Kate Orson

freelance writer, parent educator and creative writing teacher

Writers Getting Out There – 5 Tips For Self-Promotion


I’ve left this blog abandoned for the past three years as I trained to be a Hand in Hand parenting instructor, and wrote a book Tears Heal: How to listen to our childrenSo I appreciate you reading this whether you are one of my original subscribers or have just discovered it!

Recently I’ve been feeling the call to focus more on the writers process, and the world of reading and writing. So I hope I will be blogging more recently (although I never know where my muse is going to take me).

As a parent the only way I could write a book was to hibernate at evenings, and weekends. But now it’s finished I’ve returned to my old writer’s group, and I’m looking forward to connecting in person with other writers, as I develop my own writing. Maybe I’ll even return to one of my novels that have been also lying abandoned on my computer!

That’s my dream, but instead I find myself focused more on the outside world. There’s a scary statistic about published writers that 1/4 of them don’t make back their original advance. I love writing and I would love to make a living out of it, and I know that takes a lot of work.

I read a wonderful book called Create Your Writer Platform Create Your Writer Platform, by Chuck Sambuchino, which is all about how in the modern age writers need to be their own publicist. Following Chuck’s wonderful advice I’ve been able to see how the internet can be a way to make real human connections, and that we can enjoy the process of getting out there on Facebook and Twitter, without sounding like a salesperson.

And it’s working. Now I get messages every week from people telling me how much they love my parenting blog, Listening To Tears and how they can’t wait for my book to come out. Now these online connections are even going offline, as I’m meeting a fellow parenting instructor in Zurich, and another writer who’s coming to Basel.

Here’s five tips about self-promotion that I’ve learnt so far.

  1. Be a friend. It’s quite simple. When I uploaded the cover of my book to Facebook, I was thrilled by all the positive comments, and the people who spontaneously decided to share it with all their friends. What I noticed is was that it was my closest, best friends, that shared it. Or the people who shared a passion for parenting in the same way I do. Or my writing friends who know how important it is to support each other. Social media is a great way to reach out to people, but in an age where there is less real face-face human connection, it is still the most powerful tool. What a great excuse to get out there, and meet some writing friends for a bit of face-face writing therapy!
  2. Make Real Human Connections I must admit that I was pretty negative about social media until I read Create Your Writer Platform. I think sometimes our assumption is that these interactions are not real, means that we don’t use social media to it’s full potential. We forget there is a real live human through sitting at another computer. So when people tweet or Facebook you, or leave a comment about your blog, be sure to message them back, listen to them, thank them, and remember they are a real human being.
  3. Don’t be a walking advert. This is something Sambuchino really emphasises in his book. If we are on Facebook or Twitter constantly broadcasting about our book, people are going to quickly get bored with us, and mute us out and unfollow.
  4. Take an interest in others. A better tactic is to be interested in other people. So if you are on Twitter or Facebook, don’t just broadcast your own stuff. Be sure to retweet others. Pick people who you are genuinely interested in, perhaps writers who are similar to you. Regularly commenting and interacting with people you like, won’t feel like self-promotion, because it’s also about simply building relationships. You might even make an offline friend!
  5. Show Some Of Your Personality If you share someone else’s post on Facebook, or twitter, be sure to write a comment that reflects who you are as a person. Then you’re not just someone silently reposting or retweeting, but a real person that people can get to know.

I hope these tips are helpful. If you’re a writer or blogger, and would like to share what works for you, I’d love to hear from you!

Check out Create Your Writer Platform for more tips

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6 responses to “Writers Getting Out There – 5 Tips For Self-Promotion”

  1. Thank you for this Kate, really interesting and helpful. I have realised that what I love writing about is walking the dog. Strange but true. I did one a few years ago called A Year in Holland Park about what it’s like to have an ageing dog. And lately I remembered how much I loved writing it. So I’ve started a new blog called Offlead, http://www.offlead.net, and I’m back where I belong. Looking forward to reading more of you online. X Beverly Frydman

    1. What a fabulous idea! It sounds so unique and I think that’s really important for blogs, to find your niche. I look forward to following your blog too.

  2. I enjoyed reading this – one thing that is tough for me is that I do hope many people read my book but I dislike pitching myself to others. It feels awkward. I like the advice in your post, the book you read sounds similar to Kristen Lamb’s book Rise of the Machines. It’s all about how to be authentic when using social media. Very good.

  3. I know I feel the same! It was really a relief to realise, I could just be myself, and that if people want to buy my book they can find it, and I can just get to work sharing helpful ideas on my blog, and see what happens from there. Thanks for the book recommendation, it sounds really helpful. I’m really beginning to enjoy reading again, after a long period of intense writing. And it’s nice to read about social media, as a break from staring at a screen! .

  4. Wise advice. Thank you.I am sometimes faced with a sea of book covers being promoted on twitter that I roll over without taking them in. If I truly want something I will find it, it will stand out to me because it is what I am looking for. Lovely to read your blog again.

    1. thanks Tracey. I’m the same with those book covers. I bought a book a few weeks ago that I did see on twitter, but funnily enough tt wasn’t the author who was promoting it. As soon as I saw it I instantly knew it was a book I needed. We’re all on our own path, and we’ll know the books we need when we see them. And thank you for your kind words, I hope I’ll blog more regularly this time.

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