Thursday, February 1, 2018

Marketing as an Introvert

I am a chatterbox. When I was young the only way my mom knew when I was sick was that I would stop talking. But don't mistake my talkativeness as being an extrovert. I am not. I am actually pretty shy. I will talk (a lot) when I get to know a person, but until I feel comfortable my lips don't open. This shyness has been a big hindrance in trying to marketing my own books. I can talk up someone else's book, no problem, but marketing my book. The book I spent more than half my life working on, that is another story. I have spent the last six months working on marketing and breaking out of my shell. Here are some of the ways I have found to work: 1. Tell some key Extroverts. You don't have to tell everyone you meet about your book. But if you share your book with a few, key extroverts they will share your news with you. My assistant in my full-time job is an extrovert. I told her about my book and gave her a book at a reduced price. She has shown it to fellow co-workers and her family members, generating interest. I could not have done this alone, I would have never had the guts to tell everyone at work about my book. 2. Send out postcard mailers. I will have a separate blog post dedicated to creating postcard mailers later. This has been a very easy way to let local bookstores and libraries about my book for me as an introvert. I don't have to do a bunch of cold calls (something that terrifies me). Now, I do have to contact the person at the libraries I want to donate a copy of my book to, but the fewer phone calls I make, the better. 3. Set-up a Book Blog Tour. This is a little out of my comfort zone, but if you use a blog tour service where they contact the bloggers for you, it's a lot easier. Again, I will let someone more outgoing and not-shy contact people on my behalf. I will give some tips on booking a blog tour in another post. 4. Subtly advertise your book so people approach you. I find it easier to talk about my book if someone else brings it up first. I am less inclined to start a conversation with someone, but I will answer questions posed to me. In my social media posts, I will talk about writing and make a reference to the Facebook page for My Not So Normal Life: Spy Recruit. I don't say "hey! I wrote a book!" but instead "spent lunch working on the sequel to My Not So Normal Life Spy Recruit. #writerslife". Another subtle marketing technique I used was to have the cover of my book printed onto the coffee mug I use at work. You just have to be okay with being a walking billboard. 5. Keep reminding yourself how awesome your book is. You wrote a book. Don't let some articles about how millions of books are published a year make you think that what you created is any less special. There are billions of people in the world, doesn't make you any less special. Are the odds against you to becoming a millionaire best-seller? Yes. But that shouldn't deter you. People will be interested in your book, if only for the fact that you created something from nothing to completion. The world is full of half-written novels. Take pride in what you have published. Take that pride and have the courage to break out of your shell. Have any other tips? Or have questions? Leave them in the comments section below!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Writers on Twitter

I am a Luddite, I generally back away from new technology in favor the ways of old. I know, not the typical mentality of a millennial. In grade school, I preferred to hand write my papers, even when my teacher offered extra points if we typed out the paper. When it came to social media, I made no exception. The list of social media platforms I am on and active is far fewer than the list of platforms I am active on. The only exception is Twitter. I joined Twitter late to the party and use it infrequently. Any of my followers probably would consider me about 30 years older than based on my tweets (usually GIFs). But the reason I go on Twitter is all the writers I follow: published writer, writers seeking to get published, famous writers, amateur writers, 5 a.m. writers, full-time writers, part-time writers, I follow all of them on Twitter. And no matter what degree of the writer, I feel like I am surrounded (at least virtually) by geniuses and celebrities. Yesterday, I saw two people had published their first books and I cheered them on because to be a witness, even just through Twitter, to such a momentous occasion is an honor. It's like I am found a virtual Stratford-on-Odeon, The Inklings, or other literary groups with now-famous writers/poets. Having my Twitter Writing World, I can learn from my fellow writers and share in their accomplishments.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Many Hats

