Thursday, January 24, 2013

Self Promoting My Self Promotion by Richard S. Keller

I'm happy to welcome back a writer from Northern Colorado, a young man of enormous talent I met through Northern Colorado Writers. 

Richard S. Keller has completed a novel, a worthy accomplishment on its own, and is searching for an agent. A professional writer for 26 years, with experience in magazine, newspaper, and online publications, Rich is the author of over 700 articles in five international websites, four magazines and two newspapers. 

Not one to slack off while he waits for query responses, Rich recently completed and published Cat on a Leash, a romantic comedy short story at Smashwords. He's recently joined the NCW blog, The Writing Bug, as a regular contributor, and he and writer/blogger Dean K. Miller are co-authoring a blog tale called Her Father's Wooden Leg

Welcome back, Rich.


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Self Promoting My Self Promotion by Richard S. Keller 


First, I want to thank Pat for bringing me back to her site. The warm reception I received from the last post, "Show and Tell but Opposite," made my heart grow three sizes larger and my ego ten times its original diameter. Door frames in my house needed to be enlarged to get my head through. Don’t worry, photos taken by the Weekly World News helped pay for the renovations. Though, I’m not sure why the caption under my picture reads “Your Next Benevolent Alien Overlord.”

Anyway, I was such a hit the last time around that constant page views crashed numerous dedicated servers at the website’s data center. That’s good, but probably not as good as the hits I get at my own Richie on Writing website. However, they are better than those at my new humor website, Cranial Burps, and they’re definitely better than the sales I’ve received for my short story Cat on a Leash – available at Smashwords.com for a measly 99 cents.

See what I did there, other than burn out your computer’s CPU with all the new browser tabs? I self-promoted, also known to others as being a royal pain in the rear end. Yes, it’s not the most endearing part about being a writer, and yes, it makes you sound like a baseball announcer who reads a five second commercial between each pitch, hit, and readjustment of the catcher’s athletic cup. Nevertheless, as someone who is trying to get their name out there as a writer so they can quit their real job and spend the rest of their days typing away in front of the pool while nubile servants massage their feet, self-promotion is a necessary tool.

Take a look at one of the late night talk shows if you don’t believe me. When an actor has a new movie or television show to tout, one of the first places you see them is in the chair next to Dave, Jay, Jimmy, Jimmy, or Craig. After finishing those high profile gigs they end up on the afternoon talk shows, the morning talk shows, local talk shows, radio interviews, newspaper interviews, and, lord help them, podcasts. Do you think they want to be out there hawking their wares? Heck no – they want to be poolside just like I do! But they do it to get the word out so people will see their movies and they’ll get more money for pumice stones. Trust me, they have Hollywood-soft feet.

With the money and staff of publishing houses decreasing while self-publishing rockets forward, promotion is a writer's friend, and it’s easier than ever, thanks in part to the grand Inter Word Wide Superweb, or something like that. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are made to promote you to friends and colleagues while LinkedIn is for more professional connections; thus, fewer fart jokes. There are sites like Goodreads, where you can review books with friends and other members of the community, and groups like Upod, where you can converse about freelancing or just lurk around to see what others are saying. Of course, your blog or author website is a primary place to self-promote everything you published since you popped out of the womb.

Does it take time away from completing your novel? To paraphrase from a popular 1960s comedy show, you bet your sweet bippy it does! However, I’m not talking about the devotion of an entire day for self-promotion. Just a few hours before or after your scheduled writing time is all you need to send some tweets, make a constructive comment on an item, or write something on your blog. By doing this you’ll start to gain the fans that are looking forward to - rather than loathing – your promotional jags.

So, without further ado, get up and start promoting yourself! And, um, see if you can mention me along the way.

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Rich, thanks so much for being here today. I think blatant self-promotion is the one thing writers hate the most about their writing journey. I personally would rather eat worms than do book signings, but I felt the pain and did it anyway. And yes, I'll probably do it again if I get the chance.


8 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't enjoy the promoting part but I know it has to be done.

Margot Kinberg said...

Pat - Thanks for hosting Rich.

Rich - You're absolutely right that promoting one's work is important. The real question isn't whether it has to get done. The real question is choosing the set of strategies that will get the job done in a way that serve only to really annoy potential readers.

Julie Luek said...

Oh I'm old. I know that sweet bippies reference. Sigh....

Good confirmation, Rich. I am friends with an acquisitions editor out of CA and she hammers this point often. Congratulations on your book. I'm going to check out your blogs.

Patricia Stoltey said...

There are more and more demands on even traditionally published authors to promote their books. We gotta bite the bullet and learn how. I think Rich has figured out the trick: Don't take yourself too seriously and use humor when appropriate.

Alex, you've done a great job with your blog by promoting others and making lots of friends.

Hi Margot -- definitely a necessary evil.

Julie -- yes, understanding the reference to betting my sweet bippy took me way back.
I thought Rich was too young to even know that phrase...

Dean K Miller said...

A very wise man told me, "The best time to go fishing is when you can."

The same is now true of self promotion (visit www.deankmiller.com)See, it's not that hard.

Thanks Richard, for teaming with me on HFWL (also at www.deankmiller.com)

I've managed to squeeze in self promotion time into my schedule without giving up my chocolate and wine time, but I sure could use some help picking up after the dogs. Then my promo time wouldn't be a complete waste.

Enjoyed your cranial burps post today too, though that's not found at www.deankmiller.com.

Thanks Pat, for hosting Richard today. He should be much easier tomorrow when he shows up on my site at www.deankmiller.com for Free Range Fridays.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Dean, I think Rich is rubbing off on you. We should all be so lucky. :D

Gutsy Living said...

Patricia,
Thanks for sharing Richard's post and as you know, I love promoting as I love meeting people and seeing which doors and opportunities open up. I hope you share some of my ideas with your fellow authors. It pays to keep going, and to be Gutsy.

Jane Louise Boursaw said...

Promoting is definitely not my strong suit, but I do it because I so far can't afford to hire anyone to do it for me. So much about the writing biz isn't about writing at all.