by John Foxjohn
Copyright © 2013 John Foxjohn
Originally published by 1st Turning Point, 2010
Despite the title, this article will have nothing to do with sex. I know, some of you are going to say that my last one didn’t either, but as long as I’ve got you here ….
Over the last few years, I have constantly wondered why so many people wanted me to speak to their writing groups. To be honest, it truly amazes me. I must have uttered this amazement aloud several times because my wife finally set me down and told me, “John, when you speak to other writers it encourages them-makes them feel good about themselves.”
Now, let me tell you, when she said this, my head starting ballooning like someone had filled it with helium.
Then she said, “They look at you and say to themselves, if this guy can do it, anyone can.”
Do I need to tell you where all that helium went?
Actually, she didn’t say that—that is my own assessment of the situation, but what does this have to do with self-promotion?
When the deadline for this article was due, I was right in the middle of one of the most interactive online classes I think anyone has ever attempted. The class averages right around 1200 emails a day.
I sat down and just asked myself what is the best self-promotion technique that I have so I can make this demanding shrew—just kidding Ann, whom I honestly believe is one of the nicest people I have ever not met—happy.
But this self-analysis brought me back to a question a friend asked me a few weeks ago. She asked, “How did you start teaching classes and speaking to groups?”
Here is what I told her. Before I published or even finished my first book, I went to a writer’s conference. After the first day, I went to the bar to have a drink. Now, here is a little tip that is free and uncensored and has absolutely nothing to do with self-promotion. At writer’s conferences, everything happens in the bar.
You want to meet agents, editors, and other writers like me—you need to go to the bar. Forget all those one-on-one sessions-more happens in the bar.
Anyway, while I was in there having a drink at the bar, a writer sat beside me and we got to talking. She was trying to write a romantic suspense with a homicide detective but couldn’t get any of her local law enforcement officers to answer any of her questions.
Now, you talk about luck.
We got to talking, she found out my background, and that I didn’t mind giving her information on homicide investigations. Actually, she had no choice at that point to find out because I was going to tell her.
It just so happened, that she was the president of a romance writers group and wanted to know if I would speak to her group.
When I did, I must have done a good job because they asked me back, but it just so happened that in the audience was another officer of another chapter. After the meeting, they asked me to talk to their group, too.
Needless to say, this escalated and more and more asked me. Of course, by this time I was letting them know that I speak to groups.
In the process of this happening, I published a few books and some of them did very well. Along the line, some people realized that I knew a little about things other than cops, investigations, things like that—they discovered that I actually knew something about writing and self-promotion.
I must admit that luck has helped with much of what has happened to me, and sometimes, I have helped that luck along. As I stated, somewhere along the line they realized that I knew something about writing—it was me that told them.
It’s really funny that my friend asked me that question that morning. That afternoon, one of the officers with RWA contacted me. They’d chosen me as one of the presenters of the RWA national conference.
That in itself is a huge, huge honor. However, it will make me one of the very few authors to present at both the MWA and RWA national conferences.
I believe that in order for an author to capitalize fully on all their self-promotion possibilities, they need to brand their name. I have done many things to try to brand my name, but by far, the best is speaking and teaching to other writers.
If you are trying to brand your name, you simply cannot find a better way than this. I have come on here at 1st Turning Point and given you some inexpensive ways to do this—this is the first one that I have given you where they pay you to brand your name.
John Foxjohn, the author of the best-selling true crime, Killer Nurse, epitomizes the phrase "been there--done that." Born and raised in the rural East Texas town of Nacogdoches, he quit high school and joined the Army at seventeen: Viet Nam veteran, Army Airborne Ranger, policeman and homicide detective, retired teacher and coach, now he is a multi-published author.
Growing up, Foxjohn developed a love of reading that will never end. In fact, he refers to himself as a "readalcoholic." He began with the classics and still lists Huckleberry Finn as one of his all time favorites. Later, he discovered Louis L'Amour and besides owning every book he wrote, Foxjohn says he's read every one of them at least five times.
However, when he was twelve, Foxjohn read a book about Crazy Horse, and decided right then he would also write one about the famous Lakota leader. After many "yondering" years as L'Amour called them, he spent ten years researching his historical fiction, Journey of the Spirit, now titled The People's Warrior.
Maybe because of his eclectic reading habits John has not limited himself to publishing in one genre. In fact, he has published mysteries, romantic suspenses, historical fiction, legal thrillers, and nonfiction Killer Nurse.
When he's not writing, teaching writing classes, or speaking to different writing groups and conferences, Foxjohn loves to spend time square dancing, working in his rose garden, or in his garage doing woodwork. However, his passion outside of family and writing is without a doubt, anything to do with the Dallas Cowboys.
For months, the DaVita Dialysis Center in Lufkin, Texas had been baffled by the rising number of deaths and injuries occurring in their clinic. In April alone, they’d rushed thirty-four patients to the hospital. But no one expected such a horrific cause to be behind it all.
Kimberly Clark Saenz was a well-liked licensed vocational nurse at the center. The East Texas nurse was a mother of two, and known for her smiles and the stories she told to help patients pass the time. But on April 28, 2008, witnesses came forward to say that instead of lifesaving medication, they’d seen Saenz adding toxic bleach to IV ports. Turns out, it wasn’t the first time. Once caught, the shocking story of Saenz’s murderous practices began to unravel…