• Lisa Rivero
  • The Knit and Purl Promotion Plan: Or How Book Marketing Is Like Knitting
The Knit and Purl Promotion Plan: Or How Book Marketing Is Like Knitting
Written by
Lisa Rivero
April 2010
Written by
Lisa Rivero
April 2010
I have two books coming out on April 15th. You can have a chance to win one of them (A Parent's Guide to Gifted Teens: Living with Intense and Creative Adolescents) by signing up this weekend to follow the publisher, Great Potential Press (GPP), on Twitter. Here is the announcement: GPP is now in the Twitter world as well! Become a follower this weekend, and be entered to win a FREE copy of our newest book before it's even released, A Parent's Guide to Gifted Teens. One random winner will be selected and announced on Twitter on Monday. Good luck and have a great weekend! http://twitter.com/giftedbooks

Posting the above announcement is a baby step for me, another row of knits and purls. This is not my first time being published, but in many ways I feel like it is, because, as I wrote somewhere else here, I am determined this time to be a good author and not just a good writer, and I want to explore more what I mean by that. For many years I've been practicing my writing. In fact, not until recently have I realized just how much I've been practicing. We practice when we write blogs like this one. We practice when we write thoughtful emails. We practice when we scribble on napkins and write first drafts and revise tangled sentences. We probably don't think we are practicing, but as long as we write on a regular basis--like practicing the piano, whether it be scales or sonatas--we are getting better. That's what I mean by being a good (and diligent) writer. What I haven't done as much of is learning to get my writing into the hands and hearts of others. I have not always been a good author. For reluctant promoters like myself, and I know there are many of us, minimal effort will sometimes pay off in small ways, enough to fool ourselves that our writing will somehow rise to the top on its own. Others will take care of the marketing. We just need to write and smile and be "nice girls." It's like starting to knit a pair of socks. We can browse the patterns, visit a yarn store, even buy some beautiful self-striping yarn and cast on that first row. That's the fun part. The easy part. But unless we make the commitment to knit row after row, to risk the inevitable dropped stitches and pick them up, to work on it a little at a time, knowing that there will be no pay-off for weeks if not longer, we'll never have a sock, much less a pair. That's how I'm approaching promotion and marketing and taking myself and my ambition (gulp, ambition is another topic for another blog post) seriously. Baby step by baby step, stitch by stitch, row by row. If I look at the big picture for too long right now, I get freaked out. So I'm breaking it into manageable goals: * Begin a blog to help to promote my books. Check. * Join SheWrites. Check. * Read what works for others. Participate in a writing community. Encourage and support others. Check. * Go to a writer's conference and practice pitching my next project. Check. * Write promotional pieces that tie into my work. In progress. * Celebrate small successes and refuse to self-flagellate over past missteps. Ongoing * Recognize the discomfort that comes with promotion, acknowledge it, sit with it, go through it to the other side, remind myself that I am not being egotistical by being a good author as well as a good writer. Refuse to heed the internal critic who whispers Who do you think you are? Or, better yet, answer her: "I'm a working writer, and a pretty good one at that. My writing deserves to be read." Ever in progress. * Find out how to do this marketing and promotion thing in a way that works for me and leaves me feeling good when I put my head on my pillow at night. Getting there. I just keep knitting, and, before I know it, I've literally turned the heel corner and am seeing a sock. In case this resonates with anyone else...

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  • Lisa Rivero

    Priscilla, I came to the wisdom of your mother's words only in recent years, and it makes so much difference in my life, not just in my writing. Like Marianne Williamson, I often wanted to go from A to Z and bypass B and everything in between.

    Sandra, thank you! I do believe that writing is writing, no matter how small (that sounds kind of Seussical).

  • Sandra Beasley

    I loved this post! Glad to see someone else acknowledge that ALL diligent, thoughtful writing (even emails) can contribute to our writing prowess.

  • Priscilla Warner

    Good luck! Sounds like you've got a good pattern to work with! Breaking it down like this makes it seem less daunting. My mother used to say "Inch by inch is a cinch; yard by yard is very hard..."