Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Just Do It

by Shawna Romkey

Nike’s slogan in the 90’s still does the trick today. I’ve run several businesses, teach business courses at the community college, help authors with marketing as well as operate, a Kobo eBook promotion site. I’ve also written a book, Speak of the Devil, which came out earlier this year.  I’ve paid for ads, taken part in giveaways, social media’d my ass off, and the stuff that has earned me the most attention has been to just do it.

What I mean is, I’ve spent thousands of dollars on marketing my book if you count the conferences and travel and online advertising services. And I’ve done free social media work which took time and energy. I’ve run contests and rafflecopters and giveaways. None of that can I directly trace to having any significant impact on sales or exposure.

Three things have happened to me since March that I consider to be good unsolicited publicity. Three things that I’ve found to be cool and that gave me a chance a good reach or the possibility of more down the road. What they all have in common is “just do it.”

The first thing is my being featured in a cover article of The Coast in Halifax, NS, our arts and entertainment paper. The reason that came about was that I was planning a big book launch shortly after my book was released. It was mainly a big party to celebrate that after twenty years of trying to get published, I finally had.  Part of the planning of the book launch was that I sent press releases to all of the local media, not really thinking anything would come of them. An editor at The Coast got mine and passed it on to a writer who was working on a column about paranormal writers. Score.  If I hadn’t been doing anything, there would be nothing to write about or take pictures of. So not only was I included in the article, but a photographer came to my launch and a photo was included as well.

The next thing was to get invited to be a guest author at Hal-Con, our local sci fi, comic convention. This happened because I contacted them offering to do a writing presentation at the convention.  I just asked if I could do a workshop and they invited me to be a guest. Being an author guest entailed getting a free table throughout the weekend and gave me access to the other guests. It put me in the program and gave me some great exposure. If I hadn’t asked, I wouldn’t have been involved at all.

The last thing is a spin off of Hal Con. While I was an author guest I introduced myself to the other author guests, including Robert J. Sawyer and Terry Brooks.  In chatting with Terry Brooks, he asked about my book, then said he reads YA. On the last day of the con, I gave him a copy of my book, which he asked me to sign. That alone was a really cool writer moment! Then the next day he emailed me saying he’d read it on the flight home and sent me an email with a lot of great feedback! Having Terry Brooks critique my work is something priceless that I wouldn’t have even known how to arrange on my own.  You have to just take a chance, take a risk, and just do it. I put my book in his hands in the hopes that something like that might happen, and it did.

Shawna Romkey, Author of  Speak of the Devil
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  1. Love the post Shawna ... sometimes I get so busy making lists I forget to actually DO the things on the list .. :) Good reminder ... love your story about how you got to take part in Hal-Con!!

  2. So true Nikki! You can't just think about doing stuff. You have to actually DO it. You sure have accomplished a lot in the past year, Shawna! Congrats on everything!

  3. Couldn't agree more - and congratulations on all the good things coming your way. It's wonderful when you can trace it back to where you put the elbow grease. I've had similar experiences, where things "happen" because it grew out of something else. Great work!

  4. You rock Shawna! And you're an inspiration. You got the eye of the tiger lady, don't ever lose sight of your dreams. :)

  5. I know a lot of non-creative people who don't have the burning desire to 'do' any of the things that seem to come to creative people without trying. They have the drive to 'do', and they're extremely hard workers and efficient planners. They just find that the 'dream' part never really comes to them.

    Once the easy part of dreaming is over for the creative people, that's what makes the difference. Your year has been fantastic, Shawna! You 'did'! You dreamt, and then you did. *cheering*

  6. Thanks everyone. It's been a good year, that's for sure!

  7. Good for you, Shawna! It's hard sometimes to take a risk or put yourself out there, but you're proof that there are great rewards to be had by doing so. Congratulations on a great year! :)

  8. So impressed with your ability and energy, Shawna! Congratulations!

  9. Just do it just does it! I like it that you can trace the trail of what you did and what it brought about. Especially the part that when you "just did it", sometimes you had no idea of the ramifications.

  10. Inspiring post, Shawna. Love the way you took action which led to reaction and great promo.