In the past month, my attention has been focused on bringing 2 free books out to market. ‘Career Change: How to Conquer the Fear of Failing’ is a short guide to understanding and getting over the first hurdles everyone hits when they want to change career. If horror and humour are your things, try ‘Grave Clouds’ a collection of award nominated short stories that have appeared in different publications and competitions over the past decade.
If you want to check either book out you can download them for FREE at Amazon, iBooks, Nook, Kobo, Scribd and other major retailers. You can also download them direct from my website by clicking the images above.
How to market yourself in a career change
There’s a reason I opened this post with a plug for my free books; marketing. I have always been poor at marketing myself and my abilities. Whilst many who know me will find this impossible to believe, I’m pretty introverted. I get sweaty palms whenever I have to introduce myself to people whether it’s a large crowd or a small group. My natural state is to spend as much time in the creative cavern that is my brain as possible (thank you Nick Stephenson for the quote). Being introverted doesn’t mean I don’t know how to talk to people; quite the opposite. It does mean that I have to work extra hard to feel comfortable in situations that many other people find easy to cope with.
But doing what I do means I have to know how to market myself. I have to suck up the discomfort and learn how to do it. I recently invested a substantial chunk of money on a training course designed to teach me how to market myself, my books and my business more effectively. At this point a natural salesman (extrovert) might laugh and say “Why are you wasting money on something that’s so easy?” to which my reply is “What you find easy I find hard, so I’m willing to spend money on learning how to make it easier for me and my business.”
There is still a stereotype of an author of being someone who sits at their desk and makes stuff up all day before finishing early and having a bottle of wine. Truth is harder than fiction. Authors – traditional and independent – have to spend 50% and above of their time in promoting themselves and their work. And we have to learn to do it in a non-pushy way if there is any hope of anyone buying our books or coming to see us. We write, but to get people to notice us, we have to learn how to sell, be that to an agent, a publishing house or to our readers direct.
Now I hate pushy salespeople. It’s another reason I’m investing on a course; I don’t want to be one. I still get multiple sales tweets on my Twitter feed every single day from authors desperate to promote their latest book or product. I wouldn’t mind but that’s all they tweet about. I’ve sworn to myself never to become that author no matter how tempted or desperate I might feel one day.
So this is what I would recommend for anyone like me who is introverted and struggles when it comes to showing off their best side.
Shop around for a training course that suits your need
Be willing to spend money on this training (it’s an investment in yourself, not an expense)
Go to events relevant for you or your business and meet other people (you will learn something for free, and people might start noticing you)
Build on what you learn and use it.
Meetup.com is a good place to start looking if you are at a loss and have limited funds
This is what I’ve been doing, and based on what I’ve accomplished and learned so far, I think there’s merit to the method.
And I hate pushy salespeople.