Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Resolve to Market—Even If It Kills You

Resolve to Market—Even If It Kills You
By Angela Wilson

Authors spend endless hours toiling over their manuscripts. They use a fine editor's pen, axing every Little Darling, adding detail where necessary, to make sure it is just perfect.

Writers have no problem spending immeasurable amounts of time on this labor of love, yet they cringe at the thought of even using one second of their day for marketing. Their aversion is fierce and dedicated - and it leaves them sadly floating along while other authors gain traction in a tight market.

Authors who dawdle with marketing - or outright refuse to do it - are doing themselves a great disservice. Face facts: Most publishing houses - big and small - will not do it for you. Freelance publicists are not always the answer, and their fees could bust your budget big time. It is up to you, the writer, to get the word out about yourself and your work. If you do not market, how is anyone going to know about that wonderful MS that you finally got published?

The biggest excuse I hear is, "I don't want to lose any writing time."

My response: "You won't need writing time if you don't sell anything."

Let's face the inevitable: Writing is a business. Scary but true. If you want to succeed on your own terms, you need to take the marketing bull by the horns and own it, instead of relishing in your dislike of it.

As part of your 2009 goals, I strongly encourage you to make time for marketing. Add it to your writing time. If all you have is ten minutes a day, then use it to make Facebook friends, send e-mails to fans or slowly piece together an eLetter. Use it to search for new blogs that will host you on virtual book tours. Make a call to a local reporter, just to check in and continue building on that important relationship. Write a blog post about your day.

As you get into the swing of marketing, add a little more time to the clock until you reach at least three hours per week devoted solely to marketing. It isn't that hard - and it is not always dreary work. Do not be afraid to try new things. If something doesn't work, drop it and try something else. If something does work, but you hate doing it, find a friend or family member who will gladly do it for you—and treat them to dinner for their help.

Resolve to market in the coming year. Begin the process of branding yourself and your work. It will go a long way to creating a dedicated fan base that buys.

Angela Wilson is an author, freelance author publicist and professional blogger and podcaster. She requests ARCs and manages the book blog for Pop Syndicate, where she hosts authors on virtual book tours. If you have a question about promotions, visit and fill out the contact form. Your question may be used on that site or in a future newsletter column.

Find Ms. Wilson at:

1 comment:

Jinx said...

Okay, fine, I'll freakin' market. Sheesh. =)

Thanks for putting this up, Mike! Marketing is my main weakness. I have a small fan base, but it would be nice to have it grow. I'll work on it. Promise!

Have a great day!