Sunday, April 19, 2009

Shameless Self Promotion

While doing some research on creating a digital portfolio, I came across an interesting article by Alison Baverstock titled, “How to Present Yourself as a Writer.” In this piece, Baverstock shares helpful tips for any aspiring writer concerning the fine art of getting noticed (I strongly recommend anyone interested in reading this article, visit my works cited and get a hold of the original text).

One of her strongest points in the article is that writers should develop the ability to self-promote their work. She acknowledges that “one agent [an editor] receives thirty-fifty unsolicited manuscripts everyday” meaning that many times “[one’s] publication may be less significant…than [her] ability to talk it up” (Baverstock 369). Taking this information into account means that writers are not only expected to turn out quality work, but also that they must be able to demonstrate the significance of their work to the public.

Thinking this idea over in my head, I realized that this was something I have never really done with my own work. Aside from reading pieces to my close friends, family, boyfriend, and sometimes dog, I cannot say that I have in any way attempted to promote my personality or my work. So the question for me, and I would imagine for many other beginning writers, became: where do I start?

I began looking around for this information, and I have used what I gathered thus far to construct this helpful website: There are tips about how to use the available technology to benefit promotion ideas as well as general tips for constructing a digital portfolio. In the meantime, here is a short list of ideas I have come across in my research that I found particularly creative and useful:

  1. Create a portfolio of your work- whether it’s digital or put together in a binder, having something tangible to show potential readers and employers is an essential marketing tool.
  2. Join a writer’s community- start/join a group of local writers to bounce ideas off of one another, establish contacts, and share advice as well as frustrations.
  3. Share you story- local newspapers are always looking for personal interest pieces, so why not become one? Share the tale of how you got started, what you hope to become, and perhaps even some of your work.
  4. STAY POSITIVE- many writers start to ask themselves, “Why should a writer who is known for writing, feel under an obligation to suddenly become a talker?” The answer is simple; Baverstock says it best when she claims, “if you want to get your work better known you will have to think seriously about making yourself sound interesting… and this is best achieved by a positive attitude to the process” (Baverstock 370).

I hope these tips are helpful to anyone aspiring to become known; for more information, please visit my website.

**Image taken by Salim Virji and found at 

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