This weekend, while watching an episode of Netflix's "The Crown", David noted how Winston Churchill was an incredibly accomplished man. He was Prime Minister, painted, and wrote long autobiographies. I said how great it would be to like that and accomplish so many different things, to which David replied that I am like Churchill in that respect. Granted, my accomplishments are minimal compared to Churchill's, but I realized David was right, in my daily life, I wear many different hats: attorney, writer, publisher, just to name the few hats I wear professionally. And even within those, I have different sub-hats: researcher, marketer, counsel, coordinator, designer, businessperson, creator, the list is ever changing and expanding. The reason I wear so many hats might be my tendency to work a high rate of speed or maybe it's my way of trying to cram three lives into one lifetime. Wearing so many hats does take its toll on me, but taking it slow does not come naturally nor does working solely on one task/job. No matter the nights where I get less than seven hours of sleep (like last night) or the anxiety causing deadlines, I will continue to wear as many hats as possible. And hopefully, since my accomplishments are nowhere near as impressive as Churchill's, I will avoid some of the health problems he endured in his life.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

"Do You Write Every Day?"

I was recently asked whether I wrote every day. My reply was, there are periods of time when I write every day, in any spare moment I can allow. But honestly, no I do not write every day. There are some days when life is just too much and my normal job, my time spent helping others publish their books, family, caring for Robin Hood, cleaning, laundry, sleep, all take precedence. But what I do every day is think about my writing. Note, I didn't say, think about writing, which would have the thought process of "I should write today." No, when I think about my writing my thought process is "when I revise My Not So Normal Life 3, should I have a final confrontation between [insert character names], how should that be resolved?" I am developing the stories each day. On my off days from putting pen to paper, I continue to create. I know that most writing advice emphasizes the importance of writing every day. I would say that as long as you know you'll go back to writing, make sure you keep creating and thinking about your story every day. Don't feel pressured to get words, regardless of their importance written or typed out. Just having the characters and the plot developments running in your head will do wonders to getting your story finished.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Writing is Part of Me

For as long as I can remember I have been a storyteller. When I was a small child and my writing abilities were lacking, I would create stories with my dolls and with my sisters. As I got older, my writing developed and I'd write plays that I'd force my sisters to act out. And when they didn't want to act out my stories, I'd act out the stories with my Barbie dolls. In high school, I was faced with quandary-my stories required more than three actors and it was no longer socially acceptable to play with Barbie dolls. (I broke this rule last year when David and I used his G.I. Joe action figures to work out some scenes of My Not So Normal Life: Spy Recruit). It was then that I began to write My Not So Normal Life. The original draft was written during study hall and at home on looseleaf paper in a binder with an advertisement of Alias stuck on the cover. I finished the first two books of My Not So Normal Life by the time I was 18 and I thought I was done. I started college, and on my first day working the reference desk in the library I began another book. College turned out to be a prolific writing time for me. I wrote a five book series in composition notebooks and a standalone romance book. I got more book ideas that flooded my brain, wanting to burst out. But time was not on my side and I decided to put my writing aside for Law School. Three years of law school, writing papers and legal briefs, I found myself missing the writing. But more than that, I felt like I lost a part of my identity. During the initial years of working, I suppressed my writing. What I found was a part of my soul was missing. Three years ago I decided to stop denying the writer within and began to make writing a part of my life, permanently. Now, I am not saying that I write every day; because there are times that I will take a break from writing, but in the last three years, I have never deprived myself of writing. I allow my mind to develop the stories. I think about the characters and plot twists. What I discovered in the last three years is how central writing is to my identity. Of the words that are at the core of my being- daughter, sister, partner, friend, believer, dog mom, godmother- writer, is up there. "Attorney" is more on the fringes, along with homeowner and Chicagoan.

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Week of Giveaways!

A special thank you to all who have supported me in the first month of my release. Releasing a book is not an easy pursuit. It is similar to climbing a mountain (something I recently did in California). As you start out you see the lofty goal you set for yourself and wonder if you will ever be able to reach the top of the mountain. And like I did two weeks ago in California, I am ascending a few steps at a time.
(A picture of the mountain I climbed, which may not seem high, but I get dizzy standing on a step stool, so this might as well be Mt. Everest).

If you haven't had a chance to get a copy of My Not So Normal Life: Spy Recruit there are two opportunities to get a FREE copy this week.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

My Not So Normal Life by Liz Laz

My Not So Normal Life

by Liz Laz

Giveaway ends June 26, 2017.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway
And the book is available for free through Amazon Kindle through Friday.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017