Publicity and the Introverted Author ~ Outside the Margins with Lisa Henry

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Writing is a strange sort of job. Most of the time it’s done in a vacuum. Days and months spent with nothing but the computer, a caffeine fix, and our current iTunes playlist. Most writers are introverts too, so this is our favourite part of the process: the one where we get to wear our pyjamas all day. But then comes the time when suddenly you have a book, and you have to crawl out from under your rock and promote it.

That’s the part I am pretty much terrible at.

“Buy my book!” you say hopefully in all the usual places online.

“But why?” asks everyone.

“I don’t know,” I say. “It’s a pretty good book, I think. I hope it is. I mean, I don’t want to tell you what to think or anything. You should check it out though, if you want. But no pressure. Maybe you won’t even like it. I don’t know. I liked it when we started this conversation, but now I’ve had time to think about it, I’m probably wrong and it’s terrible. Sorry to bother you.”

I am a terrible salesperson.

“Sell yourself!” people always say. “Promote your brand!”

“No,” I mutter, and hide under a pile of blankets.

If I was in the sort of day job where I had to live off commissions from sales, I would probably be living in the gutter by now.

I had a job at a bank once. I started off in a position with no customer contact. Needless to say, I loved it. Then they made me a teller. And there were, like, customers. And also numbers. To say I hated it is kind of an understatement. I used to fantasise about armed holdups, because at least we’d get to go home early. Anyway, in addition to being a teller I was also supposed to try and sell banking products like credit cards and home loans. I was terrible at this. Well, I assume I would have been terrible, but I can’t be totally certain because I never actually tried to convince our core customer base of elderly pensioners and homeless alcoholics that what they really needed was a high interest rate credit card.

I don’t think I’ve got much better with selling over the years, to be honest, but I don’t feel bad about it anymore. Like a lot of writers, I’m an introvert. On paper I can (I hope) be charming and funny and interesting. In person, my favourite word is “um”. I say it a lot.

There was a time I actually used to seek out advice on how to be a bit more confident and extraverted when it came to self-promotion.

“What you need is an elevator pitch!” people would say.

“A what now?”

“An elevator pitch is the sort of short to-the-point pitch you could give someone if you were in an elevator together.”

“Don’t be ridiculous! You don’t talk in elevators!”

I figure I’ll never be comfortable pushing myself like a bonus set of steak knives, but that’s fine. If anyone wants me, I’ll be in my cave wearing my pyjamas, writing my next book, and feeling awkward about how to tell people about that one too.

So, um, here’s a book I wrote:


The struggle is real.

Nick Stahlnecker is eighteen and not ready to grow up yet. He has a summer job, a case of existential panic, and a hopeless crush on the unattainable Jai Hazenbrook. Except how do you know that your coworker’s unattainable unless youask to blow him in the porta-potty?

That’s probably not what Dad meant when he said Nick should act more like an adult.

Twenty-five-year-old Jai is back in his hometown of Franklin, Ohio, just long enough to earn the money to get the hell out again. His long-term goal of seeing more of the world is worth the short-term pain of living in his mother’s basement, but only barely.

Meeting Nick doesn’t fit in with Jai’s plans at all, but, as Jai soon learns, you don’t have to travel halfway around the world to have the adventure of a lifetime.

This is not a summer romance. This is a summer friendship-with-benefits. It’s got pizza with disgusting toppings, Netflix and chill, and accidental exhibitionism. That’s all. There are no feelings here. None. Shut up.

You can read an excerpt or pre order Adulting 101 at Riptide Publishing.


~Lisa Henry

About Lisa Henry

Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.

Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with too many cats, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

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2 thoughts on “Publicity and the Introverted Author ~ Outside the Margins with Lisa Henry

  1. Hi Lisa. You don’t have to do a hard sell at all. I’d read anything you write just from seeing your name as the author.

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