Monday, May 3, 2010

The Buddy System

The first time I felt the synergy of the buddy system was years ago when I enlisted a personal trainer who trained clients in groups of four. She paired people together and each person made a commitment to meet their "buddy" to workout on a regular basis. I lost weight, toned up and actually reached my fitness goals much sooner than I'd expected.

Meeting up with another person at the gym made me more responsible to my fitness goals. Alone, I might have said, "I don't really feel like working out today," or "I didn't get enough sleep," and all those lame excuses I'd heard myself mumble too many times before.

I got on a committed fitness track, but the most important thing I discovered about the "buddy system" was that magical things happen when you help other people reach their goals. You feel less stress when the spotlight isn't on you all the time. And focusing on someone else's star enables you to take your own a little less seriously. The world has enough blow hards tooting their own horns. When you have a buddy, you have a confidante, someone to trade ideas with, share marketing strategies and contacts. You can commiserate over disappointments and celebrate successes.

Writing group friend and fellow cookbook author, Kathy Gehrt, and I have both published books this year. And this spring we got the opportunity to link our marketing ideas, media, online and bookstore contacts. Kathy and I are both into grass roots marketing--meeting bookstore owners, doing local cooking events, joining groups and social networking sites like FaceBook. And when we're feeling overwhelmed or uncertain we can pick up the phone and share that, too.

Recently I attended Kathy's talk at a bookstore and I wrote about her "Cooking with Herbs"event at a nursery. Marketing a book and doing these events by yourself can sometimes seem as lonely as writing the book, but when you have a book marketing buddy, the book marketing maze is a little more fun.

If you have a book coming out, find yourself a buddy to work with and start swapping ideas. If you've done this before let me know, I'd love to find out how it worked for other authors.

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