Yesterday, I attended the Ozark Romance Authors meeting. Local author, Beth Carter, was the speaker and her topic was Marketing.
It seems that, as writers, we shy away from marketing and Beth talked about this in her presentation. We're a bit reticent to even say, "I wrote a book," fearing maybe that eyes will roll and we'll be dismissed as "that dreamy type." Now, we all see the television ads from lawyers, or lawyer/surgeons, window installers, roofers, insect removal services, the best chef on the planet, etc. We take all that in and we don't think another thing about it as far as relating it to writing. In fact, Beth mentioned yesterday that in her 20-year career in marketing, working for a bank and then for a hospital, that she never saw that type of reticence in any field, except for the writing field. She's worked with and for doctors, bankers, attorneys, all types of professionals who just love to promote themselves and their work and are not shy about doing so at all.
She said something yesterday that put it all in perspective for me. Beth said, "Marketing is not bragging." And she made us all say it three times. Marketing is not bragging.
It's a simple statement.
At the same time, it's astounding.
And, it's empowering.
Beth talked about "targeted marketing." In other words, know your target audience, and market to that audience specifically. A Facebook post leads to a Twitter tweet, a blogpost to a website, leads to a mass email list, leads to asking for reviews on your book, leads to a booth at a county festival, on and on, the list is endless. Probably the most important advice from Beth here is to think outside the bookstores.
We, as writers, have so many opportunities to market ourselves and gain credibility to get the attention of an editor or agent. The internet, technology, it's amazing and it puts us anywhere, everywhere, for that matter.
Marketing is critical for the writer. And remember what Beth said, "Marketing is not bragging."
At the end of her presentation, Beth had all of us sign a Marketing Pledge, which I thought was a really clever and unique way to end the presentation. I learned a lot from Beth yesterday and I'm going to put what I learned to use as I continue on this writing road.
How about you? How are you marketing your work?
All quotes, advice and references given remain the property of Beth Carter. Beth graciously gave me permission to restate her words, "Marketing is not bragging," as well as using other pieces of her presentation.