Monday, May 13, 2013

Promotion & the Awkward Girl by Hart Johnson

I'm delighted to present to you fellow born Oregonian and friend, Hart Johnson!

Promotion and the Awkward Girl

First, I want to shout out a HUGE Thank You to Diane for having me today as part of my Begonia Bribe Book Tour!

All of you who are regulars around here know Diane is FULL of fabulous promotion advice. And I ALWAYS know it is smart advice. But see... I'm awkward... and a lot of it sounds... you know... like I'd have to GET OUT THERE... TALK to people... TERRIFYING STUFF!

And I'm not at ALL going to suggest we don't push ourselves out of our comfort zones. Introverts just don't have as much of a chance of getting read unless you do something to balance those quiet tendencies.

So what's a girl to do?

FIRST: Persistence is your friend. I am a cancer (astrologically speaking) and heard the analogy that we are the sea—we reshape continents once wave at a time. So if the HUGE PUBLIC SPLASH is too much to think about, PLAN FOR a long slow burn... build your network over time with baby steps... make your relationships one on one and build them, just being your own quiet self.

I know... those of you who know me are thinking sarcastically... yeah... some shrinking violet, that one... but that leads to my SECOND POINT: Pretend you're a wild naked chick! Okay, maybe not literally. That one might be taken. But online we can try on personalities that we aren't brave enough to wear in real life.

Though I confess you might be in for some blushing when a reader says 'You're the Watery Tart!' at a book event.

Seriously though—we are writers, and if we can write the characters, we can be the characters—who do YOU want to be. Just do it!

THIRD: and this is where I contradict myself... Just a minute ago I said be who you want, and HERE, I am saying BE YOURSELF. But what I mean is let your personality shine through, your humor or your joy or your snark—whatever it is that gives you your voice and your passion. Like what you like with a vengeance.
Me and some peeps

Now is the HOW TO MIX IT UP thing: Be a GOOD friend and follower. Share a lot of what your buddies are doing. For we wilting wallflowers it is easier to share about our friends' successes than our own. Use your media: Facebook, Blog, Twitter—wherever you go, shout about your buddies.

See, THEN, when it's YOUR TURN your buddies shout about YOU and you don't HAVE TO!!!

I know there's no real substitute for really getting out there, but this feels, to me, like a manageable compromise as I learn the other stuff in baby steps.

The Begonia Bribe Blurb: Roanoke, Virginia, is home to some of the country’s most exquisite gardens, and it’s Camellia Harris’s job to promote them. But when a pint-sized beauty contest comes to town, someone decides to deliver a final judgment …

A beauty pageant for little girls—the Little Miss Begonia Pageant—has decided to hold their event in a Roanoke park. Camellia is called in to help deal with the botanical details, the cute contestants, and their catty mothers. She soon realizes that the drama onstage is nothing compared to the judges row. There’s jealousy, betrayal, and a love triangle involving local newsman—and known lothario—Telly Stevens. And a mysterious saboteur is trying to stop the pageant from happening at all.

But the drama turns deadly when Stevens is found dead, poisoned by some sort of plant. With a full flowerbed of potential suspects, Cam needs to dig through the evidence to uproot a killer with a deadly green thumb.

Hart (aka, Alyse Carlson) writes books from her bathtub and can be found at Confessions of a Watery Tart, on Facebook (author page, profile), Twitter, or Goodreads.
Book links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble
Available Now!

Jewel of Shaylar
By Laura Eno

Archaeologist David Alexander investigates the cave where his father disappeared and hurtles into another world, one filled with magic and bizarre creatures. The mad ravings in his father's journals of icemen and dragons may not be fantasies after all.
Convinced his father may still be alive, David begins a treacherous journey to find him and discover a way home. Along the way, he encounters a few unlikely friends. A Dreean warrior, a beautiful thief and a satyr join him as he searches.
David's arrival into this new world sets off an explosive chain reaction of events. Faced with powerful adversaries and few clues, he may not get the chance to rescue his father before disaster strikes, condemning both of them to death. Or worse.

Purchase Jewel of Shaylar at Kindle US, Kindle UK, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, and in paperback on Amazon US.

Find Laura here - Blog, Facebook, and Twitter


  1. AnonymousMay 13, 2013

    Enjoyed the read very much, it held my attention throughout.


  2. Great points, Hart! I especially liked your idea about channeling our characters to help make appearances and even an online presence less painful. Thanks for the tips!

  3. Thanks for the mention, Diane!

    Hart - you're such a lovely person...and a wildly naked chick... :)

  4. Ah...getting out there. It's tough when you're shy. I took acting lessons when I did on-camera gigs, and it helps to think you're playing a part rather then it's just you all alone with all those eyes are staring at you.

  5. Great advice, Hart, especially the slow burn.

    I love shouting out about my friends' books. It's less intimidating that promoting your own.

  6. You're right, self promotion is hard when you don't like to talk about yourself.

  7. Yvonne-thank you!!!

    Elizabeth-I think you do a FABULOUS job all on your own!

    Laura-THANK YOU!

    Em-ACTING LESSONS! That's a great idea! And you know it always surprised me how many actors claim to be shy, but they get out and play the part, too.

    Stina-MUCH easier!!!

    Melanie-Yeah--especially the sales jobs, eh?

  8. Great post with great points.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  9. Sharing is one of the best things we can do for our blogger buddies.

  10. I simply cannot wait to read this book! It's next on my list.

  11. These are wonderful tips. As I continue working on my first novel, I get stomach aches thinking about what I'll have to do when it's done. It's enough to make me procrastinate, and I'm not a procrastinator.

