Taking Care of Business

All Dressed Up, No Place to Go

All Dressed Up, No Place to Go

OK, I’ll admit it, I’ll admit I have a great weakness.  I am terrible at business.  There, I said it.

I guess I should explain myself a little.  I’m a mathematician so doing finances or accounting is not the issue.  That is, these things are not the issue as long as I remember to do them, but that’s another story.

Where my problem lies is in marketing.  Even lower down on my skill set is direct sales.  I can’t sell myself.

Knocking on doors, pounding the flesh and cold calls all give me the cold shivers, a pounding heart and knocking knees.

I’m one of those romantics that believe there was once a time when creative people could just be creative and someone else would take care of business.  Well, if that time ever existed, it is now just a distant memory.  Not even memory, perhaps a faded daydream.

I’ve always had a problem getting my stuff out there.  I am not a schmoozer and have never rubbed shoulders with the right people.  Divine intervention has never led somebody to discover me.  And I’ve never had any luck getting off of my sorry behind and selling myself.

I know you will argue that self marketing is an art and takes creativity.  Didn’t I just say those are my strong points?  So what’s wrong?  Well, if you put it that way I guess I’ll just have to turn the tables and ask you some tough questions.

How do you sell yourself?  How do you ensure your manuscript/score/portfolio gets to the right person?  How do you handle the sweaty palms?  How do you handle the, “this person will hate me, hunt me down and have me shot or, even worse, they might totally ignore me,” feeling?  How do you handle, “if I brush it up just a little more it will be perfect,” syndrome?

So are you like me, shyly trying to get heard/read or are you one of the bold ones that has no problems putting your foot in the door and not caring one wit if it happens to be the wrong door?  I’d like to hear all of your thoughts on the self-marketing issue.

It's How I Feel Sometimes

It’s How I Feel Sometimes


Old selfies by Trent P McDonald (& yes, the yin & yang photos were taken the same day)

2 thoughts on “Taking Care of Business

  1. iemergedinlondonrain

    Currently, I’m not in a position to truly market any of my work. But, what you really want to do is turn your name into a brand. So what I’ve started to do is talk about my work. When customers ask me about my day, I talk about my writing accomplishments. I post on my own Facebook page as well as one I set up as an author page. I also post on twitter. I’m putting myself out there, though I don’t have anything to sell just yet.

    Also, if you have any short fiction, submit! Submitting to small online magazines is almost zero pressure. The worst being they send you a friendly rejection email, or the best outcome being another bullet point in your portfolio.

    These have been my personal experiences so far.


    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks for the input. “Branding” is a relatively new concept for me, though I did some in the past without having a name for it. This blog is part of my branding process.

      I’ll have to look into more on-line publications.

      Thanks again for the comments.



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