Jun 15, 2010


This is all the things suggested for promoting online and building your platform as a writer that I DON'T do. Oh, I agree with them, I just haven't found the time/motivation/cookies to get me going.

My Promo FAIL list:
  • Tweet on Twitter several times a day and join in all the different hash-tag discussions (eg #amwriting, #edit, #litchat, etc). I tweet spasmodically when I find a great website, update my blog or discover the perfect choc-chip cookie. The hash-tag discussions sound like fun, but I'm never organised enough to find out when they're on.
  • Meme blogs, like 'Waiting on Wednesday', it just feels like too big of a commitment for me (what if I'm sick one Wednesday and I can't blog about the books I'm waiting on, and my readers are disappointed, and they hate me, and they throw food at me....)
  • Write and publish short stories, I know I should, but I seem to have trouble moving away from my WIP and working on shorts. Plus, I'm not very good at them (but admit I should learn).
  • Vlog on YouTube. Apparently the now big thing. Writers should be promoting themselves by making short clips and uploading them. I'll get there, but I need to feel I've found the balance between, work (teaching), writing and home-life before I add another project.
  • Use Facebook for promotion. I have Facebook, but I really just use that to chat with my friends and family, I don't have a fan page.
  • Move away from the free blog sites and have a professional website. I like Blogger, I have my Google connect friends and a list of all the blogs I follow (otherwise I'd never find them again). I DO have charamaineclancy.com saved and will get around to the website one day.
  • Participate in forums. My writing/editing course with Holly Lisle hosts a great online forum, but I can never remember to keep popping into it.
  • Join a critique group. I really want to do this (and I really don't want to do this). I did join www.critiquecircle.com - you earn points by critiquing other people's work and then you can upload your writing to be critiqued. I've lagged behind in this as well.
So how do I feel about failing? Fine. In fact I'm perversely proud of my fails, I think the meme of the word 'fail' has made it more endearing than pathetic (yes it is!). Need to know about the whole trend of 'FAIL'? Watch this brilliant video:

Know Your Meme: FAIL from Rocketboom on Vimeo.
Which 'must-do' promotions do you fail at?


  1. On your list I:
    1) write stories but have only been accepted in online mags. It does teach you to write very tightly and choose words carefully because you have a strict word limit. The experience is worth the rejections from print mags.
    2)Have been a member of more than one critique group and learned a lot. I will become a member again once I can devote the time the others need.
    Right now, I don't feel an urgent need to get "out there" yet so my Facebook,like yours, is for family and friends only not to promote my name.
    I only have the blog and FB. That's enough to keep up with for me. And both of those made me nervous in the beginning, especially blogging.

    This post was really eye opening! Going through the list--makes me wonder what writers did to promote themselves when there wasn't the internet.

  2. I laughed at these - I'm right there along with you on many of them. I do a few of the twitter chats (#askagent is on right now) - but I mostly lurk.

    And I haven't even joined Facebook yet - and at this point I'm not planning to do that - there's just no more time.

  3. Catherine - I agree with your comment about writers pre-Internet. It seems like the world has imploded and so many people have access to each other now. The internet also makes it easier to self-publish, submit queries, find contacts, so I guess agents become so busy that we are expected to do more for our own marketing. Mark Twain toured a lot and even came to Australia, so maybe the flip side is travelling is less necessary? Thanks for your comment, got me thinking :-)

    Jemi - Glad I could give you a giggle! ;-j I wonder how those super-promoters get time to do it all?

  4. I fail at several of those as well. Don't worry, just do a little bit toward your goal everyday. :) Even just having a blog is a great plus.

  5. Thanks Aubrie, your blog post today on Persistence is quite relevant for me :-)

  6. How are you finding the Holly Lisle course? I'm on her mailing list but so far I've been too mean to fork out for a course.

  7. fairyhedgehog - it's been great for me, the writing course maybe goes a bit too long, that I lose momentum, but still taught me a fair bit. I think all things being equal if you can do a face to face course somewhere that will keep you focused.

