Tag Archives: pitch university

Marketing Your Writing Without Feeling Like a Brute

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

Today, we begin slaying the real reasons you think you had marketing your writing.

There are many unconscious reasons (of the Soul Eater clan mostly) that march around your brain, chanting about how marketing feels B. A. D.

But never fear, I’m just the Marketing Slayer to drag this Brute into the daylight and stake them with Mr. Pointy

Mr PointyAuthor Marketing Angst #1 (a.k.a. The Brute Effect)

Chances are that, as you deliver your marketing message, you feel like you’re cramming it down the throat of your potential clients and readers.

You don’t feel helpful and jazzed (our definition of marketing you should be doing).  Instead, you feel like you’re having to show up with a baseball bat, brass knuckles, and the powers of darkness.

  • Buy my articles.  Really.  You need to do this.  Now!  Right now, Mister!
  • Hire me.  I’m good.  Great.  Over the top.  The best you’ve ever seen.  You need me, and I’m going to tell you why.  So, don’t interrupt.  This is very, very important.
  • Let me work for you.  You’re hiring.  I’m perfect for the job.  Read this, and this, and this.  They’re good, aren’t they?  Exactly what you need.  Very exciting.  Great topics.  Beautiful prose.  Do it do it do it do it do it….
  • Writing for sale!  Click this link.  It’s wonderful.  Really good.  You like to read, so go get this.  Pay attention as I stand on my head.  Look a unicycle.  And juggling.  And my hair’s on fire!

What’s going on when you end up feeling like a Brute.

#1  You’re not doing the right kind of marketing.  The invitation to join Brute Union was a tipoff.

#2  Secretly you believe you’re not being helpful at all.  So listen to yourself.  You actually do believe in your writing, even if you don’t remember that in the moment.  You’re here on Earth doing something you  love.  Let the love shine through.  Or the passion.  Or the inspiration, laughter, and sense of meaning.  Whatever “it” is, that’s your  ticket to marketing you love.

Yes, But How?

Here’s delightful, funny example. Continue reading Marketing Your Writing Without Feeling Like a Brute

Marketing is Funny Stuff

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

As a holiday gift for all our Freelance-Zone readers, I bring you the gift of laughter.  Yes, a gift about marketing and the challenges you face in marketing things destined for greatness (like your own writing).

You’re in good company.

Bob Newhart Tries to Market the New Game of Baseball

Bonus Fun:

I’d Love This Product Even If I Weren’t A Stealth Marketer (Awesome marketing fun by The Onion. Fav line: In stealth-marketing parlance, this is what is known as “roach baiting,” but I prefer to call it “the least I can do.”)

Marketing Contract Bridge (for the 3 of you out there who play Bridge)

If marketing emails could talk… (Dry, witty, must watch!  You’ll never get a sales email again that you don’t wish was narrated by this guy.)

In This Series So Far:

  1. Step Inside the Marketing Confessional
  2. Does Marketing Your Writing Feel Like Prostitution
  3. Marketing Manifestos To Shake You Out Of Your Rut (don’t be a lemming)
  4. Every Writer’s Marketing Dream

Upcoming Articles:

  • 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 Buy Me.
  • 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

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

Every Writer’s Marketing Dream

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

This is a marketing article about hope. About what works. And about a darn good example of a writer just like you.

HOPE logo2

In the spirit of shaking you out of your “I hate marketing” rut, I continue the call to a new world-view where marketing confessions are heard, and you don’t end up feeling like a  prostitute of words.

Instead, you are skilled, radiant, powerful, wise, generous, delighted, and a master of the universe.

You love what you do.  It’s natural to interact with others.  It’s helpful to let others know you have good stuff available.  And yes, you are going to find ways to market that you LOVE.

What won’t you do?  Any marketing that doesn’t make you feel like a doer of good, a champion of nouns and verbs, and a supreme being of quality and success.


Because that kind of marketing actually works against your brand.

