I’m Jessica Aspen a paranormal romance author from Colorado. I’m brand spanking new at the publishing world and this is the beginning of my story, from pre-pubbed to pubbed, the life of a new author. I’ve been writing on and off for several years and a few years ago I got serious, joined Romance Writers of America and wrote a full manuscript. Now I am playing the game of life and I have my little car filled with myself, my spouse and my two kids and we are wheeling away down an offshoot. Up a hill and onto a new board!
On the new game board of publishing you find yourself spinning the wheel and making decisions like, turn left here and try for an agent, or turn right and see if you can self-publish and make it work! There is a limited amount of paper money, should you spend it on groups like RWA and take classess and attend conferences? Or should you go back to school and get a masters in creative writing? Okay, not really an option for me unless I pick a card and win the lottery!
So I am taking some advice from a terrific agent who came to our local RWA chapter, Sara Megibow from the Kristen Nelson Agency. She said she looks at authors who are making strides at promoting themselves. We all have heard that, and we all know that, but how do we do that? How does a new, pre-pubbed author go about getting herself promoted? Well I’m starting today. I spun the wheel and I’m spending my time on my new blog. How will you promote yourself?
Will you set up a website, get business cards, go to conferences and introduce yourself? What if you don’t write? What if you are a reader? What is your business? Do you need to be promoting yourself? What does self-promotion look like if your car is not going down the publishing road? I think in this day and age it is important to realize that we are all self-promoting. We have face-booked and my-spaced and twittered ourselves into a world where we need to put out a face for the world. A world where the mistakes you make can be flashed across a continent before you even confessed to your best friend.
Every word you email can be forwarded, every picture you post could be seen. Your next boss may be googling you to see what kind of a person she had working for her. And your newest friend may be doing that too. We have entered a world where self-promotion is not for self-aggrandizement, but is for self-protection. What face do you want the world to see?
Whether or not you want to deal with it, you are barreling down a road somewhere and the world is watching. Unless you aren’t posting anything, emailing anything or social-networking anything. And who is doing absolutely none of this? None of us. Anyone with internet access is typing something to someone and it is all collected in the ether somewhere. My dad says it never goes away. Scary.
So take control of your life and decide what you want the world to see. I am Jessica Aspen and I want you to see that I will be a published author, someday. I am hardworking, motivated and even if I end up driving off the board and onto a new game I am unafraid to spin the wheel.
Thanks for reading my first blog!