March 27, 2020

A Novel Way to Promote Your Writing (Part 1)

Judith Nembhard   

A Passionate Fiction Writer    

Here’s a piece of writing advice: promote your book, but promote it slant (with apologies to Emily Dickinson), and the way to achieve this slanted book promotion is by doing a workshop. In our quest for tips on how to promote our books, we writers often pore over the pages of Writer’s Digest and other magazines on writing, read books such as Guerrilla Marketing for Writers, and attend writing conferences. From all of these sources, we often get information that is of interest, some of it actually useful. One promotional avenue that you may not have read about, however, is a workshop. You attend workshops to learn new techniques and to brush up on old ones. Well, how about giving a workshop yourself?

A workshop is a marketing strategy, an excellent way to provide useful information and much-needed help to others. As a writer, you are equipped with ideas and skills that can be presented in your local community where you can share your expertise, and believe me, there are people out there who see you as an expert, especially if you have a classroom background. Why not put that expertise to work for your books in a one-hour, interactive workshop session?

Depending on the venue, you may not be able to sell copies of your book at a workshop, but you will certainly be able to sell yourself and bring attention to your work. As a result, the workshop participants, out of curiosity or genuine appreciation for you and your presentation, will likely be motivated to go out and purchase your book. If the workshop session goes well, they will be even more eager to get the book of an author whom they now know personally. Whether you write fiction, non-fiction, or poetry, the workshop approach is one that you can readily fit into your promotional plan.

Where can you find venues for workshops? I have found churches to be ideal places for a presentation. The different organizations in a church like to provide their members with activities that show them to be valuable in the life of the congregation. Check out the church’s calendar and get in touch with those in charge to book a slot on their schedule. Improving language skills is a popular area of perceived need, especially in congregations with a sizeable number of individuals for whom English is a second language. A workshop on this topic is a service that will be greatly appreciated, and your credentials as a writer will make a strong impression on the participants.

Retreats are another area where your skill with language can be put to work. At a large women’s retreat at a hotel, I was provided with accommodation and meals; I presented a workshop on improving public speaking skills, with some grammar and usage thrown in. At another retreat, I was asked to speak in the morning at a general session and present a workshop in the afternoon. The sponsor of the event was happy to have my workshop as one of the tangible and useful activities that benefited the attendees. Retreats are popular with both men and women, and they are attended by individuals with a wide range of interests. The opportunity exists for you to find a group where you can offer your expertise and get exposure for your writing.

Judith Nembhard was born in Jamaica and grew up amid the island’s lush scenery, which influenced her writing. Her early fascination with language led her to complete three degrees in English, including a doctorate from the University of Maryland College Park. Her articles have appeared in professional journals, religious and secular magazines, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. She writes Christian fiction. She has earned writing awards in the Writer’s Digest Writing Competition, Deep River Books Contest, and Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. She is featured in the Southern Writers Magazine Galaxy of Stars.

Her book, Dark Days On The Fairest Island was a finalist in the Southern Christian Writers Conference (SCWC) Notable Book Award in its category.

Judith is a woman of faith and has shared her spiritual vision with audiences at commencement and Women’s Day celebrations and women’s retreats. She has given workshops on writing and improving public speaking skills.

Judith has two adult sons. She has teaching and writing as her greatest loves and reading as her most passionate hobby. She lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee.


  1. Thank you Judith. A workshop is an excellent way for authors to put themselves out to meet new people who can become fans and sell their books.

  2. Susan, thanks for your comment. I've found that doing a workshop sharpens my skills. I get to brush up on the area I'm preparing to present. So the workshop is beneficial for the attendees, but it is also good for me, too.

  3. Thanks for the tip! I love doing workshops and am excited about joining with Suzanne Fisher and several other authors to do virtual workshops for students during this age of social distancing. Link:

    1. Patricia, this is great that you have found a way to do good during this challenging time. And you "love doing workshops." This is your time. Kudos. Thanks for the good comment.

  4. Great ideas Judith! I've suggested to my Facebook friends to journal their social distancing experience. Make history by writing down your thoughts like Anne Frank did.

  5. Yours is an idea that a lot of people can use right now--brings a sense of calm. I'm sure many of your FB friends will follow your suggestion. Thanks for the tip.