I have a book coming out. I’m trying not to be obnoxious about it, but this blog is about my life as a writer. And right now that life is consumed by my novel. I’m self-publishing, and those of you who’ve gone that route know what it’s like to realize just how much you have to do to get a book ready for primetime, so to speak, and then wake up the next morning and realize there’s about a hundred more things you have to do that you hadn’t even though of. So forgive me if I keep bringing it up.
This week’s anxiety-sponsored ramblings revolve around everyone’s favorite part of the writing process: marketing.* Is there anyone out there who got into writing with the lifelong dream of platform building and putting together a market strategy? If there are, God bless you, but for me, it’s been the most stressful part of the process. I’ve been mulling over the options: a grassroots blog-based campaign, a subtle “coming-soon” style buzz-builder, maybe even hiring a professional. Right now, I’m considering possibly the most revolutionary of all marketing strategies:
Not marketing at all.
Why do we do this? Writing, I mean. What’s the drive, the endgame? Is it the money? There’s lots of easier and quicker ways to make money. Is it to be read? Maybe. But why? Is it because a book isn’t really complete until someone reads it, or is it so people can tell you how great you are? I’ll be honest: I’d love to hear people tell me how great I am while cashing checks with more zeros than the Republican primary field. But is that what drives me? No.
Somewhere in the universe, there’s at least one person who’s going to buy my book (or borrow it, or pirate it, whatever) and who’s going to fall madly in love with it. I’m not saying it’s great; she may be the only person in the world who even likes it, who even buys a copy, but for whatever reason, she’ll love it. That’s who I’m writing for.**
I don’t need a glossy ad campaign or a marketing strategy design to penetrate every last corner of the web. If this elusive reader exists, and I’m sure she*** does, then the book’ll find her, or she’ll find it. She might even feel she “discovered” it.
And that’s fine by me.
*seriously, where’s that sarcasm font?
**this sentence is so blatantly incorrect, I know, but the alternative is, “That’s for whom I’m writing.” And who wants to read that shit?
*** or ‘he’. Just trying to keep it simple.