It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask

Just a tiny part of my cool Doctor Who cake, based on the Threadless T-Shirt design "Who Do You Want To Be Today?" by Alicia-B.
Just a tiny part of my cool Doctor Who cake, based on the Threadless T-Shirt design “Who Do You Want To Be Today?” by Alicia-B.

One of the hardest things I’ve had to do for my (admittedly, still fledgling) writing career is work on marketing.

Once upon a time, so I’ve heard, writers used to write, and their publishers handled the marketing – but that’s just not the world we’re in any more. Not that my publisher hasn’t been awesome, giving me a publicist to work with, and generally championing my book, but these days writers are expected to take an active part in their marketing by being present on social media, setting up interviews and reviews, and generally creating publicity for their books. Because after all, why write books if no one’s going to buy them?

For me, the worst part of this has been the cold call (ok, cold email – it would be so much worse if I had to actually talk to people on the phone). Having to blurb my book and promote myself to total strangers has required more confidence than I thought I possessed (you can check out my posts on confidence here and here)

And yet…

When it comes right down to it, what do I have to lose from a cold email requesting an interview or review? What’s the worst thing that could happen?

They could say no.

In which case, I’m no worse off than I was before I sent the email – in fact, I’m a bit better, because now at least one more person (the one who read the email) has heard of my book.

(Now, obviously, I’m talking about emailing requests to appropriate places – if you send out requests for your picture book to a site that only reviews erotica, you’re just going to annoy people and waste their time.)

And people are going to say no. Right now I’m averaging about a 75% rejection rate. But do you know what that means? That means 25% of the places I’ve contacted have said yes!

It’s why I now have an Appearances and Events page on this site. And it’s why I have my first TV appearance on Monday. Squee! (Strangely, thanks to my acting background, I’m less nervous about the actual appearance than I was sending the email to request it – go figure.)

It just goes to show that, as hard as it may be to muster the confidence to do it, it doesn’t hurt to ask – you never know what good things could come from a simple request. (Now here’s to hoping I don’t make a fool out of myself next week :D)

What about you? What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to do lately? Let me know in the comments.

Proof that fondant can be good: The full cake based on the Threadless T-Shirt design "Who Do You Want To Be Today?" by Alicia-B.)
Proof that fondant can be good: The full cake based on the Threadless T-Shirt design “Who Do You Want To Be Today?” by Alicia-B.)

PS For those of you who missed it on Twitter yesterday, my copies of FUN WITH FROSTING arrived! Squee! (Check out my Facebook page for a photo of me grinning like a goofball with my book!)

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