Thursday, July 9, 2015

Go Ahead--Toot Your Own Horn

Don't be a show-off. Don't toot your own horn. Don't brag. 

Most of us heard our mom or dad say one, or all, of the above as we grew up.

Show some humility. Nobody wants to hear what you've done. Don't lord it over others.

There are a lot of ways to tell a child how to behave. We're social beings and there are unwritten rules as to the way we interact with others. Our parents tried to teach this to us in hope of making us a nice person, one that others warm to rather than turn away from.

As writers, we need to reverse a lot of what we were taught. We do have to toot our own horn. We do have to tell others what we've done. We do need to show-off a bit. We must let others know what has been accomplished in our writing life and/or that we have a book to market.

How in the world are you going to sell those books or gain followers for your stories and poems unless you tell others about YOU? It's not a bad thing either. If it helps, I hereby absolve you of all guilt.

Even though you want to let the world know about your writing, you can do it without being abrasive. Pick and choose the time and place to toot your horn. If you go to a school board meeting to give support to an issue in your community, it's not the time to try to sell your book. If you belong to an organization and toot your horn at every single meeting, you'll turn people off in a hurry. Occasionally is fine. Constantly is not.

Take advantage of social media. Most of us know about Twitter and Facebook but there are many others to use. Google using keywords like social media sites like facebook or social media sites. Play around with other keywords related to social media. Try some that you are not already affiliated with.

Create your own website so that readers can learn more about you and what you write. There are places that allow you to create a website for free with step by step directions. Again, use a search engine to find them. Some writers hire an expert to design a website for them. Free or pay--your choice.

Don't hesitate to contact your local radio and TV stations when you have a new book out or have won a writing contest. Many are delighted to do interviews but if they aren't aware of what you've done, they can't ask you to be on a program. It's up to you to let them know. Toot your own horn!

How could I write a post on ways to connect with the world without encouraging you to start a blog that highlights your writing? My blog is about my writing world with tips and encouragement for writers, so I have a two-fold base here.

The methods I've listed here are certainly not the ony ways to let the world know about you and what you write. There are others. My main aim with this post is to encourage you to market yourself. You can tell your mother you're not bragging, you're working!

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