Attendees at yesterday’s SCWW Symposium learned quite a bit about the necessity of marketing one’s work. Whether the writer self-publishes his work or has a contract with a major publisher, he still has to “hawk his wares.”
For the first time, I gave some serious thought to the thousands and thousands of new titles that come out each year, and I realized that even books with clever, well-written prose are not going to jump off of the shelves at Barnes and Noble and say, “Pick me! Me, me, me!” The author must work with the publisher to market and sell books. A self-published author has to do it all on her lonesome. No one is going to set up signings, appearances, interviews, or presentations for her.
This was bad news for many of the people I was around. Why? Because as writers, they like to spend time alone reading, writing, wracking their brains for just the right word (change vixen to imp?), doing “research” on the rising population in Nigeria, and wondering how a nice cup of hot chocolate would taste. If they’re serious about their work, they don’t want to be interrupted; nor do they want to be the center of attention as they go forth and market their work.
Alas, however, with so much fierce competition for readers’ eyes and minds, writers must get out of their cubbyholes and get on the social media bandwagon. Some might even be fortunate (?) enough to be interviewed on radio or TV. I’ve gotten several book suggestions from listening to authors being interviewed on NPR. A month ago I bought Wonder by R.J. Palacio for my grandchildren after hearing its author talk about her motivation for writing the book. Because of her interview, I put some serious thought into the difference between being friendly and being kind.
But I digress. Yesterday’s lessons nudged me to get some social media tutoring from www.WritersWin.com this week (why wait?), and today I’m making the electronic version of Crossing the Bridge: Succeeding in a Community College and Beyond free on Amazon for three days.
I hope some of the people I was with at the symposium are thinking of how to get their work out into the world. What about those of you who’ve felt reluctance about marketing your stories, poems, or books? What are some of your experiences and/or feelings about marketing?