    The best Holly Lisle course (I think) is the How To Revise Your Novel course - I didn't know how to edit, but this showed me a great system which really works. Lots of prep work, but then you just go through and rewrite ONCE. That's it. I think it's excellent (check out www.ink-fever.blogspot.com) Inky there often has a discount offered on the course.

    If you google the course name you will probably find a lot of people blog about the course (I do occasionally) and you'll get an idea of the different exercises. There is also a forum (but like I said, I rarely remember to comment in it).

  8. I think the idea of writing short stories in order to "get your name out there" may not work for novelists. It certainly doesn't work for me! The short story form is SO different from novel writing that it would mess with my head to try to switch back and forth.

  9. I should definitely do all of them. I have also been hoping for a critique circle and recently found a beta. She isn't too up on giving criticism though and is super busy. So, alas, I will be in the market for a new beta soon. :(

  10. Charmaine, other than two things, I am EXACTLY where you are, plus you've bought your domain name, so you win on that one.

    I DO have a separate facebook profile--I wanted a place I felt more comfortable friending anybody and everybody (no fan page, but I may start one one the contract is actually SIGNED and I'm sure what my pen name will be)

    And I am part of a writer's group. We have never called ourselves a critique group, as we formed before we knew what we were supposed to call it--it is pretty much just a group of writing friends who've all agreed to help each other out and they are my favorite people in the world.

  11. Rosslyn - Thanks, perhaps when my WIP is finished I'll try a couple of shorts before the next WIP (but I'm sure I will have already started and overlapped the next WIP by then).

    Alleged Author - Betas are hard to find, everyone gets so busy it's hard to commit the time to reading through someone's MS and returning it quickly. Hope you get a good one! My current WIP is a kids' story so my daughters and their friends are my Betas (they are brutally honest!)

    Watery Tart - I think I'd pick up the promotional pace once I've got something to promote. For now, even my Twitter and blogging are more of a social way of chatting with other writers, not really 'promo-ing' myself. Besides, I figure, when the time comes, I'm so adorable my platform will build itself ;-j

  12. I don't do 2, 3, 4, 6, & 7. My "secret" to twitter, FB, MySpace, tumblr and my blog is to have them all sort of linked together...I can post once, and it goes pretty much everywhere automatically (I schedule posts through twitterfeed and tumblr, so the posts are spread out over the day). That allows me to maintain a presence all over while 8:30am - 5:30am, I'm at the day job (like now). Work has been too busy lately for me to participate in forums, so I've had to cut that. And I simply don't have time for short stories with all the rewriting/revising I have going on in the evenings. I have crit partners and beta readers, but wouldn't have time for a group...which is fine with me. I'm not really much of a "group" person.

    I'm not sure about vlogs. I'm a writer. I write. If I wanted to be on camera, I'd act. So I have no plans to do that anytime soon. There's that whole "time" problem too...

    I'm pretty sure I'm doing plenty - if you google me, I take up the first three pages of results (at least). So I'm not too inclined to go making more work for myself. ;-)

  13. Correction - I don't do 2,3,4,7 & 8. I do have my own web site (would be odd if I didn't - I'm a professional web developer for the day job).

  14. I fail at most of the things you do. I don't twitter. I use FB for friends and family. I don't work like crazy to build my followers. I just write, try to be real, and live on the page...and off!

  15. Jamie D - sounds like you have it all organised. I think you just find what works for you and stick with that, I don't think too many writers would be using ALL the social media, otherwise when would they write?

    Mary - we fail amongst friends :-)

    BTW - I forgot to mention podcasting - there's another platform builder I don't do (although it sounds like fun).

  16. there's an award on my blog for you...come pick it up! ; )

  17. Seems I'm failing too. I do have a website, but I love blogger it's an easy way to connect and track blogs.

  18. Tessa - Thanks! Have darted over and grabbed my new award!

    Southpaw - Blogger is great, I hate when I find great blogs and they don't have Google Friends, because I never remember to revisit the site without my blog list.

  19. I think you have posted my list by mistake, Charmaine! LOL

    I can match each and every one of yours, including the Holly Lisle lite course. I tried is my motto. ;0

  20. I'm right there with you! And now, I feel better. It's a lot of work to promote one's self. Stopping by from Blog Frog!