Dear Dan Blank – I am [Trying to Be] Awesome


How to Create Word of Mouth Marketing For Your Books? Be Awesome. Dan Blank’s latest post at We Grow Media tells me that word of mouth marketing is not about growing more followers, or sending out dozens of tweets, or…

It’s simply about looking after the readers we have, by being awesome.  This seems easy enough, because it’s something we all enjoy doing.

I’m just finishing off Tim Grahl’s awesome book “Your First 1000 Copies” – I’ll stick up some book notes on that one some time soon, perhaps some sketchnotes.

Grahl’s end pages send you to his website, Out:Think Insiders. I went there to pick up some free worksheets that go with the book, but ended signing up for his newsletter, and being given a free 30 day course on book marketing, with videos and interviews.

Basically, I got to Grahl’s newsletter – where he’ll be able to easily convince me to buy any other of his products (because I’m that engaged) -and I got there by buying the book, already sold to me by word of mouth. In my case, I’d read of the book on other people’s blogs – (they probably sent me to Amazon via an affiliate link, lucky buggers). So I already had been sold the book, already read it, and now Tim Grahl was just being additionally awesome by giving me more stuff.

getreadbanner3_thumb.jpgWe Grow Media is doing the Get Read online conference in November. I’m very excited to see what I can learn from that conference, and put into use prior to and after my own small book launch, and more pro-actively for when I publish my fiction.

Being awesome is hard, though. (Cue groans, because we all know that). Lately I’ve been feeling less than awesome, having now faced a quadfecta of failures in pre-marketing attempts, including today’s Amazon refusal to let me be their friend.

How are you being awesome? What do you consider awesome? Is this something that many writers struggle with as an insecurity?

My ten year old daughter comes into the kitchen regularly, and announces herself as being awesome. We both chuckle a little, but then she looks at me for ratification that she is indeed good/talented/gifted/hard-working or whatever else the task at hand needs.

It’s something I also hear all her friends do – I figured it was something tweens go through, trying to locate their specialness. They have  social awareness classes at school which emphasize the diversity and specialness of everybody. These try to counteract the upcoming “being like everybody else” peer pressure that will hit them on entering their teens.

Except – and I’ve seen this with a group of ten year olds, and a group of adult writers – with everyone trying to be awesome and stand out with their specialness, nobody actually stands out – they just get louder and louder trying to out-do each other – until the teacher tells them off.

damiAustralia has a series of XFactor happening right now. On it, there’s all the usual young people who probably will sing off-key or are being given song choices by the judges that don’t suit their vocal “talents.” Most are learning that they aren’t quite as awesome like they thought and doing so publically.

There’s one woman, though, called Dami Im. She came on wanting to be a Korean popstar, and in the first judge’s cut was actually thrown off the show, but was brought back on when one early contestant decided to pull out of XFactor to control his own creative career.

So, Dami came back, and has been blasting away all the other contestants ever since. On her auditions she coyly suggested, when questioned what she had to offer by the judges, that she had “awesome singing”. It hit the twitterverse immediately – #awesomesinging. Especially once she actually started singing.

It was like watching the entry of a Korean Susan Doyle. I actually watched when Susan Doyle made our judgemental mouths drop open on that first time. Dami did the same the first time she opened her mouth.

Dami can literally sing anything. She appears – to me – to be a fantastic mimic. There are many songs chosen for her that she’s never heard before, but she goes off, watches the videos, studies the originals, and comes out each week to give the best rendition the Australian public has possibly ever heard. Look her up on YouTube, and never mind the possibly very unawesome costumery and false eyelashes the producers stick her into.

Now that’s awesome mimicry, if not singing. We all await a song she just can’t do, just because we want her to not be so awesome – the tall poppy syndrome. But Dami’s story is already awesome, whether the public votes her to win, or even buys her first record or not.

Each of us has a different path to awesome. I’m sure the Get Read conference will show me some other off-shoots of my own. In the meantime, I’m considering not how to be awesome but how to own my own awesome without shouting too loud for you.

My Awesome

  1. I’m a geek girl. I love tech, exploring and explaining tech.
  2. I’m a drawer/artist/doodler – sketchnotes are awesome.
  3. I’m a productive writer – I can write fast and a lot (revising is slightly less on the awesome register)
  4. I’m a process player – I like hacking processes and new learnings to get the quickest most productive result for my work.
  5. I’m a thinker – I am analytical and a great researcher, but also love sharing that stuff.
  6. I’m overly emotional – music makes me cry at the worst possible public times. But it helps in fiction, right?

Figuring out how to give that awesome back to you – I’m working on it (and making some mistakes), so that you can benefit too. #awesomewriting or not.

What’s your awesome?

How are you owning and spreading your own awesomeness as a writer?


2 thoughts on “Dear Dan Blank – I am [Trying to Be] Awesome

  1. Not entirely sure I agree with Dan, I think there is a balance between both. If nothing else, do what works for YOU.

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