With four of my stories available electronically through Smashwords, I decided it was definitely time to spend more of my time marketing. The problem was, I wasn’t sure how to market, plus anything that put me out in front of people, blowing my own horn, was going to be outside my comfort zone. That was why I had joined Toastmasters for 2 years, to get more comfortable speaking in front of others.
If I had to do it, I had to do it. There was no getting around that. I began looking at the conventions I planned to attend this year, and inquired if I might do a reading and possibly be included on a panel or two. I did get to do a reading at a small convention about an hour down the road in the spring, and that turned out well.
This year, we were attending several conventions that were either quite a distance from our home, or new to us, or both. They already seemed to have a full array of panelists and readers, so I attended purely as a fan, handing out flyers to anyone who seemed interested.
Then an organization I belong to that provides mutual support among its author members, wrangled a spot at the World Science Fiction Convention for its members to do a ‘multi-reading’. Instead of one author doing one reading, this organization takes one time slot – in this case, 75 minutes – and schedules several of its members to do short readings.
What an opportunity! I was on staff for the world convention, so I was definitely going to be there! I was one of the first to contact the organizer to state my interest in participating. After a couple days, she emailed back to say I needed to fill out the questionnaire. I was new at this, I didn’t know if the questionnaire was needed for the author’s organization or the convention, so I asked her where I would find the questionnaire I needed to complete.
Here’s where this particular ball got dropped. I forgot I was waiting for an answer. She forgot also. By the time one of us remembered, she had the entire time slot filled. I missed out on this wonderful opportunity.
Oh, well. These things happen. I suspect the trick is, when you drop a ball of opportunity, that you look for more of them, and start picking them up. So, here I am, looking for places to speak, to read, to … market.