Friday, August 19, 2016

Question From A Writer - Marketing

Now, to my question. My personal dilemma is (thinking business here) could I realistically do both, write and market myself. How do I go about learning what is involved in the marketing part of a writing career, such as time, expectations and the correct way to go about it?
(I'm afraid I've become a dump bucket for tons of conflicting internet info on this topic and have gotten lost in the sludge.)

This is a great question and one a lot of writers face. Let me see what I can do to answer this for you.

First of all, yes, you realistically can write and market your own work. In fact, it is expected that you will be doing that! If you are working with a traditional publisher, you have the benefit of their marketing team working with you on getting the word out to the readers. If you do this through a self-publishing model, you end up doing a lot more on your own.

I think it is important to realize that the business does not work with a writer just finishing his or her novel and then expecting others to do the work for you. It will take time and energy on your part. 

Now, if you do want to invest in the marketing a bit more, there are individuals out there who are PR specialists. You can hire them to take care of getting the news out, building websites and so forth. They are great, but yes, they will cost you some money. The trade off is, you now can focus your attention on writing and doing the marketing things you personally want to do and let them do the dirty work. Personally, until you really hit the big time, I would probably not head in that direction.

As far as the education goes, you know what I always say here on the blog. This takes time. You will need to take some time to start watching what other authors are doing. When you follow your favorite authors on social media, you can start to see how they get the news out there. When you go to conferences, you can see the things the writers are doing to get the word out! It is really an issue of finding what works best for you and your books.

I would also encourage attending conferences and listening in on sessions that focus on marketing. I will tell you, from past experience, a lot of the information right now is designed for people who are taking the self-publishing approach. Some of that information will work for you and some may not. It is up to you to sort the information out.

As far as the "conflicting internet information" understand that each writer out there is taking a different approach. Again, what works for one may not work for someone else. It isn't so much conflicting information but simply different ways to market. What you need to do is find what works best for you!

I think the big thing to remember is that marketing is a part of being a professional author. It will take up time in your writing career. But, in the end, when you find something that works, you will see some changes in your sales numbers. 

Hope that helps!


  1. Yes. This helps very much. And thank-you for answering. I'm a detail kind of gal and I was thinking there must be a formula for the right way to market and I was just missing it. I'd rather not make a lot of mistakes. And since self-publishing is not for me, should I be so fortunate as to have a manuscript accepted by a publisher, I think working with a marketing team would be great experience. Looking forward to more of your educational videos. Again, thanks. Kate M.

  2. Another great post. In three weeks I'm going to a writing workshop on marketing where I hope to learn a bit more. But these posts are all very helpful. Thank you.

  3. There's an incredible amount of information online about marketing for authors. Every Wednesday, I post a list of links useful for authors including promotion advice. If you are interested in a specific thing like "Facebook," use the site search engine to find all the links.