My writer-friend Megan posted a link on Facebook to a post written by our writer-friend Shawn earlier today. (I reviewed Shawn and his wife Maile’s awesome book, How To Use a Runaway Truck Ramp here).
His post is entitled “20 FREE Ways to Help Your Writer-Friend Survive the Writing Life.” I read it and shared it, but mentioned that not all of the ideas were things I really wanted/needed. In a minute, I’ll share the ones that really resonated with me.
But first a word of… something… about… something.
Marketing/promotion is a little bit of a prickly, sticky thing for me. And my failure to do it well has caused me some grief over the years (like having 2 books go out of print). I still haven’t fully developed my philosophy on it, let alone figured out how to implement that philosophy into real-life action.
Here’s what I (kind of) know.
Marketing/promotion takes a TON of time. And I don’t have that kind of time right now (and I’m not willing to put other things aside to push it up on my priority list).
Promoting my own books often seems like a prideful thing to me. But when I don’t promote them, it’s not always because I’m super-humble. Sometimes it’s even a prideful thing for me. Where I don’t want people to look at me a certain way/think negative things about me because I’m talking about myself. Does that make any sense? No? Sigh.
Sometimes it just feels like talking about my books/blog means I want something from people, like I’m using them to build a platform. I hate this. Really truly. Can’t bear it. I want to genuinely like people, let them know, and not make this all about me.
I’ve given a lot of thought to why I’d even want a “big” platform. I can honestly say (and I mean honestly) that I really enjoy being able to interact/engage with a smaller number of people. Like our Deepening the Soul for Justice Read-Along. It’s about 30 women, and I send out an e-mail with updates/prayer needs each week. I feel comfortable sharing things with them that I don’t share publicly, and it’s been really mutually encouraging.
I’ll have more thoughts to share about this later, but let’s get to the list.
Again, these are from Shawn’s List of 20 FREE Ways to Help Your Writer-Friend Survive the Writing Life.
4. If he blogs, leave a comment. (I try to leave comments on most blog posts I read, but it’s kind of impossible. However, I know from experience it can be a real boost to the blogger.)
5. Share her blog posts on Facebook. (I try to do this too. But sparingly. Only when something really resonated with me.)
7. Retweet their posts on Twitter. (I’m a lousy Twitter-er. And I can’t decide if I’m going to make an effort or not to use it more effectively. But I know it’s a good place to reach out to people.)
11. Tell your friends about your writer-friend’s books. (This is huge. I rarely read a book unless someone I know recommends it to me.)
13. Review their book on Amazon. (I know it seems like your review might not make a huge difference, but it really does. Especially to counteract the haters who write scathing reviews just because they’re mad at the world and feel like taking it out on no-name writers.)
15. Pray. (Oh my word, yes. Prayer has made the single biggest difference in my life, especially the past two years. And even better, drop me a line that lets me know you prayed. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.)
So there you have it. Like I said, I have a lot more to say about this stuff. And I have an e-book that’s hopefully releasing early next month (December), so I’ll be calling on all interested parties to help me get the word out.
If you’re a writer (of anything, not just books), which things on Shawn’s list resonated with you most? And if you’re one of the all-important-and-awesome reader folks, what are you most inclined to do to help a writer-friend spread the word about his/her books?