Self-Promotion for the Introvert–PNWA Summer Conference Class for Writers

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I’ve spent my whole day attending classes at the PNWA Summer Writer’s Conference. This blog post includes the notes on a class entitled, “Self-Promotion for the introvert” and (although I’m not an introvert in any way, shape, or form), it was a super-fun presentation given by Kim Kircher and Lorraine Wilde.

Here are the facts they offered up:

Let go of your fear of failure.–Turn off your inner-critic.

Turn off your inner editor. Just plunk out your first draft. Don’t let your fear of failure paralyze you.

Once published, you’ll have to get good at public speaking, to really market your book successfully. This class is designed to help writers come out of their solo shell and learn to speak naturally and comfortably.

GOOD PUBLIC SPEAKERS DO THE FOLLOWING:

  • they are coherent and confident
  • they think on their feet
  • they don’t compare themselves to others
  • they fake it until they make it

HOW DO I PRACTICE?

  • ToastMasters.org
  • dating (even if you’re in a marriage, take cues from others who date–watch and learn)
  • take media training from a publicist
  • take improv classes (i.e. acting classes)

IMPROV GAMES: We created stories in one-word increments, as teams. It was a fun activity. Each person in the group adds a new word to the story. These were the general rules of the game:

  • make eye-contact
  • focus on your partner
  • think on your feet
  • say the next right thing
  • when talking to someone, accept and augment what they say

HOW TO USE THESE SKILLS WHEN PITCHING TO AN AGENT:

  • Don’t be afraid to fake it.
  • Avoid pitching in odd places (like the bathroom). Use good manners.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and professional attire for your agent interview.
  • Be well-groomed and use breath mints or brush your teeth beforehand.
  • Be rested, hydrated, and focused.
  • Use business cards.
  • Make eye-contact.

ONLINE PROMOTION:

  •  Your blog is your hub
  • Be snazzy and professional
  • Find your niche
  • Check out other blogs (problogger.net, willwork4followers.danoah.com, chrisguillebeau.com, happiness-project.com)
  • Comment and respond
  • Know your blog stats, but don’t obsess
  • On Facebook, you should have both a personal page and a fan page (people can follow your blog from your fan page)
  • Twitter is what’s called a “micro-blog” and it’s very helpful for promotion
  • Forums help you connect with people, but don’t just go there to provide a link to your blog. Instead, be a part of the community
  • Examples of forums: BackspaceWriters, SFwritersU, AbsoluteWrite, etc…
  • Don’t give up your personal blog for a Google+, and beware: if you publish something on Google+, they own the rights to it! Facebook too
  • Don’t spend so much time on social media that you don’t have time to do the real writing
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