So, I'm nearly finished formatting my novel and hope to get it published before the end of March. I've been listening to Novel Marketing and Joanna Penn and her guests at The Creative Penn Podcast, and other such writing/marketing pundits, and I'm facing up to the fact that I need to start an email list so people will know when the book is out and available. Not sure why I didn't think of this before, but one of Joanna's recent guests pointed out that you start your list with people you already have connections with, in person or on social media; you know, those people who've been asking all this time when your book is coming out. I think I was assuming I'd just throw up an announcement on Facebook and Instagram and let them see it or not . . . Like that would be a smart marketing move. No, gotta generate the list. And now that it comes to actually, really asking people (on line or face to face) if they want to sign up, I'm getting the deer-in-the-headlights, I-wanna-vomit willies. It's not fear that they'll say no. In fact, a part of me hopes they will. Or being afraid they'll buy the book and then hate it--- although there's that in my psychology that says that would be the universe going the way it should. No, the fear is deeper. Like it's somehow obscene or perverse for me to do this kind of open, frank, in-your-face marketing. That I'm getting out of my place and the world will be worse for it. Promoting myself and my work is not what I'm allowed to do! That's not how I was raised! Yeah, yeah. I know. I have to get over it. I'm reminding myself that I've taken on the Catrin Lewis pen name as a kind of character I'm inventing. Real Name Me "isn't permitted" to market; Catrin Lewis is and can. Real Name Me is a gutless wonder; Catrin Lewis is a savvy businesswoman who'll do what it takes to get her book out to the public. Trouble is, Real Name Me and Catrin Lewis share the same stomach. And it's full of--- not butterflies--- but scorpions and centipedes. . . . Sorry, I had to vent. The real questions are, if you have an email list, what did you do to build it up? What works and what doesn't, and what would you do differently if you could start over from scratch? And does anyone else share my marketing fears, and what did you do to overcome them?