Promoting myself as an author for the first time

I was recently invited to participate in my city’s Chamber of Commerce networking group for Working Mom’s. This is a normally a great group because when all else fails you can ask about a person’s children whenever you are in need of an icebreaker conversational starter and I’ve very much enjoyed that my hometown offers this program. I’ve been a participant for years; however this was the first time I was going not in support of my day job, but as an author.

I had had the brilliant idea that I would donate a couple of copies to be raffled off because my novel does deal with the stresses of being a working mom then nearly had a panic attack waiting for my additional copies to show on my doorstep from my publisher. These copies did show up the evening before the event, but it was a nail biter.

It was finally time for the big event. I arrive, copies in hand, and am invited to drop my business card into a bowl for other giveaways. Suddenly I was faced with a dilemma – what business card do I put in the bowl? Obviously I want to sell my book, but I have years of equity in my other professional brand. Would my announcement of my new endeavor help or hinder?

In the end, I decided to promote both of my jobs. These were working moms after all – very used to performing at least two jobs – of course they would understand, and in fact it gave them an opportunity to tell me about their own side projects and/or bucket list goals. For example, I met one woman who having just left a position within operations of a major computer company was now starting her own business selling baby blankets with built in cushioning, and learned of an IT manager who actually has published three books herself.

Hopefully I gained a few sales, but if nothing else, at least I gained more experience.

It does make me wonder how other writers, especially those who have day jobs in vastly different fields than writing, felt after their first public outing.

If this describes you, I would love to hear your stories.

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