I been dubbed the Queen of Webinars by a friend. A title I happily embrace. I only attend the ones that are free. Which brings me to the topic of this post. I have a few friends who think since it is free there can be little to gain and little to learn. I always ask them why they feel this way.
Free doesn’t always mean it will be a bust. Sometimes it just means well that it’s free. Why not take advantage of these opportunities? If you get one nugget, one piece of information, isn’t it worth your time to attend?
Next week I will be attending a free class at the community college on how to market. FREE. They have a great department that is funded by the state and the primary goal of the program is to help people with their business and to impart knowledge that can help us do that.
I will be there just like I will be at any and all future classes available to me whether it be a webinar or class. It is not easy getting oneself out there but to also do it well needs to also be considered. That takes knowledge and people sharing with you what they know that can help propel you forward. Yes, there are many classes and books that will cost money but can equally help you. But when the opportunity presents itself and the cost is zero, you bet your bottom dollar I will be there if I am able to.
Still blows me away that people will not attend simply because the cost is zero.
Even though my book got picked up by a traditional publisher, it doesn’t mean I don’t have to spread the word and do some marketing of my own. This is tough for I am by all accounts a shy person. Times are tough for books. They are competing with ebooks, tablets and people giving away their books for free for reviews. So a year before I started actively submitting “Jasper, Amazon Parrot:A Rainforest Adventure” I hit the social media scene.
You can find me here:
I am on a few others but these are the big ones. I started to network, meeting various people in various stages of their book. Along the way I met some awesome friends. I came across people who helped me in so many different ways. Ami who worked on my query letter that got my book into a few editor’s hands. I met my editor, Nancy, who is just amazing with her talents. I have met writers who have helped me with questions and problems when it came to social media. This is a market every author, whether self published or traditional, needs to tap into. It is pure gold for the taking, you just have to reach for it. And by the way it’s how I met my publisher.
It is time-consuming when you first start. This was the main reason a year prior to submitting I became pro active with my book and the means to promote it. It has been a few years since then and now my social media format just need checking on for maintenance. Being shy won’t cut it in this market. You have to take a deep breath and step forward. Your book needs you to be there for it. It can’t do it alone. And why should it? It has been with you for so long why abandon it now?
“Hi Sharon,” greeted Lori as I entered her used and new book store. Returning the sentiment I went to the back. It felt good to be recognized by the store owner. Growing up in a small town where the town population fluctuated between 800-1000 residents it was an adjustment moving to a larger area. Granted this was just one of many cities I had live in since leaving the comforts of Northern Maine so many years ago. Over the years we have moved numerous times to cities of various sizes. Where I was no exception, my area had over 200K in number.
Having a place like Lori’s that made one feel cozy was nice. Lori always called when James Patterson or Stephen King had a book out. She knew I was their number one fan well in my heart and soul. I would be asked if I wanted a particular book or not, if I did she would hold it for me. There has been times she has called and the money was just not there for me to purchase the book. I would tell her to just put it on the shelf for I was not getting paid for another two weeks. Not a problem would always be her reply as she would place it in the back to wait for me. In the beginning I would tell her that if someone else wanted it to please sell the novel. She is running a business after all. This was something to this day she has never done. If I wanted it , the book would be there waiting for me. I don’t know about you but I am not familiar with any book store holding something for a customer that long. She is a gem for lack of a better word.
The kindness is continued by other shops locally. Being in a military town there is no lack of pawn shops. The one we visit has a layaway plan for 90 days. One of the rules is you must not lose your original ticket. A recent trip found me unable to find this little sheet of paper. Expressing my concern to the lady at the front counter I was informed not to worry. We know you and that you’re a good customer, this will not be an issue. They knew me by face and name and that was sufficient for them.
This kindness continues. The church we attend is not very big as far as membership but it still manages to have three masses during the weekend. Sitting in the same pew for a few years people get accustom to us as they nod and say hello inside and outside the church ground. Learning our names as we celebrate together.
All of the people who interact with me from the examples above will nod and say hello when they see me out in the community. It does a body good. While it is not easy adjusting to change these little experiences help. Adapting and overcoming is the key especially when our family is not near us. It is times like this that make our place in this city a home. I will probably never meet a good portion of the people who filter through the roads and businesses that lace our area. But that’s okay. For the ones I’m coming across are making our surroundings special and giving us lasting memories.