Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Writing Wednesday: Speaking Up to Self Promote

So I was at my usual Monday evening yoga class and realized during opening meditation that I hadn't paid. Yeah, it harshed with my relaxation a bit, but I quickly decided I had enough cash in my purse to hand the teacher cash at the end and be all set for the next month.

I had a fairly successful book signing on Friday where everyone paid cash. What better way to spend it than on yoga class, right?

Afterward I spoke with the teacher, and she said, no problem, don't worry, and I said "I had a good book signing, so you should take the money while I have it."

The teacher - and the entire class - did a double take. Silence filled the room for a split second or two before they all began asking questions at once, and I realized NONE OF THEM KNEW I WROTE BOOKS.

This is an affluent group of women, mostly older than myself, who do yoga once or twice a week, drink wine, travel, and of course read... and I'd never thought to mention to any of them that I write romance and romantic suspense.

Granted, it's not like we go out for cocktails after class or anything. But I've seen many of them once a week for the last six or eight months.

Do you have groups of friends like that or does everyone know you're an author?

Am I the only one who "keeps secrets" as one of the ladies accused?

Maybe it's because I'm not sure how to open that conversation. How do you work it into a conversation when you meet new people? Or with a group of people you know or work with?

If you have told people, how did they react? Were they interested in buying and reading your books?

Now I need to decide if I'm going to take some books with me next Monday to class. The teacher already said she thought it would be a good idea. So maybe....

In the meantime, Happy Writing to All!


  1. Great post. I always keep books in my trunk and bookmarks in my bag.

  2. When people ask me what I do, I tell them, "I lie for a living. What do you do?". That usually makes them laugh and opens the discussion. I never just tell people I'm a writer. It feels self-serving - like saying, "Hi, I sell Amway. Can we talk?" It's awkward.

  3. Good post! I always have bookmarks and postcards in my purse, and books in car, but I still find myself flustered when people ask or find out. What to say. Do we talk it down (usually)? Sometimes I do offer the info (and hey, now my mechanic and my pizza shop owner - both older males - have read my books!). The other day, yeah, my husband asked what do I say when people ask. Am I a writer? Or am I an author? I was like, well, dunno. Depends on the audience I guess...

  4. Good point to bring up! I always keep a bookmark handy and a box of books in the truck. In case you missed my blog yesterday, Tena left it up: Stop by if you get a chance!

  5. Great post! I carry business cards in my purse, books and swag in my car. but also find it difficult to "toot the horn," so to speak. For me, writing is such a solitary, personal experience, esp. when writing about a family saga. That family becomes mine. I don't even let anyone read what I write until I've edited and polished it at least six times before turning it over to a WRP editor. It used to be that an agent did the selling for you and talent helped place you in the winning circle. With all the competition for readers today, we are forced into a role that doesn't come naturally and takes up so much time that could be spent writing. I often wonder how many great writers fade into oblivion because they simply can't drag themselves into the marketing arena or afford to pay for help?

  6. Great Post.I carry post cards with my books listed and business cards with me at all times. I whip them out when asked what i do, in addition I say I tell tales for a living. Good for a laugh and break the ice. I wasn't always to brave, but the longer you write the easier it gets, since promo is the name of the game.

  7. I live in a small farm town. A blinking light at the intersection, lots of tractors and Amish buggies. I sub part time at the school, yet there are only a handful of people in town (mostly those regulars from the fitness center) who know I'm a writer. Only a very few at my full-time job know I write and I've been there for 25 years. I guess it comes from me keeping my religious and political beliefs to myself. I don't push my writing, but if someone asks, I tell them. Then when they ask what I write and I say, historical romance, I usually get that deadpan, "Oh," response. For some reason there is still that negative connotation regarding the genre. Of course, I do live in a small town with 60% Amish and the rest English. We have one school and 4 churches, not counting the Amish. So I keep my writing to myself. Even the library hasn't been too receptive. I drive to other towns and libraries to promote instead.

  8. I guess I'm a ham at heart, as I have no problem letting people know about my books. For example, I plugged my first author event at my belly dance class the other night and left a stack of bookmarks. You never know where your next sale might come from, and I'll admit to enjoying the look of surprise on people's faces when the learn the nice middle-aged lady writes steamy romance.

  9. Most people outside of close family and friends don't know I write. And out of those, only about 4 of them have read a book of mine even though they are interested in my career. I've had friends I told tell me that they don't have time to read or aren't interested in what I write. At my job, only two people knew since I was afraid it would be classified as a conflict of interest. Of course if someone asks, I'll tell them. I just wish all those people who think it's so cool that I write would actually read a romance book! :)

  10. I enjoyed your post. Like you, I don't usually tell people I write. I don't know why. Thanks for sharing.


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