Friday, May 10, 2013

Down to Business

I have been spending more time lately trying to promote my business and generate more work. This has been to the detriment of my writing, both the writing of my latest novel and the writing of this blog. Trying to generate work is itself almost a full time occupation. As with any new business, it is not easy breaking into the market. I am trying to find my niche and to be innovative in my approach, while reaching as wide an audience as possible. This sometimes takes me outside my comfort zone. I would much rather just be writing or working on someone’s manuscript than trying to generate work. Unfortunately, the latter is essential.

There is, of course, all of the social networking to do. I am assured that this is essential and somehow yields results, although the amount of time invested may not warrant the return on that investment. The jury is still out, for me, on that one. Quite how I will ever know whether it has paid off remains unclear to me. At the moment I am searching through writers’ groups and organisations, contacting them by email and, when the information is available, contacting individual members by email or following them on Twitter. Does this make me a spammer? I actually don’t think so. I am not indiscriminately mass emailing, in the hope of getting the occasional “hit”. I am not sending out hundreds or even thousands of emails at once to people on an emailing list. I don’t have such a list, except the one that I keep to make sure I don’t email someone more than once. I don’t use a “bot”, whatever exactly that is, to trawl through web pages in search of email addresses. What I actually do is much slower, and quite a lot of work!

The slight discomfort I feel doing this “cold calling” is offset somewhat by the conviction that I am actually offering a very useful service, although it will certainly never make me rich.

Some people are inevitably offended at having received an “unsolicited email”. On the other hand, among those who do respond (and, let’s face it, many people will not see the email because it will disappear into junk mail, or they will delete it without reading it) there are more friendly and positive responses than offended and unfriendly responses. Among those who are offended (and there really aren’t many who take the time to inform me of the fact) the main source of offence seems to be my audacity at thinking that they could possibly have any use for my services. Have I seen their credentials? Have I noticed how important they are? Well, I simply remind them, and all who may be offended, how easy the delete button is to find and operate.

In the meantime I am trying to build up my Linked In profile. By all means join with me if you like, using this email address if it prompts you for one: And if you have time, perhaps you could endorse some of my skills. I would love to see you there.


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