I suck at marketing. Let me rephrase that. I used to suck at marketing. I am learning about marketing. Marketing sucks.
Think about it from my end of the pen. I spend hours that turn into days, that turn into weeks, then months then in some cases years to create and publish an artisinal book. But the story is not complete, because a story that is not read is like a song that is not heard… is like the tree that falls in the forest and no one hears. Unless it gets out “there,” it may as well not exist.
Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard the lectures about patience and about how over time one’s books get noticed. The theory is that eventually their niche market discovers them. Hmmmm. I suppose to some degree that’s true. But with the increasing number of books being published, at some point a whole lot of them will never surface. And that is a sad thought.
I’ve tried to understand marketing in this new publishing world, and the only truth I have found is that no one knows wtf they’re talking about. Excuse my acronym. But it’s frustrating. Everyone talks with great authority, but what works for one book, does not work for the next. Yesterday’s hot genre is tomorrow’s trash. Publishing houses big and small are collapsing and brick and mortar book stores are selling stuffed toys. It’s not easy to navigate in these waters. It’s like throwing a dart at a moving target while standing on quicksand.
And yet, I would also argue it is the best of times to be a writer, because I can self-publish. The only gatekeeper is the reader. And everyone on the planet is in need of a good story.
This rant was meant to be a preamble to explain why I so appreciate people who do marketing well. My friend, Jacqui Nelson made the following graphic for me. It is simple and I think powerful.
Here is another of her other ads: