Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Share, Share, Share

Last night, Katie and I were invited out to dinner with her work colleagues to celebrate our upcoming wedding in Vegas. We arrived at the pub for drinks before moving on to the restaurant. This was the first time that I had met her colleagues and we exchanged the usual pleasantries, but then things took a slightly surreal turn. After meeting the final member of the group, Jose (pronounced Josie), I was handed a flower garland.

'Put that around your neck,' said Jose.

She then gave me a pair of matching flower wristbands and a cheap plastic bowler hat, with another flower garland wrapped around it.

'This is a little strange,' I said to Katie, who had been given a pink headband to wear. 'Anyone would think that this was a hen party the way that everyone is dressing up.'

As the words left my lips, the reality of the situation began to settle in. I noticed that Katie's headband had "bride to be" written on it. I also noticed that all but one of her colleagues were women and they had all costumed up when we arrived. This was a hen party!

I exchanged horrified looks with Katie, but it was already too late. There was nothing that we could do to avoid a night of embarrassment. Luckily, the restaurant was not busy and our party popper and bubbles shenanigans did not cause too much of a stir. All in all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable night. There was one moment however, that rang a bigger alarm bell than the hat and flowers. When I was introduced to Katie's friends, they seemed to know all about me except for one important detail. None of them knew that I was a writer. Katie had not told them.

To make matters worse, when they asked what I do for a living, I spent more time talking about my day job than the writing. The problem was that I did not really know these people and at times like this I always feel hesitant to bring up the fact that I have a book available. What I should be doing is shouting it from the rooftops.

Do not get me wrong, this is not my ego speaking. I do not expect everybody that I meet to be bowled over by my self publishing exploits. It is just that I seem to spend so much time online trying to network and build relationships with people on the other side of the world, that it seems crazy that I am missing opportunities to spread the word about my books a little closer to home.

If I am to have any success, then surely I will need all of the help that I can get. I need for as many people as possible to know that my book is out there. This means that I have to have all of my friends, family and anybody else that I can working to spread that message for me.Word of mouth can only spread if we get people talking. I am not one for pushing the hard sell, but that does not mean that I cannot be proactive in my approach. We also need to make sure that those close to us are doing the same. Just not in a pushy way. The keys words are not sell, sell sell. What we need to do is share, share, share.

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