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Day 18 Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway: Christina Katz

Me again.

Thank you for helping me celebrate Get Known Before the Book Deal. (And sure, if you win and you already have a copy, I’m happy to send the copy to a friend so long as that works with Da Rules.) Here we go…

Christina Katz is the author of the forthcoming Writer’s Digest book, The Writer’s Workout, 366 Tips, Tasks & Techniques From Your Writing Career Coach (now available for pre-order!). She also wrote Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform and Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids. A  “gentle taskmaster” over the past decade to hundreds of writers, Christina’s students go from unpublished to published, build professional writing career skills, increase their creative confidence, and succeed over time. Christina hosts the Northwest Author Series in Wilsonville, Oregon, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and far too many pets.

About the book:

Becoming visible is more crucial to landing a book deal than ever, according to agents and editors in every facet of the publishing industry. Simply churning out a book isn’t enough. Aspiring authors need to develop a marketing platform in order to get noticed. This book empowers writers to take charge of their writing careers and partner with agents, editors and publishers. Introverts and extroverts alike will find effective and diverse strategies for growing their platform in their areas of expertise in ways that complement their own style and pace of working. From developing a readership, to increasing the odds of a book deal, to having a greater impact on book sales, this book is every aspiring writer’s guide to success in the world of publishing.

1. How has writing (either just the act of writing or writing this book or both) impacted your self-confidence?

Get Known really helped me grow up as an author. When Writer Mama came out, I was pretty green. I’d written an inspirational/educational book that was for the most part warmly embraced by readers. Since Get Known came out, I have had (and sometimes still have) some pretty rude awakenings. More than anything, Get Known has taught me that regardless of what others think I can or should do for them that I need to determine and set my own boundaries and stick to them. I don’t think these are the kinds of lessons anyone really hopes to have to learn, but they have definitely taught me to think for myself, regardless of the peer-pressure du jour.

2. What are three words that describe your creative book-writing process?

Approaching the drafting process of Get Known, I had a terrific sense of over-confidence because I had already written one book. So the second should have been really easy, right? Yeah, that didn’t happen. That idea that the second book would be easier or in any way similar to writing the first book really threw me because it was neither easy nor similar. I’d say my second book writing process was humbling, enlightening (I discovered how much I already knew about platform-development), and empowering (I had to deal with some really absurd responses towards the book and towards me).

3. What good has your book created in the world?

Well, if you typed “author platform” into an Internet search in 2007, there were very few pages that came up. You could have probably even counted them. Today, when you type “author platform” into a search, there are a bazillion pages on the topic. I think Get Known was a catalyst in getting people talking about platform, whether they were voicing their dread loathing towards the idea, expressing excitement, or wanting to quibble about this point or that point. I think Get Known is still the best author platform primer, and readers still tell me how helpful the exercises at the end of each chapter are. When you write how-to, really all you hope to hear is that your book is helpful.

• • •

Let’s talk self-promotion: you love the stuff, right?

No? Hate it? Could live without it? Can’t get enough?

Where do you stand on making your writing career more visible? Spill it.

Answer in the comments in 50-200 words (no less and no more to qualify to win one of today’s books). Please read the complete rules at least once!

Thanks for participating in the Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway! Please bring your extended family next time you come. :)

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  • Ann Goldberg May 18, 2011, 10:46 am

    A year ago I would have wanted to remain invisible. Now I know I can’t but it took a long while to convince me.
    I’ve started a blog and joined Twitter andeven more recently added a photo to  my online  life. As a shy person that was really difficult.
    I used to think that all publicity and marketing was done by the publishers and if I wrote a book I could stay quietly at home with children and grandchildren and it would sell magically.
    Now I  know that if I write I also have to sell – and that means going out to the world. 

  • Gen X Mom May 18, 2011, 11:27 am

     I am getting better with this but still have a long way to go.  I have never been someone who ‘likes the spotlight’. I started my blog with a fake name and am slowly getting my real name out there.  I do find it a bit confusing though keeping my blog that is just about thoughts and then starting an author platform where I need to be a bit more serious.  It is all sort of a blur right now.  Guess the book would do me real good!  Putting it on my list of must reads :).

  • Conversekj May 18, 2011, 11:59 am

    According to Myers-Briggs, I’m an extrovert. Socially, I agree, but professionally, I only partly agree. I find it relatively easy to promote myself and my writing to my online community of friends but very difficult to speak confidently about my writing projects to my neighbors. (Thank goodness for Moms!) I look forward to your inspiration and hope to catch some of your enthusiasm. 

  • Heidi Smith Luedtke May 18, 2011, 1:52 pm

    As my four year old would say, “I not love it.” I find self-promotion difficult, but not for the reasons one might think. I don’t hate the idea of tooting my own horn because it seems grandiose or self-serving. I have enough ego and enough self-confidence to do the self-promotion required. The problem is deciding what to promote. I always feel like I am so much more than my one-sentence bio. Or my one-paragraph bio. I simply resist the idea of reducing my own complexity to some small statement. I can’t decide what to put in and what to leave out. Indecision is the enemy of progress.

  • Sybilla Cook May 18, 2011, 2:21 pm

    Unlike coversekj, Meyer Briggs has  me tabbed as an introvert, though I really enjoy people and projects where I feel I am contributing. I don’t like asking for help–and self-promotion seems that way. How do I get over the hump of  seeing promoting myself as a bonus to others?  Politicians and actors do it successfullly all the time…

  • Jan Udlock May 18, 2011, 2:32 pm

    This may sound disjointed because I’m still working through the idea of self-promotion. When I write “my” book, I want it to be something I’m very passionate about so it shouldn’t be hard to talk about. However, in the past when I saw other people promoting their “stuff,” I turned my nose up and said, “I’d never do that.” My biggest problem is that I talk fast and rarely finish an entire sentence so I’d have to really concentrate on public speaking. On the other hand, I love social media, blogging, Twitter…It’s all very addictive and social.

