Remember the story of the cowardly lion from The Wizard of Oz? He couldn’t summon up the courage to do the very thing he’d been called to do: be the King of the Forest. His fear held him bound. Dorothy did her best to give him the tools he needed to overcome, but he still run like a scared rabbit when spooked.
Many of us take on the persona of the cowardly lion when it comes time to promote our book. We shiver and quake at the idea of send out promotional materials or singing our book’s praises. Our knees knock when we’re called on to stand before a crowd to deliver a speech. We feel faint at the idea of being a guest on a radio program. And the idea of appearing on television terrifies us. We’re writers, after all. Our place is behind the computer. Right?
Yes. And no. Part of the task of being a writer is to promote what we’ve written. If we don’t champion our own work, who will? And who better to get the word out? We have a passion for our book that even the best PR guru does not possess. So, we have no choice. We must get busy. And we’ve got to overcome our fear to do the best possible job.
Marketing takes moxie. What’s moxie, you ask? It is a combination of courage, aggression, vigor and verve, skill and know-how. Having moxie means you’ve got guts. Determination. Backbone. It’s that “oomph” that energizes us (and emboldens us) to get the word out.
Oh, I know…not everyone comes into this world with this kind of courage. Most of us really do have the cowardly lion syndrome, particularly when it comes to our books. We write them in secret, submit them out of obligation and fret over their eventual release, knowing we’ll be called upon to promote them.
The time has come to “moxify” yourself, writer! Here are some ABC’s to help you summon up the necessary courage:
A: Acknowledge your fear. If you don’t acknowledge it, you won’t do anything about it.
B: Battle your way through. Don’t give in. Fight to overcome the feelings that are assaulting you.
C: Challenge yourself to new heights. If you’ve conquered the art of putting together an interview for a blog tour, give thought to a public speaking engagement. If you’ve conquered your first few speaking gigs, try a radio interview. If you’ve settled your nerves in the radio venue, work your way up to television.
In the end, the cowardly lion received the medal of valor/courage from the Wizard of Oz. You, too, will receive validation, though it won’t come in the form of a physical medal. It will come with the satisfaction that you’ve overcome your fear and stepped out of your comfort zone.
Soon enough, when someone asks, “Got moxie?” you can answer with a resounding, “You betcha!”