Monday, January 7, 2013

The Many Hats of a Writer

I’ve been writing stories since the fourth grade, maybe even before that. I read a bunch even as a kid, so I knew that spelling and punctuation were important. It did take me a few years to figure out that rewriting what I first put on the paper was a good idea. All in all, it was fairly easy for me to include the ideas of editor, copy editor and proofreader under the hat of writer.
Then I started trying to get my stuff published, and that brought new hats. I had to research agents and markets. Research and submitting wasn’t a difficult job – portions were similar to my day job – but it did take time away from actually writing, and I had to periodically squash the resentment that cropped up. Still, it needed to be done, so I did it.
Then MoonPhaze started publishing my stories, and I suddenly needed to add a new hat to my wardrobe – marketer.
They tell me there was a time when writers didn’t need to market their own stuff. It’s just another hat for authors to wear these days, and I think a new writer’s success depends a great deal on how good a marketer they are, not how good a writer they are.
I have no background in marketing. I don’t have any idea how to get started in this field. I have read books and blogs by other authors, watched youtube videos on marketing. The youtube videos I’ve watched so far all seem to be ads for companies who want to sell you their services. The books seem to be out of date. The blogs seem to be internet-centric, and want me to spend all my time doing internet things; tweaking my blog site, my website, my pinterest boards, doing the social network thing, tweeting … a whole long list.
Be on my social networks several times a day? I’m not great at small talk, so what do you suggest I say? Especially since this is supposed to be part of my marketing plan. I can’t go on Facebook 3 times a day and just say, “Have you read my latest story yet?” People would quickly unfriend me, and I wouldn’t blame them.
Also, the more time I spend trying to get my name in front of potential readers by tweaking my presence on the internet, the less time I have to write. It seems a vicious circle; if I don’t write, I have nothing to market. If I follow this advice on marketing, I have no time to write, and soon would have nothing to market.
Marketing may be just one more hat for authors to wear these days, but it’s not a hat I care for. Maybe I’ll get used to it, in time.

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