  • Laura Ackerman May 18, 2011, 7:07 pm

    I find self-promotion hard.  I had visions of being the humble pseudonym that helped the world.  I realize now though, that as a writer, you can’t help the world if the world doesn’t read your work, and the world won’t read your work if they don’t know you.  Hmmmm?   I found your book very helpful.  (Had to read it quick cause I got it from the library and there were a long list of holds on it!)  Now trying to get my name out there through multiple venues: Facebook, blogging, and cold calls to local editors.  Trying to promote on multiple levels and develop my platform.  Still, it’s a work in progress.

  • C. S. Jewell May 18, 2011, 7:36 pm

    I absolutely hate self-promotion. I’m awful at it because I’m so uncomfortable with it. I don’t like networking or publicity–the introverted aspects of writing suit me best. I’d have a better career if I could just get over the emotion of it and make some choices that would benefit my career–and if I could get over the hurdle a few times, it would likely get easier for me.


  • MM May 18, 2011, 7:45 pm

     I’ve recently reconnected with a former colleague
    and we talked for over an hour about a writing idea on which we want to
    partner. She specializes in brand marketing and between the two of us, we have
    a winning combination.  We each have
    Linked-In accounts and professional networks plus we have access to many people
    who would be the potential audience for our book.  Simply starting the conversation– and through her finding this blog,  I’ve already
    made strides in making my writing career more visible!

  • Tania Dakka May 18, 2011, 9:03 pm

    I don’t mind it, but I tend to get sidetracked with it.  I get caught up in tweeting my @TaniaDakka
    tweets or posting on the http://www.chaoticmusing.wordpress.com
    blog I recently started or keeping up with my Facebook page.  I really need to buckle down and focus more
    on writing when I have free moments. 
    That will be my goal this week…thanks for reminding me to get let loose
    on my self-promoting and get back to work!

  • Marta Oti Sears May 18, 2011, 10:41 pm

    I think I’m entering the stage of getting committed to writing as a career, at least a part-time career.  It feels scary to say that publicly. I know I’m probably not the first person to feel like this, but the idea of working on self-promotion and on developing a writing platform for myself sounds, well, kind of self-absorbed and icky.  I know it doesn’t have to be this way, but that’s just how it feels right now in my ignorance. I know I need to read this book.  Any thoughts on whether I should read Writer Mama or Get Known first?   

  • Pam Maynard May 18, 2011, 11:41 pm

    Over the last 4 months, I have started Blogging to increase my visibility.   I participated in a Blog Challenge in April, and it has boosted my blogging skills and techniques.  I have been trying to interview other writers, mom bloggers and even children to make my blog more interesting.
     I find that self promotion gets easier the more you do it.     I have some experience with marketing, but it’s always harder to market yourself!

  • Heather May 19, 2011, 12:34 am

     Self-promotion is not my best skill.  I have a very difficult time being in the spotlight and having to sell myself.  I would rather it magically happen and for people to see the value in my book because it is a good book, not because I can talk better than the next person.  Not a very realistic outlook and one I am working very hard to refocus into a more confident statement. 🙂

  • Carol J. Alexander May 19, 2011, 12:53 am

    I am not great at self-promotion. In
    fact, if my husband didn’t tell everyone he meets that I write articles for
    magazines, and ask if they read thus and so magazine, OR worse go into a store,
    find a copy with my story in it and start showing it to people in the store, no
    one would ever know what I do all day. However, I know that this is an
    important part of the business and have worked hard at networking online and
    getting my web presence going.

  • Cara Holman May 19, 2011, 2:08 am

    might have remained relatively invisible (writing-wise!) forever, if I hadn’t
    discovered the power of the internet. It started with Twitter. From there I
    progressed to FaceBook. It was only a matter of time before I joined online
    poetry communities, left my comments on other people’s blogs, started a
    WordPress blog of my own, put my two cents worth in on forums, and joined LinkedIn. Is there
    such a thing as being too connected? I don’t think so!


    my name may not be exactly a household word, I have “fingerprints” all over the
    web, and I’m drawing about 10 times as many hits a day on my blog, as when I
    first started. But beyond the stats, I’ve connected with poets and haijin from
    around the world, and the sense of community that has developed is invaluable!

  • Mar Junge May 19, 2011, 4:49 am

    My PR agency was founded on my reputation as a great marketing and technical feature writer, and over the years, for killer content. I’d wager I could pitch and place an article in just about any publication, as long as the client has the budget to pay for the effort. But as far as self-promotion, it’s the shoemaker’s children syndrome: plenty of time to make others visible, no time to do it for myself. I can attest to the power of promotion. c3PR’s tag line is “Get noticed. Get results.” And I can vouch for Christina’s book, “Get Known.” I use it often to help consultants fine-tune their marketing plans. But as to where I stand on making my nonfiction writing career more visible, I haven’t even begun to crawl yet, much less stand.

  • Rebecca Cherba May 19, 2011, 6:01 am

    I have some ideas of niche areas to establish myself in, both as a writer of fiction and of nonfiction, but I have one teeny little problem to conquer first–actually finishing a novel. I tend to have issues staying focused on one piece of writing, and I’ve recently scaled back a lot of my goals to just completing the almost decade-old novel I’ve been working on since my early twenties. Right now, selling the book is less daunting than finishing it, but who knows, maybe I’ll find the opposite is true when I get there. I just love knowing there’s so many great resources–starting with Christina’s books!–available for the business side of writing, once I’m ready for them.