8 Secret Reasons You Hate Marketing Your Writing (Part 1)

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

Let’s rip the bandage off quickly, before you realize this is a form of marketing therapy.

If you hate marketing your own writing, chances are you hate it for one of the 8 following reasons:

1. My ethics will be tarnished the second I open my mouth.

Someone will figure out I’m full of self-interest and actually trying to take their money (gasp).


This train of thought stems from the idea that you can trust someone only if he has nothing to gain by sharing his opinion.

If that’s true, then the implied opposite must also be true.  You can’t trust anyone who actually wants your money.  And now you can’t trust me!

Why, oh why did I try to influence you to buy my writing?  Even I know I’m now scum.

Bad, me. Bad.

MYTH: The presence of money makes you, by default, an untrustworthy liar face.

TRUTH: You can be seen and valued as trustworthy, even if you benefit directly from a conversation.

Truthfulness is a trait belonging to YOU, not to the presence of money….  Which, by the way, everyone needs in order to pay bills.

#2 I’m forcing them to listen to me… against their will!

It’s one thing to help people out when they’re already interested, but it’s another thing to start the conversation myself.  Oh, the horror.  Cold calls are evil!

cold call

No, no, no, I’d much rather wait right by my email inbox, clicking “check mail,” hoping for someone to ask me for information.  Then and only then will she want to hear what I have to say.

Click.  Click.  Click.

MYTH: The only way to sell is to hold someone captive against his will until he submits to *your* will.  This is slimy.  Therefore, good people can only wait until asked to provide product and service information.

TRUTH: There are hundreds of ways to market your writing.  Holding someone captive is actually pretty slimy, so don’t do it.   Also, it’s illegal if you do it in person.

And, really.  People start conversations all the time, especially about new products that will never come up in conversation because the products didn’t exist until now.

(And if you happen to find someone weak-willed enough to bend to your force, you should hire him immediately and call him your minion.  Never underestimate the value of a good minion.)


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
  5. Marketing Is Funny Stuff
  6. Marketing Your Writing Without Feeling Like a Brute

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

8 thoughts on “8 Secret Reasons You Hate Marketing Your Writing (Part 1)”

  1. There’s a great blog post on Robert Cialdini’s “Inside Influence Report” today, and a link to a related Wall Street Journal article, that talks about the principles of influence. They’re talking about the different approach that pharma reps are taking nowadays, but the same rules apply to us.

    It’s not slimy or gross, it’s just smart business. The sooner a writer figures that out–and that being a great wordsmith is only part of the equation–the happier and more successful they’ll be.

    Can’t wait to see part 2 and beyond!

  2. Thanks for a great link, Jake! I’m listening to the Robert Cialdini interview (mentioned in the article) right now. Love his approach for establishing yourself as knowledgeable and trustworthy!


  3. Ah, so it’s going to be a series,eh? Very smart! lol

    You haven’t got me with the first one but on that second point it’s definitely me. The idea that I have to coerce someone into reading what I have to say is slightly distasteful, which is a major step up for me as I’ve been blogging for years. I’m now promoting my posts more, which does help drive traffic and comments, and that’s never a bad thing. But I had to get there first.

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