Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The M word

Marketing, that is. I understand the concept but it's just not an easy area for me. I grew up with a Dad in the publishing business. He published trade newspapers and well, he was very good at it. He started a multi-million dollar enterprise right out of our basement. He had a gift. But he was also very bold and forward (that is actually putting it very nicely) and it embarrassed me sometimes.

So while being a reluctant marketer is understandable, it's really not a very good excuse. Marketing is part of writing. Right now I am a few months out of my next book release. Which means it is time to set up some book events and speaking engagements. None of which I actually want to do, but know that I should.

Recently, on one of my writing loops, several well-known authors who shall remain nameless, discussed the fact that they don't really do any marketing, they write their books and leave it in God's hands. They feel like marketing is not something they should do. There are others who felt that not marketing was akin to "hiding their light under a bushel". I don't know where I fall because my not wanting to market has a lot more to do with fear than anything else.

Face it, writing is an exercise in vulnerability. Even sending in a piece you've written exposes you to scrutiny and possible rejection by a perfect stranger. Then, if a publisher buys it, then your work is "out there" for public scrutiny. It's not a world for the faint of heart. Marketing is like that too because some people just won't be interested no matter what you do. Even standing in a bookstore greeting people can be awkward and embarrassing for some people.

It comes down to doing what you feel God calling you to do. I can only help my book so much, but I should at least get out there and try - work up the courage and set up the book events. I don't have to do everything listed in "1001 ways to market your book", I just have to do the ones I feel God telling me to do.

Believe me, that's going to be hard enough. So this is my way of trying to stay accountable. My goal today: get the phone numbers of all the stores I am planning on calling to set something up.

One step at a time:-)