WIPpet–Pressure and Authority

The last two weeks I opted to pass on posting my WIPpet because I needed to spend time marketing my debut novel. I’m still in the early stages of getting the word out to readers. There are so many things to do, people to connect with, readers to meet, that I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed.


I’m not very good at asking for help. And it’s not because I’m too proud to ask, but being in a helping profession, I’m in relationships where I’m the ‘helper’. At work, students don’t ask me if I need help with anything.  They come to me for direction, coaching, and guidance, not the other way around. I rarely get asked about my personal life. And I totally get that. I would have felt super weird asking my teacher about anything outside of the subject they taught. I mean, asking a simple, “what do you like to do for fun?” could turn into a strange TMI kinda talk. Most students would rather pass.

A good amount of my students don’t even know I’ve written a book. They know I write, but a novelist…well, probably not. I’m afraid if I start sharing about my books they’ll feel pressured to buy them. I’ve been in a position of authority since college and am mindful of students’ perception of me. For them, perception is reality and suggestions from an authority figure become commands. So, I’m careful how and what I communicate. Besides, it’s super tacky for educators to sell anything to their students—it’s just a conflict of interest.

Regardless of my all-day job, I need to work on my marketing strategy. And I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m behind, that I’m learning, that I have no idea how this is done. I’m not afraid to admit I need help.  Here’s my progress report.

  1. Sent personalized messages to my close friends about my novel
  2. Created a Tumblr to reach possible target audience (RAs) chlolecorin.tumblr.com
  3. I’m finally Tweeting! Yay! @chloecorin
  4. Requested a Goodreads author page  yesterday
  5. Made a list of book bloggers (I’ve contacted 2 and received great reviews)

What has been the most helpful approach to promoting your novel? Which book bloggers did you use? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 🙂

On to my WIPpet which is an example of someone taking advantage of their authority. If you’ve read my first novel, you know that Dean Petty is harsh with everyone. She’s the villain with a twist in her story I hope will shock readers. In this scene, she’s meeting with Carly an RA that’s recovering from an accident.

Here’s the math: February 26, 2014. Here are seven sentences (14/2) from page 26 (today) of The Hall Speaks #springsemester


Leaning back in her chair, Dean Petty kept her eyes steady on Carly. “Fine–and nothing less will be expected of you!” Petty, pointing her finger, “Don’t think for one minute that just because you’re sitting down–permanently, that you can slack off on your duties.”

Carly’s mouth tightened as her eyes stung. “I know…” she mumbled, knowing the Dean’s words would leave a scar.  Carly wanted to run out of there, to make a point. With her right hand she squeezed her thigh, wishing her legs would work again.


That’s all for now!

Always, thanks for reading! If you’d like to take part in WIPpet just go here.  And thank you K. L. Schwengel for hosting! Happy reading and let’s all keep writing!:)

Photo Credit: storiesfromthera.tumblr.com


20 thoughts on “WIPpet–Pressure and Authority

  1. I have to admit, the first paragraph confused me a bit. Not sure if it’s just do to the formatting or if it’s the use of the “demanded” dialog tag. Because the dialog doesn’t read like a demand. But, other than that, well done. I get a good sense of Carly’s distress at the end.

  2. Oh, wow. The Dean was really insensitive there. I cringed, and I can only imagine what Carly was feeling.

    I was a little confused in the first paragraph because there doesn’t seem to be a dialogue tag. But the emotion in the scene was great.

    • Yeah, I’ll need to add something there. Maybe this is what happens when I write at 2am. I wrote most of this novel in the middle of the night when the house was quiet. I’m sure there will be a ton to revise. 🙂

      The Dean is so mean but there is this other side to her no one knows about. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  3. I’m not sure if something happened in the translation, but I didn’t see that “demanded” that Kathi was mentioning. I did see what looked like a sentence fragment “Petty, pointing a finger”.

    As for marketing… except for the possibility of posting notices to the students if they’d like to create a writing critique group where you and they could all share creative work in a “coffee clutch” setting, I agree, you should probably leave them out of any direct marketing plans. I don’t know much more I can suggest… I’m the LAST person in the world to give marketing advice.

    • Eden! I took ‘demanded’ out but will have to add something there in the revisions. Thanks for catching it though.

      And getting a group together is a great idea. There are probably a few on campus. I’ll have to look into to those options. I’m also planning to look around for writing groups again. 🙂 Thanks for your suggestions!

      • Glad to help. (Actually, I think “demanded” fits perfectly, but it’s a perception thing. I’m sure with playing around with it, you’ll find a word that pleases you. That’s what matters.)

      • Thanks for the reassurance! I tend to doubt my writing abilities since I struggled as a kid with dyslexia. But I’m learning to trust my instincts more and embrace my writing style. 🙂

  4. Ah, marketing. It takes so dang long, and it seems, for me at least, to have little effect. I feel your pain. Kboards.com is a good resource for info (the Writers Cafe), if that helps any.

    The dean is a meanie! Yikes, and Carly is unable to walk. Lots going on here in just a couple of paragraphs!

    • Xina! Thanks, this is very helpful. I’ve never even heard of the site so I’ll check it out. I agree, marketing is so time consuming. Not to mention each social media tool is used for a different purpose. It would be awesome if I connect with everyone on one site. 🙂

  5. The distress is good in this snippet. I stumbled over the sentence fragment in the first par, though.

    I gave up on writing book bloggers a long time ago, so I can’t help you with that. Having a permafree story available in my universe is the best thing I’ve done for my books in the last half year. One of these days, I’ll get back into marketing, and maybe then I’ll have more to share.

    • I’ll have to look into making my novel permafree just to get it out there to readers. So much to learn but I’m grateful for the help I’ve received during this process. 🙂 thanks for reading and offering this advice.

  6. Great piece Chloe. I love the line ending ‘…knowing the Dean’s words would leave a scar.’ There’s so much hurt in this scene that Carly’s feeling and the Dean is so vicious. Good stuff!

    • Elaine! You are so encouraging. Thanks for checking out this post. I’ll be working diligently next month editing this novel. I’m looking forward to spending time with these characters again. 🙂

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