sending all the love and strength you need.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Dareem--Thank.Send me your email address (siouxroslawski@gmail.com) and I'll send you a note when it's out.

Yes, I need the love and strength (and the readers... and the reviewers ;)

Jeanine DeHoney said...

Sioux, these are great ideas to self promote your book. Can't wait to see it in print.

Cathy C. Hall said...

Yep, writing the book is the easy part! I'm sure you'll do your homework re: book promotion, Sioux, and soar to the head of the class. Er, bookshelf. :-)

Sioux Roslawski said...

Jeanine--Thanks. It's going to be sooner than I thought. I mean, I thought I would never see it happen. Good things come...

Cathy--It may be hard work, but it it's a dream come true, so the work is something I'm looking forward to.

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Every Lady Gaga song? Now I'm going to pay attention.

But you've got it right. We all need to find ways to get our names out there and to help each other. So what can we do for you?

You've already got my e-mail addy!

--SueBE

Sioux Roslawski said...

Sue--Not all of Gaga's, but she does manage to slip it in in clever ways.

How about read my book! Review my book! ;) Talk up the book when it comes out?
Buy a caseload of 'em, and make sure Oprah, Michelle Obama and Regina King read it?

Renee Roberson said...

The posts you shared have some great tips about smart self promotion. There are so many writing and history podcasts that would love to hear you're story and the background behind your book, I'm sure! I haven't done a ton of self-promotion for my podcast, but I do have it in my e-mail signature and on my social media profiles. Funny story--the other day I was out walking my dogs and a neighbor yelled, "Hey, Miss Podcaster!" I had commented on neighborhood social media page, and since he had worked with my husband in the past, he clicked on my Facebook profile and saw the podcast link. Now he and his wife are listeners! You never know who will see a simple link and click on it. Share it everywhere. Another idea would be to do a series of videos with lessons about the Tulsa Race Riots in the weeks leading up to the book release. Promote those far and wide (maybe YouTube) and put your book info in the tags for the video for anyone who wants to pre-order the book.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Renee (or should I say Miss Podcaster?)--As usual, you have great ideas. I love the idea of videos with lessons. (I'll have to revive my Facebook page to take advantage of the Facebook idea. ;) Thanks.

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