Holy, moly, mother of god, does public relations, marketing and platform building stress me out. I feel like I should know all this stuff already and I don’t. People say comforting things like, “A writer’s job is to write. Only do as much marketing work as you are comfortable with.”
Do people really believe that in this day and age? Or is that just something we comfort ourselves with?
How are you supposed to set yourself apart from the huge mass of people with products screaming look at me look at me! I don’t even know what the difference between marketing and publicity means. I sent my publicist an email the other day and she sent me a note back and said, “Sent your question over to marketing!” Oh. Uh. Sorry I sent it to the wrong person…
So I am crash-coursing it, reading time management books, platform building books, and books on promoting all at the same time. Not to mention blogs of all kinds, publishing blogs, social media blogs, and blogs for entrepreneurs. Learning, learning, learning.
But every blog and every book just increases my sense of panic because every damn one of them has more things I should be doing: Increase your followers! Come up with a one sentence sound bite about your platform! Write down all your goals! Create more content! Build relationships! Connect with people! Exclamation point after exclamation point after exclamation point!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Not to mention things you should be doing in the rest of your life: Achieve balance! Meditate! Exercise! Eat healthy! Organize! Volunteer! Floss! Go Organic!
Also, according to social media experts, I should be offering something of value to my followers, friends, readers and fans…So I have come up with a sound bite, a platform I can get behind, and an exclamation point that helps me keep perspective in my career and in my personal life:
DRINK MORE WINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Does marketing your book freak you out? It does me! @teribrownwrites
On the blog: Is your book marketing plan one long set of exclamation points? @teribrownwrites
It took me a long time to understand marketing and PR were not the same thing. Trouble is, I still don’t really understand the difference! I reluctantly joined Twitter. I now do see the value of that but there are not enough hours in the day as it is so I gave Facebook a pass! It is a fact of life that we are now totally responsible for pushing ourselves and our books. The publishers promote a little in the first month or so and then you are left to do it yourself. At least for those of us who are not at the top of the literary totem pole. I spent most of last year doing just that. One book was published 34 years after I started it, I put another book up as an e-book and created my website. Of course I did not actually writing ONE DAMN WORD except for the website stuff that I wrote entirely myself. But I did not write anything new, anything that really made me excited again. I spent the previous year editing the book that came out so in essence I have not really written in two years. I realize that has to change so what do I do. Just forget about the marketing/promotion side of my writing life. I simply cannot do both. Maybe when I was in my thirties but I am decades away from that kind of energy. And all I really want to do is write. I am happy to go anywhere and talk about my work but I don’t want to have to find all those places myself. Sorry. I ramble. I really don’t have the answer. If you figure it out please let the rest of us know. And yes – !!!!!!!!!!
I think coming to that sort of decision takes a lot of guts. I bitch about it, but in actuality, I find it pretty interesting and have found that I’m not too bad at it. I just feel overwhelmed sometimes and have to vent:) Plus, like I said, I feel as if I am playing catch up!
What really helps me is breaking it all down into nice bite-sized chunks, recording those chunks in my time management system (I use Producteev), then ignoring EVERYTHING except the one thing I’m working on right now. Knowing that the other stuff is safely written down, and that I’ll get to it at the right time, gives me the mental freedom to really concentrate on the task at hand without getting overwhelmed by all the stuff I’m not doing right this minute.
Marketing is a plan for making a sale with three primary actions, PUSH-PULL-Point-Of-Purchase (POP) and the Author is the Persona in the center. Publicity is part of the PUSH, which is to entice a PULL to learn more and PURCHASE. At AuthorMarketing101.com we hope that once you understand those basics all the other marketing advice will makes sense or be happily ignored as irrelevant. Happy Writing!