Step Inside the Author Marketing Confessional

by Diane Holmes, Marketing-Zone: Marketing Yourself and Your Book, founder of Pitch University.

I have a new rule for marketing, and it’s going to change your life.  It’s liberating.  And you’ll thank me.

Gentle Questions for Late At Night

Do you hate having to market your writing?

Do you feel like a prostitute as you hawk your latest work and tell people how great it (and you) are?

Do you feel like a sellout?  Fake?  Insincere? A used-car salesman?  A manipulator?  Desperate?  Whiny?  Greedy?  Grasping? Ineffective? …Pitiful?

Do you just want to scream, “This is stupid!?”

Are you only marketing because everyone says you have to?

If the whole thing (the Tweeting, the Liking, The Amazon Tagging) a total soul suck?


An Obvious Point

You market other stuff every day, and you love it.  I know this because I can see your excitement when you do it.

  • You buy a new ca? Tell all your friends about why it’s the best car ever?
  • See a good movie?  Recommend it?
  • Proud of your spouse, kid, co-worker, friend’s success?  Did you gush about it? Shout the good news?  Brag, even?
  • Like your veterinarian? Real estate agent? A cleverly-named wine?  Let anyone in on the secret?
  • Did a website offer great articles for free?  Did you pass the word?
  • Did someone like your haircut?  Did you accidentally recommend your stylist to her or him?

The New Definition of Marketing That Will Make You Feel Great

Marketing is about helping.  It’s about sharing excitement.  It’s about being valued for your opinion.  It’s about preventing a bad experience and ensuring a good one.

Marketing is just part of being a living member of a community.

It’s one of the great ways we engage with others, simply because we’re interested in their lives.

We find it natural, easy, and even rewarding(!) to make these comments without even calling it influence, sales, or promotion.

And the key?  We think we’re talking about other people and other things, but we’re really talking about our opinions.  Yes, you market your opinion on a regular, usually daily, basis.

You just need to see Author Marketing as an extension of what you and everyone else does without a second thought.

Bottom line: Great products, services, and experiences come out every day.  If no one knew about them, they wouldn’t sell or last.  It’s a good thing when you share information so that others can get in on the goodness.

In fact, it’s helpful.  Appreciated.  Part of our everyday social lives.

And it has NOTHING to do with who Tweets the most. Or doing what everyone else says you have to do in order to “do it right.”  Or anything other than you enjoy doing it.

You’re jazzed and you help.  End of story.

What It’s Not

Marketing is not extortion.

The New Rule

It makes no sense to market yourself in a way that makes you feel slimed.

I’m just saying.

RULE:  When it comes to Author Marketing, do only what makes you feel jazzed and helpful.

Everything else will, at the least, feel like work.  At the worst, feel like you’re one-pimp-away from your own street corner (in hell).

I’ll have to call you Candy Apple.  Yeah, the men, too.

Wait! But then I won’t market at all!

You’re convinced there’s nothing helpful or jazz-i-fying about selling your writing, right?

At this point, if the topic weren’t marketing, most writers would brainstorm genius solutions. We’re good at brainstorming solutions.  (And we’ll do that in future columns.)

But first, we need to investigate the hidden reasons you truly believe that telling people about your writing is B. A. D.

In the next few columns, we’ll yank the secret truth out of your subconscious.  These are the reasons you don’t believe marketing will ever work for you:

  • Doing It For Money: Free Opinion  vs. Self Interest
  • The Use of Deadly Force: Helping vs. Cramming it Down Their Throats
  • Engraved Invitations: Genuinely Interested vs. the Unsolicited Cold Call.
  • The Big Gulf: Friends vs. Strangers
  • The Crass Factor: Humility vs. Shameful Ego
  • It Doesn’t  Even Work: Receiving Validation vs The Stink Eye
  • You’re Lying; Selling Your Writing is Different: Opinion as a Consumer  vs. The Muddle of .
  • I’m Not Ron Popeil or Billy Mays: “I don’t know what to say” vs. Skilled Patter
  • I’m Not Even that Good: Confidence vs. Insecurity Runs Rampant

PLUS we’ll look at working example of REAL writers who have found their Marketing True Love.

I’ll try to put at least one example in EVERY column. (This is where you’ll thank me.  You’ll realize I’m not just blowing smoke up your hard drive.  And you have a real shot at this true love thing.

Your Assignment

  1. Is there any marketing that you look forward to?
  2. Can you think of any writer who enjoys helping readers/clients find out about their works, skills, or services(a.k.a. marketing)?

Diane Holmes Crop 1
Diane writes two columns for Freelance-Zone: Fiction-Zone: Leaps in Fiction Mastery and Marketing-Zone:Marketing-Zone: Marketing Yourself and Your Book.

She’s the Founder and Chief Alchemist of Pitch University