Entering the First Chapter Romance contest has been quite an eye-opener for me as far as what I need to do to market my work. And, being a self-conscious, self-deprecating kind of person, it's been somewhat difficult to ask readers to come by and read my work. Now, since completing my first two manuscripts four years ago I knew this was something I would have to eventually do. So, after siging with my first agent I started putting together my platform....I bought my domain name, opened a website, joined several online writing forums and offline writing groups such as RWA. Since I have no publishing credits, I decided to build my platform using who I know. In other words, I network, I attend conferences, go to book signings, meet face to face with other writers outside my genre. And it's worked out great...I've had the privilage of meeting and interacting with such icons as Lee Child, Kay Hooper, Lauren Baratz-Logstead, Allison Brennan...to name a few. And I've learned a great deal from these people including how to not only be a great writer (not that I am..yet) but how to help others to be great writers. So, I do what I can for whom I can.
Now, for me, two of the most terrifying words in the English language are PUBLIC SPEAKING. Even now, the thought of standing in front of a crowd of strangers has me wanting to cower in the corner in a fetal position. And, trust me, that's not much different than how I actually appear when standing at a podium facing a few handfuls of strange faces. But I know, once my books are sold and I set up signings, it's something I'm going to have to do. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to handle it unless I do a joint signing with someone, but that doesn't always happen.
So, for now, I'm wading into the marketing pool by entering this contest and getting my name and story out there. I've been very happy with the results so far, all of the contestants and readers have been more than wonderful and kind. I'm not so rose-colored glasses to think my work or writing will appeal to everyone, but at least there are a few who have enjoyed it.