Friday, May 15, 2015

Writing: To Market, To Market...

Writers often yearn for the days when all they had to do was write. They'd leave the marketing to the publisher. Unfortunately, those days, like some of the stories I hear from my golf partner, are urban myths. Writers have always been responsible, at least in part, for marketing their work. True, perhaps the burden has shifted a bit more toward writers in recent years, but I'm unaware of any time when this bit of wisdom I was given early on in my writing career was untrue: No one is more interested in the sales of your work than you are.

Fatal Trauma will be the eighth medical thriller I've had published, and it seems to me that over the five years in which that has taken place I've spent more and more time marketing my work. We used to call it "platform." Now, I just think of it as name identification. What I want is something like the emails and social media comments that say, "I can't wait for your next novel." So I spend about half my time at the computer staying in touch with fans, writing blog posts like this one, lining up and preparing guest blog interviews and posts, speaking to book clubs, etc. Do I resent it? Actually, I've come to accept it. And if you're a writer, you will, as well.

Oh, one last word. If you plan to self-publish your work (whether fiction or non-fiction), remember you're solely responsible for marketing your book. So be prepared to work even harder for the rewards that come with not being tied to a traditional publishing contract. Is it worth it? That's a post for another time.

What do you think? Is marketing something with which a writer should be involved? How important do you think it is? I'd love to hear.

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Image courtesy of Apolonia at


pudy68 said...

I don't think the authors should have to be involved with marketing their writings. It looks more and more like self-promotion, which repels me. Since you've said before about how little the author really makes per published story, then whomever is getting the bulk of the profits should be the one doing the work.

Richard Mabry said...

Although I agree with you that marketing smacks of self-promotion, that's the way it is. And if we self-publish, there's more marketing than if we partner with a publisher. Thanks so much for the comment.