The thing about marketing.

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chick

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This picture has nothing to do with marketing, but it’s adorable, so I’m sharing.  Twenty seven chicks arrive by snowmobile to our ranch yesterday afternoon.  All night long, the house sounds like an early summer morning outside, inside.  Now, they are somewhat settled and silent and I’m smiling… And all because of him…

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forrest

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About that marketing thing.

OK, so, you got a beautiful book in your hands, and you spent years getting it to this point (at least it took me years)… now what do you do about it?  Because remember this:  writers do not do all this work just to hold the pretty thing in our hands.  We do it to share it.  Yes, we must write for ourselves, to please ourselves, because we have something to say. But secretly (or otherwise) we hope someone is going to like what we write and how we write it.

So, that sharing… I think they call this part, technically: Marketing.

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When I started not just writing since I’ve been doing that a long while, but getting close to actually publishing which is still brand new for me, I didn’t think this was part of it. The marketing part.  Maybe most writers do not.  I don’t think selling oneself is something that comes naturally to a writer. We can be a quiet sort.  At least, I am.  Though I’m surprised how much I can reach out. Maybe not enough.  I know there are still some e-mails and hand written letters left without a response.  I’m sorry. I hate doing that. Everyone matters. Everyone.  If I don’t write back right away, chances are I may forget.  Not that the person is not important, only that other things get piled on top and a few get buried below.

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my kind of neighbors

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For some reason, getting the book out there matters to me.  I’m going to guess this is not uncommon for authors.  Not for the money, but for the acceptance.  I want people to like my writing.  That may be stupid, I know… but…

Do I write for me?  Yes.  Primarily.  For I’ve found I won’t compromise. But I also write for others, or rather, hope they will like what I write. Does that make sense?  If I had more confidence, and I am not so certain I ever will because I used to say, “Once I’m published, I’ll be more confident…” and I am not.

Right, so I know I need to learn not to let these things matter.  But how do you feel so much and not let yourself get down?  Feel less?  How? And is that really what I want?  When that is what my writing is so often about…

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So, we market. Try to sell our book.  Not for the money, but for the love. We want to be read like we want to be accepted.  I can accept that.

The how-to’s of marketing include such obvious aspects as using social media, networking, asking friends for help, cold calling and following up warmly.  I’m not going into that here and now for risk of trying to sound like a pro at something I am not.  If we ever get a best seller and top the charts and I have something solid on the subject you want to hear, like, “Look what I can do,” great, I’ll give you that lecture then.

I have a very intimate, personal book and style of writing that’s not meant to appease the masses, and as my friend reminds me, I’m not looking to be Danielle Steel.  My work is harder to sell on many levels.  Not the least of which is this.  It is a part of me.  Onto the pages, I have bled.  How do you sell a part of yourself?

Step back, and treat it like a business. Grow up and get over it.  Stop taking it so darned personally.

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on the aspen

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As my publisher, Sammie, and I were discussing, this grassroots approach to marketing we are taking is based on (1) sincerity, (2) the expectation that one must give more than one will receive in social medias and networks, and (3) keeping it personal.  That said, one must learn to draw the line and not give too much of oneself.  That is a tricky matter. Balancing our sense of giving, sharing and self preservation. Our tendency can be to give too much, try too hard.  And the end of day, you’ll know if you’ve gone too far.  Look in the mirror and see if you’re still smiling. (For the record, I was not last night.)

Finding the right outlets in which to share is essential.  There are so many out there, so many options, suggestions, ideas, directions… and if you tried them all, you’d spread yourself thin and more often than not, fall through the ice.  Or maybe be barking up the wrong tree.

I think it always comes down to this:  sincerity.  And ultimately it is our words that will share themselves.

All in due time.

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This marketing thing has brought me tremendous ups and downs this week.  Insecurities and celebrations sharing the same days.  A sense of feeling very lost.

This is ridiculous.  My poor boys.  Heck, poor me!

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So the rest of plan is this.  I’m calling it quits. I am done with this part for now.  I have another few days of contacts I promised myself (and Sammie) I’d reach out to and give it a shot and then I’m going back to what I do best. Writing.

Until I get a second wind. Or new ideas.  And try my hand at marketing again.

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Oh, and yes. Rough draft of book three?  Check.  Done!

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fall leaf with spring swelling

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