One of the more difficult parts of the modern publishing paradigm is self promotion. I’m not good at this and always had trouble with it. It seems like bragging and I’ve never been comfortable with that.
Self promotion plays into job interviews. I probably understated my skills and accomplishments in my resume and interviews. Turns out, this seems counter to current trends where folks overstate skills and experiences, sometimes to the point of complete fabrication. While I may have understated things, I was always honest.
Now, though, I have to reach out to various people and institutions to arrange readings and signings. Self promotion.
Since Sudden Mission is a Christian-themed middle-grade/YA novel, I need to find venues for readings and signings that fit the message, you might say. Around Spokane, we have Christian-based businesses or mission groups in the form of coffee shops or cafe/churches. These are found all around the city and I’ve made contact with some.
The first reading/signing event at Indaba Coffee (the Broadway location), turned out great. Most of the audience were friends and family and a few other regulars at the coffee shop. I introduced myself and gave a little intro to the reading (not really enough it turns out), read two passages, then opened up to questions. There were a lot of questions and we got some good discussion going. We planned the event for about an hour and we got wrapped up in just about that amount of time. I even managed to sell and sign a few books.
I handed out a lot of those promotion cards I had made and left a stack at the coffee shop. That, I think, is a handy tool for those who aren’t ready to buy a copy immediately, but want to check it out more.
Based on this, I’m going to move ahead with more reading/signing events at other neighborhood venues in the area. I made contact with another venue and plan to visit a third this week.
Libraries are another resource. If you look at my Events page, you’ll see I have a couple of things scheduled at the Whitman County Library. That wasn’t too difficult since we have a lot of family in that county (just to the south of us). It could be more difficult getting into the Spokane County Library system to do similar readings since it is a larger organization. But, libraries, like most public institutions, are financially strapped. An author willing to volunteer for readings and programs may succeed.
Libraries in public schools may reject Sudden Mission for various reasons, libraries in Christian schools in the area are more likely to accept it. I did make contact with a number of Christian school administrators and librarians in the area to see if I can generate some communication. So, we’ll see how that goes.
Libraries, as I mentioned above, are often financially strapped. Whitman County Library did order a copy of my book for their collection and I’m grateful. But, I will also ask if they want another copy as a donation. I plan to offer copies to any other library I work with, so long as it ends up in their collection and not part of their book sale. While this won’t boost my sales numbers or author ranking on Amazon, it will get the book more exposure.