Thursday, May 05, 2011

The hardest work

The hardest things to get done are the assignments that no client is demanding and where no deadlines loom. The long-term stuff, the planning, the marketing.

Today I had a full day with no auditions or bookings or client work and I spent a huge chunk of time on long-delayed planning for marketing the book. Assembling a list of key media (which involves time actually examining those publications and figuring out who's who and what they cover and whether your stuff might interest them) as well as blogs and organizations, potential allies and competitors. All places that might write about the book or that might accept articles I write based on the book or that might just be entres to other opportunities.

There's so much of this stuff to get done. Pitching reporters, writing up articles based on the book's content, getting announcement lists together, figuring out who gets complimentary copies, developing a stump speech/presentation, finding speaking venues, etc. The publisher, of course, will be doing a marketing push but I need to do a lot of it, too.

The last couple of weeks have been consumed preparing to shoot our promotional videos, which will be really cool. A series of funny little web videos explaining lessons from the book. I had to locate and select a videographer and a venue and right now I'm working on finding a makeup artist and also memorizing 8 pages of copy.

I think it's going to turn out really well, but it's a grind having to just work and work and ask and ask and bargain and plead. Just constantly asking people for stuff, which is not my way. Even the people I'm paying it still feels like I'm asking for a favor.

Speaking of which, this week I also started soliciting blurbs from people -- clients, instructors, directors, friends, colleagues. I was shocked when I asked a Facebook contact, one of my old instructors, for a blurb and it was apparently the first he heard that I was writing a book! How can that be, with my endless Facebooking and blogging and flogging?

And it's all reminded me of an important lesson: nobody really gives a damn about your stuff. Certainly not as much as you do. It's not that people are mean or uncaring, but everyone's naturally consumed with their own lives.

The motivation truly has to come from within. And it's draining sometimes ...

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