Thursday, November 13, 2014

Marketing Doesn't Have to Kill Your Creative Joy

The writing and publishing worlds have been going through a deconstruction of their traditional roles and relationships ever since authors envisioned using the Internet to self promote, and market their own work. The role of traditional publishers is still being re-framed.

As publishers have less and less to offer aspiring writers, more and more authors choose self publishing. Gone are the days when publishers had budgets to give fat advance checks, or to invest in marketing for their authors. Even their best selling authors are feeling neglected in the pinch, forget marketing for the mid list picks. Within the traditional publishing houses the majority of promotions and marketing efforts are being left squarely in the author's lap. Traditionally published or self published, we are all in the same boat when it comes to getting our books in front of readers. Now is the time to re-imagine how we are going to bring marketing into our creative writing processes.

Don't Separate Marketing from your Creative Writing Process . . . Use it! 

As an author you have to know your target audience. You have to anticipate and plan for your reader's desires. You have to engage them if you are going to keep them reading. You should ask the same questions when choosing your audience, theme, and plot influences, as you would for marketing your book.

What is my audience looking for? What are they going to get from my book?
Are they looking for answers or seeking entertainment? What is it that will attract them to my book and my website over the books and websites of other authors? Is it my themes? Am I teaching a skill, proselytizing an ideal, or prophesying a dire warning? Am I making a political comment or a spiritual declaration? Does my book hold expert or life knowledge? Do I have more to offer than just this book? Can I hook my audience into purchasing and reading my book through a shared interest, a cause, or sentiment?

These may be questions that both influence who an author is writing for or even about, plot devices, and theme development, as well as where and how they might market a book in the future.

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