The Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress read,” Pick something you don’t like and accept it.” It’s almost spooky how timely that is now that I have to work with the publishers to promote my book. Their job includes making initial contacts with media representatives and niche markets. Then, they tell me, it’s up to me to follow-up if there in no response within two weeks. Therein lies the rub.
I am not a marketing person. I am terrified of cold calls. The very idea causes my mouth to become dry and my tongue to refuse to form even small words with clarity. Why would anyone believe that a person who can’t speak on the phone can write well? Or even worse, can you picture the expression on the face of the TV or radio host as she envisions a trembling, tongue-tied, puddle of a woman trying to pitch her book?
The irony in that is, I have no problem speaking to a room full of people. I teach writing workshops regularly without a qualm. If you need a speaker at the last minute, call me. If you place the call I’m fine. If you ask me to set it up and I crumble.
I thought I had a solution. I called my sister. She’s one of the most vibrant, outgoing women I know. I figured I’d ask her to be my PR person. She’d make the calls and my event calendar would fill up. Unfortunately, when I explained my problem she said, “I know! I have the same problem.”
I have to accept that this is something I don’t like and do it anyway. Perhaps someday it will get easier. (I don’t really believe that. I’m trying to be brave in the moment.) My only hope is that someone I know is a talented telemarketer. My fantasy is to find someone who loves to talk on the phone who needs a speaker for an upcoming conference or workshop. Barter can be a wonderful thing. Until then I have to make at least one call a day. Just thinking about it makes me nervous but it has to be done despite the fact that marketing is not my calling. I’m doomed.