Site icon Joanna Campbell Slan

You Can't Phone It In

Beth Groundwater posted this outstanding information about planning a Blog Book Tour. Go to to read it. (I’m having some STUPID “cookie” problem with Internet Explorer so I can’t share the tiny url…yet. Will someone please explain to me why the same computer that was a happy camper last night woke up with new rules this morning?)

Anyway, and last Monday I promised to post more about Desire Pathways and getting noticed. Suffice it to say, Internet Explorer is making that DIFFICULT. Argh.

But here’s a paraphrase of what a mentor of mine once said, “It’s not worth going if nobody knows you showed up.”

So…how do you distinguish yourself? Do you attend meetings and conferences and never make new friends? Are you so hum-drum that people forget you? Are your marketing materials so pedestrian that they get tossed?

I once went to a writers’ and fans’ conference with a friend. We were pleased to be rooming together because we were both “wanna-be” mystery authors at the time. Everywhere we went we spoke to people and introduced each other. One evening, back in our room, she said to me, “This is entirely different from the last time I came. Last time, the person I roomed with only left the room to go to specific sessions. She spent the rest of the time holed up here. She’d pull on her clothes to go hear a panel, then come back here, strip to her underwear and watch TV.”

Wow. What a social idiot. (Yeah, I’m a tad cranky today.)

Then my roomie paused and grimaced. “And she needed new underwear, too.”


Hear me clearly, I’m an introvert. I know, I know. If you’ve met me, you’d find that hard to believe, but the definition of an introvert is someone who is energized by alone time. An extrovert is energized by social contact. So…I’m still being me when you see me out in public, and I’m genuinely happy to be with you, but you need to know that after extended face-time, I need to find a hidey-hole and crash. For a while. Then I’ll be back on the floor saying, “Hi,” and asking you how your life is going.

When I go to a conference, I go to meet people. I go to make new contacts. And if I know you and you don’t know the author or fan standing next to me, I’ll introduce you. I don’t “hog” my contacts. That’s not how it works. That’s not polite, and it’s certainly not good business. In fact, it’s borderline selfish and rude.

So this whole idea of staying in one’s room–wearing your undies, no less–and only showing up to hear a panel or a speaker is just…okay…one word? STUPID.

Why not save the money and stay home?

This is life. You can’t phone it in.

Don’t even try.

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