  12. Great post, Diane and Hart.

    Hart, Great points. I'm a shy and always awkward gal. It's super difficult to promote self, not that I do it or do it well.


  13. Shelly-Ooooh! Chocolate!!! *nom nom*

    Alex-And you do it FABULOUSLY dahling!

    Alison-THANK YOU!

    Karen-Oh, don't let it panic you before hand!!!

    Teresa-I think you do great!!!

  14. Yep, I'm super awkward and the idea of promoting anything about me makes me want to dive under my desk. Fortunately, I've combined that with very little follow through...

    I'm always happy to share what blogger/writer friends are doing though. No fear there.

  15. I have been sending messages in a bottle out to sea about my blogger buddies. Do you think that is a good way to spread the word?

  16. Love the covers on both books-- make you want to read them!

    Glad to see Laura's book making the blog rounds-- it's a great read.

  17. So happy to shout out all my blogging buddies' new books - especially Hart and Laura!

    You ladies ROCK!

    And you, too, Diane :)

  18. These are really great points! I liked reading this very much.

  19. Great advice Hart. Share about friends and pretend...which as writers, shouldn't be too hard.

  20. I bet you do great in your appearances. Your fans want to see the real you and hear what you have to say. When are you coming to L.A.? :)

  21. I think promotion ties most people into knots, not just the introverted. But you seem to have a handle on it!

    Diane, you have two interesting books on display. :-)


  22. Ug - promotion is my nightmare! It's easy to be 'out-going' on the internet, but facing people in flesh and blood...and then telling them to buy your book. It seems authors not only have to act like a character, they have to be able to fit multiple ones ;)

  23. Congrats ladies and never let the nerves wins.

  24. MJ-lack of follow through diving under your desk?

    Jamie-slow, but eventually it should pay off, I think...

    Julie-thanks for the cover-love! I really love the artists for mine.

    Carol-back atcha!!!

    Gina-great to see you!

    Johanna-well, we'd HOPE so! Though in practice it can get trickier.

    Lee-Man, I don't know! Lots to do in LA, so it would be nice!

    Sia--all pretending!

    Tonja-exactly--the internet version isn't too bad, but in real life? MUCH harder!

    Sheena-Kay-Thank you! *squashes nerves*

  25. All good points. I'll tuck them away for my someday. Except for the "sharing" thought. That one we can all use now.

  26. Laura, you are most welcome.

    Hart, you got some people thinking today.

  27. yay for hart & laura!
    great advice anx 2 smashing books!

    and i peeked at your personality post, i'm 5'3" & good at math too! (but a few lbs over 120, that was my hs weight!)

    great posts!

  28. Beautiful Tart!!! If I ever saw you for real, I'd kowtow and scream "I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy! Down with Pants! Onwards with the most NAKED revolution and domination!". LOL! You are super awesome and well done you for spreading your NAKED self out there!! You GO girl!!! Take care

  29. Good advice! Promoting blogger buddies is the best thing we can do.

  30. Hart, I'm adding your book to my sidebar and I'm wondering if you'd be interested in doing an interview at my place some time? Contact me!

  31. Hart, as usual you have fabulous, sensible advice about networking and promotion. May your fun cozy mystery Begonia Bribe be a bestseller!

  32. Be a good friend and follower is great advice and really pays off in the long run.

    Congrats to both ladies! :)

  33. Anyone who gardens naked shouldn't have a problem with publicity!! Congrats to both authors, your books sound great. I wish you every success.


  34. Over the years I've used the technique of pretending I'm comfortable and outgoing. I'm still always surprised when it works! :) Great advice!

  35. I don't know what I'd do without my writing peeps. I can't tell you how amazed I was at all the love I got this last conference. It was awesome!!

  36. Thanks everyone for supporting Hart. I have in-laws visiting, so I will get back with everyone before my next post on Friday.

  37. Hart, I'm surprised to discover that a person who speaks out strongly in favour of "awesome nakedness" is actually a bit shy?
    I'm also a Cancerian... so maybe there's hope for me...

    Congrats to Hart and Laura!

    Writer In Transit

  38. Congrats Hart and thank you for all the terrific advice. I do have big mouth, but there are many situations in which I do not feel comfortable and social media is one of them. I wonder if my posts are weird or whatever. :)

  39. Yay, love to hear that there's hope for the promo-shy. I totally agree that it's much more fun to shout out about others - and it always overwhelms me when so many step up to return the favor.

    The Begonia Bribe sounds really fun!

  40. Persistence is the key! I'll skip the wild naked part as I often write at Starbucks. I got arrested the last time I tried that.

  41. Loved this post and the tips! I think that being that imaginative self . . . well, we are just being who we are on the inside, so we are being true to ourselves. :) Inside I'm an adventurer who would like to do all my stunts myself. :) Outside, well, sometimes I go on adventures, and sometimes I cower at heights.

  42. This is an awesome post with great points! I enjoyed reading this very much.

  43. Excellent post! It really is all about sharing!

  44. Hi, L. Diane, Hi, Hart...

    Congrats on your new COZY... Such excitement. And you are so right. Be yourself and SHOW your personality.

    And from our delightful time spent together a few years back, I didn't see a shy woman but a woman of charm, sweetness, and TALENT. And a smile that lights a room. So you hide your shyness well, Hart.

    All the best!

  45. AnonymousMay 16, 2013

    Excellent post. I love how writers support each other. Many times I receive a surprise by seeing a shoutout. Give and you shall receive. Congrats on your latest novel.

  46. Sounds to me like you'd be a fun person to meet at a conference, Alyse. We could be the tides together!

    Congrats on the book release!