Marketing! Here’s a tip: it does NOT mean hanging around markets. No siree. DON’T make the same mistake I did. Markets are harsh, inhospitable places, where desperate marketeers lurk, and try to sell you knickers for a pound. It’s TRUE. Or am I thinking of gulags? ANYWAY. Marketing: NOT ABOUT GOING TO A MARKET. You’re WELCOME.
The marketing of which I speak is to do with making something/someone attractive to potential customers, and that’s a really very over-simplified way of putting it, but, you see, I’m not an expert, and I should think that was obvious just from my opening paragraph. The reason marketing is on my mind at the moment is that as a writer, and a self-published one at that, I SHOULD be able to market myself more effectively. I should be fucking AWESOME at it. I’d be selling MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of books by now if I was. I’d be flicking Vs at J K Rowling and shitting all over her profit margins if I could switch on the part of my brain that governed the marketing skillz gland, or whatever it is you need to be good at marketing. It is genetic, right? It’s much more convenient for me if it’s a genetic default that means I’m shit at marketing and not just my sheer ineptitude.
I am shit at marketing. The product is me and my writing. I am shit at promoting me and my writing. I am AMAZED when I get anything done, cos, quite frankly, I am sitting here waiting for it to all fall into my lap. I should be OUT THERE*, pimping myself to bookish people who might just give me the break I need which means I can make a living from this stuff.
Here is an example of how shit at marketing I am: I recently submitted a script to the BBC Writer’s Room. I had to fill in a form. There was a section on the form urging me to share any interesting and relevant information about myself. I left it blank. I’M AN IDIOT. I left it BLANK. My exact thought process was, ‘I have nothing interesting or relevant about myself to add here’. I AM A TOTAL WASTE OF BRAIN. Only now, DAYS later, do I know I could’ve mentioned my books, my MA in Creative Writing, my blog, my Twitter profile, ANYTHING in fact, that would give the BBC Writer’s Room readers an insight into me as a person, and as a marketable resource. Leaving it blank says fuck all. Or, indeed, it says I’M A TWAT.
Is it actually a part of my brain that instantly discredits my own capabilities and therefore sabotages any notion of myself as a worthwhile commodity that makes me do such stupid twatty stuff? I dunno. I can’t get over the fact that, at some level, I NEED to promote myself in some way – other than larking about on social media sites, which, to be fair, is somewhat successful, and better than doing nowt – and I can feel that familiar creeping worm of self-doubt burrowing into my ear and hissing, ‘Yeah but you don’t have a clue, mate. You can’t market yourself cos a) you’re crap and b) you haven’t got the marketing skillz gland and c) you’re crap. Go hide under a rock’. Bastard self-doubt. I’m sure I can’t be the only one who sees writers/bloggers on Twitter or wherever with their shiny self-promotional tweets and wonder how just HOW do they do it? How do they KNOW this stuff? And if they know THAT, what ELSE do they know? I don’t know where to start. I don’t have a clue. I write, I publish, I write a bit more, I publish again, I wait for it to all fall into my lap. Like a twat.
So. Marketing. It takes time, and effort, and patience, and surely, skillz. It means making myself just a bit more visible to the right people. It also means not assuming everything I’ve ever done is shit and pointless and vacuous and arse. Right?
How do you market yourself as a writer/blogger? Is it something you spend a lot of time on?
*if anyone can tell me where ‘out there’ is located, I’d be eternally grateful