Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Promoting oneself

It's something that most writers, introverts that we are (for the most part), don't like to do, but we've got to do it. Sometimes it's in the form of an interview, sometimes it's in the form of marketing material like bookmarks or postcards or magnets, sometimes it's in the form of modern technology, like a podcast. Promoting yourself -- or at least your work -- is inevitable and necessary and sometimes can be downright frightening.

Which is why when Jacquie Rogers, one of the cofounders of the 1st Turning Point website on doing your own marketing and promotion, originally asked me whether I'd be interested in contributing a piece on occasion about marketing and promoting, I said no. I didn't know much about it, because that was the bailiwick of the Hub, who is a professional Marketing Guy. Well, it turned out that what she really wanted was to pick the brain of the Hub, but through me! No problem, I said. I could parrot someone else, if he had a chance. (If there's baseball on, all bets are off. And guess what's on right now? Yes, baseball.)

Of course, that said, I only found out the topic today ... and the podcast she assigned me to is this evening. Do I have time to do any research? Of course not. So I have to use what knowledge I have. The topic is tag lines: the good, the bad, and the indifferent.

Thank goodness I have others around me with more experience and knowledge. If you're interested in what real professionals have to say on the topic (and me), check it out at http://www.pivtr.com or http://www.internetvoicesradio,com at 6pm Pacific Time, 9pm Eastern Time. It's only an hour, so if you've got questions, there will be answers. Drop on by! And if I'm lucky, the Hub will come home in time for me to give a professional's answer!

Eilis Flynn
ECHOES OF PASSION, on sale now

Thursday, October 08, 2009

About conferences

While EC and CP authors and readers will be whooping it up in Ohio with the first ever Romanticon, I’ll be whooping it up in Bellevue, WA, at the Emerald City Writers Conference. I haven’t missed one since I joined the local chapter of Romance Writers of America, in the mid-1990s, and this year certainly wasn’t going to be the first (er, it would be bad form if I did, since I’m co-presenting a workshop on dragons around the world)!

Conferences can be fun, and they can be dreadful — it depends on why you’re there, and whether you want to be. Sometimes it can boil down to workshops the conferences offer — are they useful to you, and again, do you have to be there? Do the sight of other conferees fill your heart with joy or dread? I know some people only through conference, but that doesn’t stop us from greeting each other with happiness and a hug. (For that matter, there are some people I greet that way, but we can’t quite remember the other’s name. It’s mutual, so we’re not offended.)

It’s like this. Writers are notorious introverts, and we don’t get out that often. (In fact, I have a day job three miles from home, so weeks can go by without my leaving my neighborhood.) Conferences are ways to connect with others, remind ourselves that we are still part of a larger family, and even promote ourselves and our books. I go to Emerald City every year, I go to RWA’s National conference from time to time, I go to a comic book convention on occasion — I attend other conferences for other reasons, all so that we can reconnect with others, to remind ourselves that we are part of something bigger. And I’ll be reminding myself of that this weekend when I see friends I see only once a year or so.

So for those at Romanticon, enjoy! And we’ll be doing the same at ECWC!