So this is really cool. Yesterday I went to my old high school, Trafalgar, to drop off a copy of my book, The Purple Morrow, for their library. It was weird to go back since I haven’t set foot in there since 1992. The school is so different. People are smiling and happy in there! lol Even the students!
The librarian took me up to the library. The surface of the school may look different after all this time, but its bones are the same–it’s amazing how many memories came flooding back in the 20 minutes I was there. Anyway, the visit turned out to be a great experience: the librarian is also a writer and she introduced me to some writing conferences and other resources in our city and the surrounding areas I was not aware of, as well as asked if I would be interested in visiting the students to talk about writing and whatnot, possibly even participating at their Career Day event next spring. The prospects terrify but also excite me. My high school English teacher’s encouraging words as she presented me with a package of some of my favorite short stories from that year stayed with me, and years later I ended up achieving my writing goals. Perhaps these activities can help me return the favor and help another budding writer find their own path to their dreams.
When it comes to my book, I can be a little shy about promoting it in person. I went into that meeting with no expectations, almost deciding to just drop off the envelope at the receptionists’ desk and walking out. But I took a chance and decided to follow the thing through. I ended up being blown away by what could happen when you take chances: doors can open.
Again, this confirms to me that though social marketing and networking are powerful tools, actual contact with people is so much more validating. Nothing can replace seeing the smile on a person’s face or the affirming nod they give when then like your book, or the pleased tone in their voice when they complement your work. Perhaps you’re thinking, “Well, it’s ‘just a school contact’, that’s small fries.” But you know what? I felt and still feel like a million bucks about it. And here’s one more cool story I have to share with my kids about how Mom took a chance, reached out, and saw one more stone set in place for her to move forward towards furthering her dreams. That’s hard to beat. 🙂
How do you feel about getting out into the community to network or to bring your brand “to the people?” How have you been received when you’ve tried it?