Folks often don’t believe me when I tell them I’m an introvert. After all, I’m a lively pistol of a teacher. I love to laugh, and I’m a good listener and empathetic friend.
But like all introverts, I need my alone time to fill up my tank. This is a handy quality to have for a writer, because we need lots of solitude to get our work done.
But when it comes to the other part of the job involved in being a writer, engaging in marketing and self-promotion, I’m actually fairly shy. However, I’m slowly learning that sometimes you just have to put yourself out there and ask.
Yesterday, for example, I visited my local branch of the public library. Two of my books are in the system, including my newly released YA novel, It Should Have Been You. But there was no copy of my new release at my branch. So, I approached the checkout clerk and inquired as to who orders the books for our branch.
“Oh,” he said, “that’s all done centrally by the system’s Content Manager.”
I explained my dilemma, and he guided me over to the branch manager. I pulled my novel out of my book bag and told him that while I was delighted my novel was available in the system, it would mean a lot to me to have a copy at my local branch.
He immediately asked the clerk to contact the Content Manager and order a copy.
But that wasn’t all. He then asked me if I’d be interested in making a presentation to our branch’s teen group.
Would I ever! Teens have always been my favorite age group to work with, not to mention write about. I was thrilled and amazed that such a nice opportunity had come out of my willingness to ask.
So, I’ve decided to get braver in the future. What’s the worst thing that can happen? I can get told “no.” And as a writer, I’ve had my share of rejections. They’re not my favorite, but they’re definitely survivable.
And sometimes, like yesterday, the answer is “yes” and leads to a wonderful opportunity.
You just have to ask.