I Didn’t Sign Up For This
I don’t know a single writer whose publishing dreams included being a full-time marketer for their books.
The writing and publishing dream usually includes visions of spending several hours a day at the laptop, sending manuscripts off to a publisher, receiving big checks, getting fabulous starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, hearing from awe-struck fans who loved your book, being interviewed on the Today Show… and reaching the top of the bestseller lists.
And even for those whose dreams are more modest, the vision usually includes writing books and getting them sold to publishers, going through the editing process, and being available for whatever book promotion the publisher wants to do.
Blogging? Sending out newsletters? Maintaining a huge following on Facebook-Pinterest-Twitter-Goodreads? It was never part of the plan.
Many authors decided to give writing a try not only because they felt they had something to say, but to escape a job they don’t love. They love to write, so they figured, why not try to make a living at it?
Only to discover that this job, too, has elements that don’t bear any resemblance to anything they ever wanted to do. They wanted to write — not hawk their books on Internet streetcorners.
You know by now that it’s impossible to be a commercial success as a writer without participating fully in the marketing process. You already know writers need a “platform” regardless of whether they self- or traditionally-publish. You’ve been told over and over again that you need to think of your writing as a business. There’s a good chance you’re not happy about these facts. So how do you come to terms with them? Here are a few ideas.
→ Remember that everyone’s dream job comes with aspects they don’t like or didn’t anticipate. Writers aren’t alone in needing to accept the downsides of their chosen career. No job is perfect.
→ Read books and blogs about book marketing, and choose a small handful of marketing activities on which to focus. Break them down into manageable daily tasks. Don’t try to do everything. Just do something.
→ Keep your writing your #1 priority. Your books themselves will always be your best marketing tool.
→ Attend conferences and other writer events, and commiserate with other writers — but avoid the Negative Nellies. Surround yourself with people who understand what you’re facing, and who can offer encouragement and ideas along with the inevitable venting.
→ Be clear about your goals for your writing. The greater you consider the importance of commercial success, the more you should be concerned about building a platform and participating in marketing. Beware of developing an “entitled” mindset in which you hope for (or expect) commercial success based only on your writing and feel you don’t need to worry about the marketing aspect.
What further ideas do you have for accepting the aspects of being a writer that you didn’t sign up for?
What, you mean your writing dreams didn’t include being a full-time marketer? Click to Tweet.
Many choose writing to escape a job they hate – only writing’s no picnic either. Click to Tweet.
“I didn’t sign up for this.” Accepting the realities of being a writer today. Click to Tweet.