I have been to several writing conventions over the years, and I see the same scenario play out again and again. The writers that stand out are the ones that don’t mind talking. You know the type, instead of sitting behind their vendor table looking awkward they are engaging people in conversations. The really good ones don’t even hawk their wares, directly, but they’re the ones from whom you want to buy (see that English degree did come in handy). Don’t get me started on the bad ones – that’s a whole other post.
Nowadays writers are expected to run the gambit of the publishing biz. Not only do you have to write a good story, you have to edit it, and promote it at a minimum. It’s the promotion that hurts many authors. It always seemed unfair to me that the extroverts had an advantage. Their books may or may not be good, but they know how to get the word out.
I’ll admit it, I’m jealous. I’m an introvert, like many writers out there, and I communicate better on paper than in person. Now I’m not one of those too shy to talk people, but I’m just very comfortable with silence. I’ve never been very good at self-promotion either. I prefer to let my work speak for me, but that does no good when you’re trying to introduce your work to an audience.
So how do we introvert types overcome our promotion woes? I say it starts with a conversation. Join a group, attend conventions and actually talk to people, make connections. This may seem like a simple answer, but to an introvert it can be the hardest thing required of a writer today. I wonder if there should be a conference set up just for writers that are introverts. We could all hang around and watch each other to see who will break first. The first one to flinch has to buy everyone else’s books.
I’m not sure I have that kind of time.