One of the best decisions I made when I began my journey to publication for The Talking Drum was applying for a spot as a debutante. I had been following the Debutante Ball Blog for more than a year and marked my calendar so that I wouldn’t miss the application window. I was ecstatic when I got the email that I had been chosen as one of the five Debs.
Before I became a Debutante, I knew little about twitter. I had an account that I didn’t pay much attention to and had a few dozen followers. Now I have built and audience and am strategically tweeting several times a day, highlighting my book, other authors, and my fellow Debs. I have also been able to build a sizable number of Instagram followers through the social media efforts of the blog. The Debutante Ball has also played a role in getting national attention for The Talking Drum. An editor at Writer’s Digest magazine found out about me because of the blog and asked to feature me in the April issue in the “Braxton.Breaking in Column”.
Like conventional Debutantes, who spend months building a rapport through service projects, fundraising, and rehearsals for the cotillion, the five of us have formed a sisterhood, supporting each other and cheering each other’s successes. When I found out that Deb Kathleen West, who is based in Minnesota, was coming to the Boston area within an hour of where I live to promote her debut, Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes, I was thrilled and drove out to the bookstore to meet her. We had a lovely conversation and took pictures together. I met some of her social media fans who showed up at the bookstore, and posted a blog about her visit the next day.
Being a debutante is a tremendous amount of work—blogging, tweeting, posting on Facebook and Instagram, interviewing guest authors, conducting book giveaways, updating the website—and it’s all worth it.