Mark Terry

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Writer And His Marketing

August 27, 2009
Justine Larbastier has an excellent post about unpublished novelists trying to figure out how to develop and audience or focusing on marketing their novel once they get it published. It's great. Read it.

Okay, my thoughts.

Too many people do this. They're less interested in learning how to write well than they are how to market. If I were to blame anybody, I'd blame JA Konrath, but he's merely the most visible practitioner of something the publishing industry sort of encourages anyway. That is to say, these days it's all about marketing, marketing, marketing.

And when a write such as myself or Erica Orloff or PJ Parrish or any of many others of us who have raised a finger and said, "Yeah, but..." we're shot down and told that if we don't market, market, market, no matter how good our novel is, nobody will hear about it.

True enough.

But an unpublished (and perhaps unpublishable) novelist that spends all their thinking about how WHEN they get published they will market their book, etc., is putting their emphasis in the wrong place.

Yes, I think it's worthwhile knowing how the publishing industry works. But learning to write well is more important. Even after you get a publishing contract.


Blogger Natasha Fondren said...

I've been kicking my butt about marketing, lately. My pseudonym's website has not been updated for three years. I need the money. I really need to do at least an hour a day.

I think, though, in the beginning, an awareness of the market is important, and an awareness of how your idea could be marketed and might fit is important, but... not learning how to market. Although blogs and a website are important in a lot of agents' eyes when you set out to query, which I think is funny because the average blog really does not get enough visitors to change your sales numbers that much, LOL.

8:34 AM  
Blogger sex scenes at starbucks said...

My psuedonym's website is languishing as well, but my book doesn't come out until next year, so I keep putting it off.

I'd found that via Scalzi and as I said there, I just had a recent convo with a journalist about a similar thing. I had to stop the train and reinforce the importance of craft.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

Of course I agree. And really, there is no proof that all this authorial effort at marketing helps. Sure, one can point to authors who marketed, marketed, marketed and succeeded. But was it actually the marketing? How about those authors who marketed just as hard and failed? Well, we don't hear about them. And there are lots of books that just take off without author marketing. There are, in fact, successful authors who won't market.

On attractive thing about marketing though -- it's a heck of a lot easier to do than write. I'll bet there are lots more people who make a living in marketing and advertising than make a living writing novels.

And when it comes down to it I have always been interested in *writing*. I have never had the slightest ambition to get into advertising or marketing. Doesn't interest me. Nor am I interested in taking marching orders from some bean counters at a corporation, publishing or otherwise.

10:53 AM  

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