Sean Platt of SPP (Self-Publishing Podcast) expressed his disappointment about how the market under-serves writers. But it wasn't marketers that he was disappointed in--it was writers...here's why:
When you try to look for things for writers for marketing, there is nothing there. But it's not because developers are behind the times, it's because writers themselves don't spend money on marketing. Marketers know this so they don't bother creating the tools that would help writers market themselves. In my own attempts to sell books, I've often turned to marketing tools from different types of businesses and apply them to my own business as a writer and publisher. Some work, some don't.
Writers spend so much time writing, honing their craft, that marketing is thought of that necessary evil. What writers forget is that marketing is fun. They forget marketing can extend their creative muscles and bring their book more to life in the real world. They forget that without marketing they don't sell books. Without marketing, they can't live the dream of being a full time writer. A large majority of writers think marketing is bad, it's disgraceful, it's desperate, it's evil.
These writer's forget what marketing really is. Marketing is the ASK. You do not receive without asking. It feels like begging. It's not easy to ask, asking makes you vulnerable. But, if you feel like your words, work and effort are worth nothing, you will get nothing. But if you ask for an exchange, you receive.
Artists are connectors, thinkers and create bonds in the community. How can you think that is worthless? Why is this less important than financial bankers? Why do you have no trust in your readers? Are you thinking no one will come? Have you tried being the communicator, the connector the bond-builder of your community? And if no one comes, while disappointing, might be a clue as to what you need to work on.
Does asking=weakness? I also like to put it this way. If you have a friend that wants to pay for your latte, do you refuse? Look at why you reject your friends generosity. Does it make you feel like a beggar? Do you feel guilty? Do you feel now you have to owe that person?
What about taking a look on the other side. You've just refused your friend the warm fuzzy feeling they get when they help or gift a present to someone. You've just rejected them and their desire to feel good about having the capability to lift you up with a simple gesture. In fact, turning down a gift like that damages their trust because you've just told them I don't trust you enough to be vulnerable.
But, Stephanie, giving a gift from a friend is not the same as asking.
You'd be wrong. It's the same vulnerability. Actually you're more vulnerable because you asked. What if they say no! Some might. Others will give and feel the double fold of being able to help you while receiving a book or CD or a gift from you. People say the things we make are the best gifts. Well, fuck, you wrote the goddam book with your own fucking hands, what more of a hand-made gift do you need??
I'm going to redirect this conversation to Amanda Palmer's TED talk about the ART of ASKING. Because asking is an art form. Asking is not demanding. It's not begging. It's accepting "no" as an answer but also, it's accepting "yes" as an answer as well.
ACTION ITEM: Watch the 13 minute TED talk and you tell me what the ask is all about.
My efforts are to make this a learning blog where writers can see the flip side of publishing. If you have comments that will improve your experience or have a certain topic you'd like discussed, please contact me through email - HERE.
~ Sincerley, Your Editor
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