I’ve always considered myself to be a modest, shy, person, characteristics which aren’t particularly conducive to self-promotion, which is why I struggle with this whole social media/creating a writer platform malarky.
My other half points out I can’t be shy because after moving abroad, I pro-actively joined social groups and made many new friends. I had to. I’d moved 5000 miles away from the town that had been my home for over 40 years and I didn’t know a soul, but that didn’t stop the dread of having to introduce myself to strangers over and over again – Hi I’m Rosie, I’m an expat, can you recommend a good hairdresser/dentist/doctor/therapist….
Admittedly that first international move nine years ago forced me out of my comfort zone, however, I now find myself in a similar position.
Hi I’m Rosie, and I’ve written this book….
I hate putting myself out there, but I’ve got a book launch coming up and if I don’t publicise it, nobody else will. So besides being ‘active’ on social media, bombarding my friends, what else can I do? Contact the local press…
I’ve had dealings with the local press before. When we moved to the Netherlands I undertook an on-line writing course, and being a model student, during the lesson on writing articles and features for magazines, I contacted my local newspaper back in the UK, pitching a story about a transplanted Southampton woman now living in the Netherlands. I think this might interest your readers, I wrote. I heard nothing….for six months. Then I received an email. Dear Rosie, please could you write us a 500 word article about your life in the Netherlands by Friday…oh and by the way, can we have a photograph of you with a windmill.
500 words and one 4 km cycle ride to the nearest windmill for a photo-shoot later, the article was complete.
Despite the apparent rush, my feature didn’t appear in the paper for at least another three weeks, presumably something better came up. Having said that, three weeks is nothing compared to the two year wait I had for a short-story to appear in another local magazine after it had been accepted!
So, knowing how long it can take to receive a response, let alone publication, I sent off a couple of notices this week about my book and its forthcoming launch on 1 August. The very next day I received a phone call from one local newspaper, the Portsmouth based The News and had a very pleasant chat with a reporter who asked lots of questions about my writing and the inspiration behind it. Oh so you will come to my launch? I said. Yes, she replied and we’ll run a feature on it tomorrow. You’ll be on page 13….’
Tomorrow! Likely story I thought, but just on the off chance, I rushed into my local One-Stop and grabbed its lone copy of The News, and there it was, perfectly filling a slot on page 13 as promised!
‘Mum picks up pen to commemorate town’s demolished art deco building…’
I do actually write with a keyboard and a computer, and my children have both long flown the nest, but what the heck! I’m very grateful to The News for running the story. I’m not sure I’m going to get stopped in the street because of it, but hopefully it’s aroused a little bit more interest for the book.