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.
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.
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.