Wednesday, October 1, 2014

#IWSG - Happy Anniversary / IWSG Anthology Post!

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

We are an insecure lot, aren't we?

Still, we do know how to party! 

Happy 1st Anniversary to the IWSG Website!

Congratulations to the administrators of the site on all your hard work and your unwavering support of writers everywhere.
I don't know if this post will be considered Anthology worthy, but I thought I'd give it a shot.

Don’t sell yourself short.

This writing / publishing gig has to be one of the weirdest, ironic, frightening, whiplash-inducing, careers that anyone could have tried to break into. 

Writers, by nature and definition, are lone creatures. We lurk in the dark. We observe more than participate. We can sit and stare at a blank wall, writing pages of dialogue in our heads, while others think we’re daydreaming. 

What we don’t do? Brag. 

Suddenly, our dreams come true. We get noticed by the Universe and we get a publishing contract. 

You know what’s expected of us now? 



The horror! 

Yes, we are expected to have our own social media platform with which to launch our ‘awesome’ selves into the marketing stratosphere and tell the world how wonderful we are, because we wrote the next big [insert amazing genre here]. 

Yeah, right. 

Typing ‘The End’ was hard enough, but saying “Buy my book” is actual torture. 

Truly, there’s no other choice. No one can sell our books better than we can. Yes, it’s out of our comfort zone. Yes, it sucks.

But, watching while our ‘baby’ suffers, unread and unloved for the rest of its life, is going to suck ten times worse. 

So, in all the craziness and hype that is the marketing / publishing machine, we must stick our foot in the door, clear our throats, find our voices, and announce that our book ROCKS the most, so everyone better buy it.

We can't stop there, either. Rooftops, cafe's, universities, libraries, campgrounds, thinktanks, chess clubs, church groups. They all need to know about our books and the only way they will, is if we tell them.

I can't promise that it will get any easier. I can't promise that all our hard work will pay off.

What can I promise?

Self-promotion is a necessary evil.

What happens if you don't do it?

Absolutely nothing.

Heather M. Gardner, author of The Maguire's Corner series

"I give permission for my entry to be included in the e-book compilation without royalties and/or separate compensation."


  1. Don't sell yourself short, yet don't brag. Both are so true. Such valuable advice. For me, my vice is the first one. I'm constantly doubting myself and my abilities. Think that dang insecurity bug bit me at birth.

  2. So true! Love the pace and punch of this post! I'm always doubting myself, and then I write "must" posts like the one today to try to push myself through them . . . does that make any sense?
    I like the way you ended about marketing - if we don't do it, nothing happens . . .

  3. You're right, that does suck worse. Rather suffer through the horrors of promotion so others can enjoy it.
    And this is definitely worthy - thanks for contributing to the book!

  4. It's always better to try and fail than to do nothing at all. No one is going to hear about your book if you don't tell them about it.

  5. Your post is great. I think you got it just right.

  6. Hi Heather...and yes, the "look at me know" syndrome is a tough one for most of us. All those doubts about our writing can subvert the confidence we should create by getting our word out into the world.

    And you are exactly right...if we do nothing, nothing will happen.

  7. I could not agree more. Doing nothing = nothing. That's something every writer needs to remember if they want to make things happen.

  8. Great post. I don't like having to go around and say "buy my book." If only I could afford a marketing elf to do it for me!

  9. I think the key to do both is to say interesting things, that way you're not selling yourself short but you're still making people interested in what you write.. or so is the hope, right? ;-)

  10. "No one can sell our books better than we can." That is the truest statement ever.

  11. OMG, so right. I read this and once again understood that I don't have to re-invent the wheel, I just have to sell books! So easy to say, so hard to do... There are so many people in the world. This should be easier!!! But insecurity is a real killer. It's hair pulling time!!

  12. I never really thought about how if we do nothing, then often nothing happens. Our books and our stories go unread. That is so much worse than doing the actual marketing and promoting!

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

  13. This is so true. And it's not easy to tell the world about our books. Who wants to brag about themselves all the time? But telling others you have a book or books is a necessary evil if you want readers to find your hard work. Great post.

  14. I can relate,totally. However, I'm on a mission to develop a strategy with the help of Angela Ackerman. See my post at

  15. Enjoy your writing style, immensely! The balance of marketing is a tricky one and it's ever evolving!

    Best regards,
    Donna McDine
    Award-winning Children’s Author
    Ignite Curiosity in your child through reading!
    Write What Inspires You Blog

  16. I think this is a very nice way of saying "suck it up, it's not that bad" and I like it. However, I do tend to be a bit harsh. In any case, I like what you're saying and will continue to move forward in efforts to market my work and "my platform". Thanks for sharing.

  17. absolutely right! hard work WILL pay off :D

  18. Oh yes the word 'self-promotion' has many of us running for the hills and hiding under a rock! Thanks for sharing your advice on putting ourselves out there, I enjoyed reading it.

    Great to visit as a co-host of IWSG this month.

  19. Great post. I think everyone feels a little guilty self-promoting--or at least I would :). And you're right it would def suck worse for the book to waste away unread.
    Ninja Girl

  20. self-promotion. It's like torture for most writers. What's worse is when you hear about those authors that do nothing but self-promote and how much everyone hates them. It makes me more hesitant to self-promote. Sending out a single tweet mentioning my book seems like spam.... but you are absolutely right. You have to do it. Having your work sit unread is worse!

  21. Hi Heather! This was a great post, and I think it's absolutely anthology worthy. I've gone a few rounds with my sister self-promoting her books at literacy conferences. It IS hard, scary work, but you're so right, without it absolutely nothing happens. I love the typewriter look of your text! I'm going to post your "... suck ten times worse" quote on the wall above my computer! Have a good one!

  22. Great post. All good hero's and heroines take action rather than passively accepting their lot in life. We have to be our own hero's when it comes to getting our work out there and seen. Great post.
    Juneta at Writer's Gambit

  23. Thank you for all the wonderful comments!

    That's what I love about this group and this blog community!


  24. You're absolutely right. No one else will do it for us and we have to nurture and help our book babies out into the world. Even if it's mortifying, they deserve it!

  25. This is a great post, Heather! Perfect for the anthology! I haven't gotten to the self-promoting aspect yet (still working on the publishing part), but I can only imagine how hard it is. Flaunting ourselves and our work seems like a hard thing to do! But I can see the necessity of it.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog for IWSG! Sorry it has taken me so long to visit back! :)

    ~Kristin Smith
    IWSG co-host


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