If your brand is who you are (check out my 11-part series on author branding), then your marketing simply must be part of the brand you want to embody.  It must be part of YOU.

You hurt your brand and your business when you market in a way that you hate and that doesn’t represent who you are as a person.

You shouldn’t be doing marketing like.

I know this goes against a lot of common wisdom on what you should be doing and how. But the folks giving this advice (well meaning, though they are) are working with a very old model of marketing.

Truth:  You strengthen your brand when you market in a way you love, a way that’s in sync with your integrity and what you have to offer, and a way that makes you appealing to work with.  And—get this—your marketing is more likely to work if you love it.  (More on that in a minute.) Continue reading Every Writer’s Marketing Dream

Marketing Manifestos To Shake You Out Of Your Rut (don’t be a lemming)

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

I want to shake up your thinking.  Rattle the bones of what you think you know about marking yourself and your writing.

Most of what you think you know is wrong, anyway.


Don’t Do This

So, you’re out there hawking your writing (which gives you the minty prostitution breath). You hate it.  But all the other writers say you have to do it..

And that’s not all.

You have to do exactly these specific things (all of them), because that’s what works.  Everyone hates it, but you want to be a success, don’t cha?

Except they’re wrong. And you already know this deep-down inside, which is what makes the marketing crapola feel even more like being played.

I’m saved!

A couple weeks ago, we had a little “marketing confession session,” and I proposed a new rule:

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

But, you secretly think I’m pulling a bait and switch, like I’ll tell you why you should feel jazzed and darn helpful to do all the things you actually hate.

Nope.  I’m your trusted advisor. And trusted advisors are not that smarmy. 😉

The Brain-Rattle Reset

Let me introduce you to some key manifestos that will shake you loose from your stale marketing beliefs. Continue reading Marketing Manifestos To Shake You Out Of Your Rut (don’t be a lemming)

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?   Continue reading Step Inside the Author Marketing Confessional

Does Marketing Your Writing Feel Like Prostitution?

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

So there we writers stand, on the virtual street corner with our computers, wearing sexy sweat pants, hawking our books, articles, and “content creation services.”

“Hey, big boy….”

Ack, my eyes, my eyes!


In the world of “writers who market,” there are those who feel sullied by the experience and those who feel empowered.

Marketing for authors is very personal, because we are marketing who we are and what we do.  There’s just no prep for this in school.

Even in Girl Scouts, we’re selling cookies that everyone already knows are delicious and going to the common, non-profit good.  We’re not marketing ourselves.  Just these boxes of treats that everyone loves.

Nope, what society has taught us about marketing ourselves is this: telling people why we’re so special, how skilled we are, and why we’re better than others (marketing, right?) is a sure sign of jerky arrogance, me-me narcissism, or a clear lack of social skills.

Hey, it might even be a sin.  Mike Duran wrote this insightful post called “Dear Author: Is it God’s will for you to sell a lot of books?”  While there are references to Christian writers in this post, the spiritual crisis of “selling yourself” is felt by many, many writers.

The Approach:Marketing As Shameful

In Prostitution: A Self- Published Author’s Guide to Promotion, R. A., Evans says, with a wink,

Your job is to carve out your own street corner to hawk your wares. My advice – wear comfortable shoes..:)

Message = It feels a tad shameful, but you can get good at it.

The Approach: Marketing As Empowerment

In Lynne W. Scanlon’s post, How Low Should You Sink to Shamelessly Market Your Book? Is Author Jeff Pearlman a Prostitute? she applauds Pearlman, saying:

You are doing what every author should do: Exploiting any and all opportunities, while moving steadily away from the minor leagues and into the majors.

Message = It feels empowering, so you should get good at it.

The Official Marketing Aftertaste Test

Which are you?  Sullied or Empowered?  For each of the following, answer either (a) or (b).

(a) My mouth tastes vile, thanks for asking. I think I’ll never be the same.

(b) My mouth tastes sweet, because I’m sharing the love.   Continue reading Does Marketing Your Writing Feel Like Prostitution?