Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone

by Ashlynmathews on January 13, 2013

As writers, we want to write. Seems obvious enough. However, with publication comes the stamp of “author.” And authors, especially a debut one like myself, have to promote. Promotion is a double edged sword. Do it too much and you become an annoyance. Do it too little and you risk being lost in the sea of new and veteran authors. So what to do? For me, it was time to step away from the bookmarks and swags and venture into more visible venues. Yes, I’m leaving my comfort zone, but I’m finding the ride to be exciting and challenging.

I started off with making YouTube videos for Shadow Watcher and My Fallen (releasing tomorrow).  It was a learning curve getting the images to match up to the music. But once I got the hang of it, I loved it! I’ll definitely be making trailers for all of my books.

Recently, I arranged a book signing for myself and local authors from the Greater Seattle RWA. Being visible by being at an event in person is always difficult. There’s always the question of “Will anyone show up?” Though the foot traffic was smaller than I’d expected, I met great people and had the chance to catch up with other authors. It was nice to compare notes and just talk shop. Plus, I sold books. That’s always an added bonus.

Tomorrow, I’ll be doing a live radio interview for the release of My Fallen. The interview will be recorded and available on Itunes. How cool is that? Again, another step out of my comfort zone, and again the question of “Will anyone listen or call in?” We’ll see :).

To promote My Fallen, I’ve reached out to other bloggers to guest on their sites. They’ve been more than welcoming and I hope to return the favor by spotlighting them on mine. I also did an interview for a local newspaper. Yes, it was five months after I’d requested the interview, but now I have rapport with the editor. Making connections and networking is invaluable. Above all else, that’s what I would advise new writers to do. Cultivate your connections. Be genuine, transparent, and helpful.

And next month I’ll be a part of Bards and Brews reading excerpts from Shadow Watcher at a local winebar in Hillsboro, OR. Now that is going beyond my comfort zone. But I’m looking forward to the challenge of a new experience. I think that’s how we grow as individuals. What have you done lately to step out of your comfort zone?

Currently I’m working on the second book in my Shadow Watcher series entitled Echo UnMarked. While I write, here’s the song on replay. It’ll give you an idea of the theme of the book. I’ve also included the quote I hope my publisher will let me use.

Song on constant replay 🙂 Churchill Change

Quote: Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word ‘happy’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness ~ Carl Jung

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Maggie Jaimeson January 14, 2013 at 11:43 am

Wow, Ashlyn! You did a great job planning your promotion to do requests five months out. The one in Hillsboro at Bards and Brews sounds very interesting. To remind me when you do that one as I live near Hillsboro and would love to come hear you read and check out the scene.

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Ashlynmathews January 14, 2013 at 11:47 am

Definitely!

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