Click here for part four of the series. Today we talk about a subject far from the hearts of most writers.
HABIT FIVE: WILLINGNESS TO MARKET
“Dammit, Jason! I’m a writer, not a salesperson!”
“I don’t want to sully my art with commercial concerns.”
“Money’s not important when you love what you do.”
“I don’t know how.”
“I hate marketing.”
These are all things people have said when I asked them how much time they spent on marketing — and that’s why they’re writing part time as amateurs instead of creating the life they want as professional writers.
The truth is, if you want to write for a living you have to advertise. Even greats like Bradbury, Lansdale and Grisham go on book readings and tours to increase awareness of what they do. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for you.
As a freelance writer, I spend about twice as much time marketing myself and my work as I do writing it. This includes blogs like this one to showcase my work, sending applications for contract gigs, querying publications, touching base with editors and publishers I know, setting up speaking gigs, and maintaining a social media presence. It also includes time spent on admin and tracking of my marketing efforts.
If you don’t know how to market, learn. If you don’t like marketing, suck it up and get to work. This is part of the freelance life, and the rewards (for me at least) outweigh how onerous marketing can be.
I’d love some comments about the marketing challenges you all face. Maybe we can help each other out by recommending some solutions.
photo credit: onomotomedia