Sunday, May 18, 2008

Marketing a fact of life

Self marketing is a growing trend that many writers dread. It was okay when books got smaller and we had to self edit. But so many writers cringe at the idea of hawking their own wares. To the point where they don't want to go out and sit at a book signing and say, here's my book. buy it. I promise, you'll love it. Instead they sit at home and worry that they aren't any good at this. That it takes too much work.

Truth is marketing is a human condition. From the time we are born, we "sell" ourselves to family and friends. We label our selves as "the bright one," "the pretty one," "The oldest," "the youngest." Marketing is finding out who you are and interesting people in keeping you in their world. You market yourself to your best friend as someone who is loyal, understanding and important to their world. You market yourself to your boss as a good worker in order to keep your job. You market yourself as a mate in order to keep your spouses interest. The idea that you are "in this together" has kept many family groups going. Marketing. It says I'm useful, important, necessary. It's a natural drive.

As creative people, writers shouldn't shun marketing. It doesn't have to be left to "business experts." In fact, writers make better marketers. We have a natural talent for paying attention to society, people, the human condition. It's as simple as using your natural gift to your own advantage. Something you've done since you were born. It all begins with an introduction, then you find a way to get noticed, become a part of someone's life. You've just marketed yourself and your book.

But wait, there are people who tell you it can only be done this way or that way. If you haven't done x then you're not doing it right. Hmmm, the people telling you that are merely marketing themselves as those "in the know." It's up to you to allow them that power. Turn it around and tell them how they need you and your work in their life. Remember, marketing is something you're naturally good at. Tell your story. Share your story. Enjoy the rewards.

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