Proven Markets

My oldest son, who plans to study marketing and advertising when he begins attending college next years, wanted to know why I never marketed the novel I published like I market Author. After all, I FB and tweet every blog and every episode of Author2Author, I run ads for the PNWA before every interview, I created three promotional videos for Youtube. Why did I not bring an ounce of this salesmanship to a novel I spent three years writing? It’s quite simple, really. When I wrote the book, I genuinely liked it – which is to say it felt like a book I would have wanted to read. Unfortunately, at the time this seemed like flimsy evidence for the book’s value. What I needed was some proof. What was wrong with a little proof? Without proof we’d have never landed on the moon.

Then I sent the book to an agent – and she loved it! Those were her exact words. She couldn’t wait to sell it. Proof! Until, of course, this agent got the first rejection letter from a publisher. Now, her opinion was proof of nothing. Now, only a publisher could prove whether this thing had value.

By and by the agent concluded she could not sell it, and so I badgered my game publisher into publishing it. The book came out with numerous typos and I was paid half of what I was owed. The errors and the pittance I received, it seemed to me, were proof of its value. Which is why I didn’t spend much time marketing it.

Author is a part of the publishing marketing machine, so I now deal with publicists and authors fretting over how best to publicize their work. I’m sure, if pressed, I could write an article on the pros and cons of FB and twitter and Youtube and blog tours, but all of that seems rather beside the point. No amount of Internet and social media know-how can replace our connection to what it is we are marketing. We are the engine, and our connection is the fuel. Without it, no matter how beautiful our vehicle, we will go nowhere.

Remember to catch Bill every Tuesday at 2:00 PM PST/5:00 EST on his live Blogtalk Radio program Author2Author!

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