The Final Word Less One - on any subject anywhere any time that the author finds interesting -

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Shameless Self-Promotion, The Fun of

Coming out of the grocery store late one night, I noticed this Chevy that had been turned into an advertising billboard. The car itself is American, a weensy little wannabe truck built on a car platform and the idea of turning a car into a moving billboard for your business is very American. As an aspiring writer, I'd been thinking about the need for self-promotion and reading a lot of advice about having a blog and getting a website and making bookmarks and going around to bookstores and all the other things authors are told they have to do when they get published. If you get published, your publisher will want you to do all this and if you self-publish you better do all this, because with 300,000 books being published every year, if you don't do something, you will never find any readers.

So a lot of my author friends are self-promoting like crazy, and total strangers want me to read and review their books on Amazon. These folks have spent years alone at a computer, honing their writing craft. They aren't at ease with the idea that now they have to go out, meet people and actually talk about their stuff. The results can be awkward and a bit pathetic, like a bunch of nerd trying to market their wares on Facebook, or a little scary, like the email I got from an aspiring author who inadvertently hit all the "stalker alert" alarm bells by offering to hand deliver his book to my home.

Everything about this car charmed me from the mention of the First Amendment on the windshield to the very idea that one could slap a snazzy paint job on one's personal transportation and drive around, thereby killing two birds with one stone, i.e. get where you're going while you spread your message. As I was taking a picture, the owner of the car accosted me.

"Hey! What are you doing?"

"Taking a picture of your car, because I just love it," I said.

So he told me about how he had six other cars just like it, one for each of his radio stations. And he gave me a business card and two T-shirts and told me all about his latest radio station. He was a lot of fun to talk to, because he totally enjoyed promoting himself and believes in radio. His name is Bob Romanik, the station is KZQZ 1430 AM and he also goes by "The Grim Reaper of Radio". His talk show airs from 4pm-5pm Monday through Friday and I'm pretty sure he's nuts. Here's a link to his website: KZQZ 1430 AM - mission statement

Talking to Bob was an education in and of itself. He's doing all the right things to promote himself, his show and his businesses...and because he finds it fun, he's fun and interesting to talk to.

That strikes the right chord with me. If you asked me why I write, the bottom line is that writing fiction is the most fun you can have in a room by yourself. Most of the time that I'm writing I'm intensely engaged in that search for the right word or phrase that will most tellingly convey the motion picture unrolling in my head. Sometimes, I cackle with evil laughter over the predicaments I get my imaginary people into. Once in a while I move myself to tears. Twice a month, I trundle off to a meeting of my writer's group and test what I've written by reading it aloud to a gang of fellow writers. If I can engage them, make them laugh or once in awhile, get them to cry, then I feel that I am on the write track to become a writer worthy to put my stuff out to keep people quiet and interested for the time it takes to sit down and read a book.

Life can be tough, Liberty requires eternal vigilance, but the Pursuit of Happiness is about having fun. That's what it is all about, ultimately.

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