Alex J. Cavanaugh has decided to take the IWSG to a new level with The Insecure Writer's Support Group Guide To Publishing and Beyond. As the group enters its third year, as well as the first anniversary of the IWSG website, Alex is compiling a book to assist other writers in the areas of writing, publishing, and marketing. For a sneak preview, be sure to visit all of the talented writers here. Below is my cutting room floor contribution for consideration in the Guide.
How Selling Yourself Short Might Shortchange You
Oh, how I loved to sing. As high school thespians, we would often burst into song like the characters in Glee. I didn't realize how annoying that habit was until I decided to belt out some Ethel Merman show tunes during a long drive home. My "older" boyfriend was too polite to say anything, as I sang for an audience of one in an enclosed vehicle with enough vibrato to fill an auditorium. When he pulled into my driveway his head was throbbing so heavily that he didn't even bother to walk me to the door. Any false sense of bravado I had was lost that day. It must have somehow disappeared along with my phone number.
This is only one of many stories that led me to join the Insecure Writer's Support Group in 2011. As the group was celebrating its third anniversary in early September, I was also celebrating the publication of our anthology, Old Broads Waxing Poetic. Our team of eight witty and wonderful writers, includes two other members of the IWSG. After we got the word out on our blogs, and other social media, the hardest part was marketing to friends and family.
Upon recovering from the initial shock that I was finally published, a few friends offered to buy the book. I could tell they were just trying to be nice, so I foolishly said, "That's okay. You don't have to." I gave them an out, and they took it. What I should have said was, "That's great! All proceeds are going to Care International. Thank you!"
I didn't want them to feel obligated, and I couldn't be more wrong. I was playing the restaurant game. We've all played it. The bill comes, and one person grabs the check. He or she offers to pay. You initially say that it's not necessary, and offer to split it. The person insists, and you say thank you. I was waiting for the "I insist" round that never came.
Though some older family members wanted to help out, they were concerned about providing personal information to Amazon, as well as shipping charges. They offered to reimburse me, after I ordered copies for them. I was glad they weren't the least bit worried about me sharing personal information. I tried to explain how to access an Amazon card, but they didn't seem interested.
My closest friend surprised me by buying five copies. She gave one to each of her sisters-in-law who enjoyed it so much they're planning on buying some additional copies to send to their friends. Last week she also gave books to two more friends when we were at her house for a holiday dinner. Then I realized she had given all five copies away. As if reading my mind, she said, "Don't worry, I'll order some more copies." When I started to argue she didn't hesitate to add, "I insist."
This is my entry for consideration in The IWSG Guide To Publishing and Beyond. If accepted, I give permission to include this entry in the anthology.
My Bio: Julie Kemp Pick writes about family humor often featuring her rebellious mom, and blogs at http://emptynestinsider.blogspot.com/