I have to hand it to self-published authors who manage to work full-time jobs, raise families and carve out time to promote their books. When I ask them how they do it, the answer is simple: “I make time because I want to succeed.” The authors of whom I speak have demanding jobs and one has a demanding family on top of the demanding job. And yet, I see her posting blog stories, interviews and book signing events that she set up herself (she has no budget to hire a publicist). I sit back and watch in awe as she does whatever it takes to make her dream come true, wishing I could do the same while mentally listing the reasons it’s just not possible for me to do what she’s doing.
I was able to coast along like this for a while (months, actually), deluding myself that my job is way to demanding and home life is even MORE demanding (if you can believe it!). I mean, I’m so busy, I barely have time to breathe!
Then, a friend came along an called: BULLSHIT on my well-thought out reasons…. okay, excuses for not moving forward with STEEL GODDESSES and even worse, not motivating myself to finish writing SG2.
“You’re NOT allowed to sit and whine about how you wish SG was selling better, or how you wish you had the time to work on SG2,” she said in a calm but “take no prisoners” voice. “You have friends who can teach you how to write a press release, or write one for you in exchange for lunch, dinner or a night out. The time you spend mindlessly tweeting and Facebooking – use that time to WRITE. Carve out time, put it in the calendar and treat it like a job.”
“But…” I protested (okay, I whined). “Turning writing into a job will make it feel like a.. JOB.”
She raised an eyebrow. “Don’t you want this to be your job – using your incredible imagination to crank out novels that millions of readers will enjoy?”
Okay, she got me there. I do want to write full-time and have millions of readers enjoy the fruits of my imagination. I do want more people to discover Toni, Rusty and the rest of the girls in STEEL GODDESSES. I want them to WANT to wait impatiently for SG2, emailing me every day asking when it will be published (“Are we THERE yet?”). I want them to share their own daydreams on this website or even better, share their experiences (keep it PG-13, please) or close encounters with rock stars (or other stars). I want all these things, and more.
However, if I’m completely honest, the biggest obstacle to promoting STEEL GODDESSES and writing SG2 hasn’t been lack of time or motivation; it’s been my ambivalence and, for lack of a better word, embarrassment over the book. If you know me at all, you know how much of a prude I am. To have written something as saucy as SG is completely out of character. Okay, SG isn’t as blatantly “in your face” as some of the other books out there masquerading as “romance” (when did they get so graphic?), but I’ve had a hard time separating Ann Brandt from who I really am: a somewhat prudish television talk show producer and longtime broadcast journalist, wife and mother.
On the other hand, I love Toni, Rusty, Kris and even Marius Mann. I love their stories and how they sprang from my head, fully-formed, not unlike Athena, fierce and ready to take on the world (and each other) to achieve their dreams. And I want you to love them, too.
So, how do I achieve this? Here’s my plan:
Social media: I’m working to carve out a schedule to tweet and Facebook as Steel Goddesses. My alter-ego’s Twitter account has more than 3,200 followers (including LL Cool J!). SG’s Twitter account has 527 (thanks to each and every one of you! I love you!) BTW, the Twitter handle is @Steel_Goddesses. My Facebook page is: Steel Goddesses Fans.
Marketing: I’m accepting a friend’s kind offer to help me craft a press release I can send to rock radio stations, magazines and websites with followers who might enjoy a trip to the 80’s metal scene in NYC, where spandex was rampant and groupies abundant.
Writing: Everyone who’s read SG *is* clamoring for SG2, so I’m scheduling time to write. Even if I end up having to edit and re-edit, it’s easier to edit when you have words, right? Blank pages need no editing.
Other stuff: I’ve been toying with the idea of offering SG coffee mugs and such. I know, it’s really not necessary, but take a look at the photo and tell me you don’t want to sip your coffee from one of these babies… (on second thought, don’t tell me. Just go along with it).
The MAIN thing is to keep SG out there and keep writing, because more characters are taking up space in my brain and I need to free them.
Let me know how YOU manage to juggle so many projects at once!