Writing? Marketing? Writing? Marketing?

When I started blogging in earnest last year, I thought I’d share smatterings of my writing, talk about writing issues and have, if I was lucky, maybe half a dozen writing buddies to compare notes with and prop me up during writing crises and National Novel Writing month. Which is pretty much what happened. Thank you, Darksculptures, Dayner, Kathan, and Shaddy for diving into the NaNo challenge with me and serving as both cheerleading squad AND writing team to get us all up and over the 50,000 word top. We done good, huh?

In the last couple of months, a few more bloggers have climbed aboard my regular blogroll and I’m so happy you’ve joined the train. Thank you, disobedient writer, Parrot Writes and Linda Cassidy Lewis for adding so much to the ride.

I’m enjoying the ways K.M. Weiland uses video for her writing hints (and I’ve gotten great help for character-building with her e-book, Crafting Unforgettable Characters) and I love Paper Rats and their new video series on writing.

While I’m beginning to read and comment on lots of other writing blogs, those are my shout-outs for today.

But —

More and more of what I’m reading focuses on marketing, NOT on writing. Which is okay, I guess, but I’m not feeling the love as much as I’d like. (I’m also not at the point in my fiction writing that warrants anything close to marketing, so that may be part of it.)

disobedient writer Kirsten Lesko writes today about the need to network out of your league. It’s a thought-provoking post, and I am duly thought-provoked.

I am starting to read more editor and agent blogs, some of which seem very helpful. The others — eh. I can do without snark and arrogance, and I’m seeing a a fair amount of both.

I don’t seem able to find my niche or my head in marketing blogland yet. I love my friends, but the thought of getting a tweet every time someone goes to Starbucks makes me crazy. And the hairs on the back of my neck stand up when I think about spending time with an electronic megaphone selling myself instead of writing another great American novel.

I’d still like to think, perhaps unrealistically, that my fiction will ultimately stand – or fall – on its own merits and not on the number of Facebook friends, tweets, or blog followers I have.

But I’ve been wrong before.

Thoughts? Inquiring minds want to know….

20 comments to Writing? Marketing? Writing? Marketing?

  • “The thought of getting a tweet every time someone goes to Starbucks makes me crazy.” LOL! Same here.

    I think the most important thing in this whole process is that book. If your head isn’t in marketing right now, don’t get down on yourself. Focus where your gut tells you focus. From the looks of it, it’s the book.

    The only reason I share my marketing experiences is because that’s all I have to offer. I’m in no way trying to tell you that you have to do anything. I figure, all my professional experience is in marketing, most writers hate marketing, so why not give them what I know to lessen the learning curve? I’ll be learning a lot more as my own marketing plans roll out & I plan to hand out all the tools I create/gather/stumble upon along the way to make that journey easier on other writers. I think most of the other blogs that focus on marketing have the same mission.

    Maybe marketing isn’t your thing. Maybe it’s just not your thing right now. Either way, you’re not alone. It’s a balance we all struggle with.

    • Natasha

      Believe me, Kirsten, I am TRULY grateful that you are sharing your marketing experience! I’ve learned a lot of really useful information from your blog. So PLEASE keep it coming!

  • Yeah, that whole twitter things makes my skin crawl too.
    I think I’ve logged onto Facebook maybe three times in the last thirty days–and I have two Facebook pages. 🙁 Also, you’ll notice I don’t link my Facebook with my blog. Most–and I mean most of my family and friends either don’t know I’m writing or don’t care, so I don’t share it with them.
    I’m not ready to market seriously at all, I’m blogging to gain and to offer support. Of course, I’m also very thankful to have gained smart marketing friends in the process. 🙂

    • Natasha

      Same deal with me and most of my family/friends. So it is really important to me to have this little group of writing friends for support, encouragement, laughs, new information, etc. Thanks.

  • I have a long-standing love/hate relationship with Twitter. On Twitter I only follow writers and people in the publishing business, and have made some contacts and followed some great links. But I’ve also wasted time on there. Facebook is just for family and mostly non-writer friends. I don’t log-on to Twitter everyday.

    I’m at the novel querying stage, so I guess that’s at least pre-marketing. But I’m also writing, and doing both is much harder than just writing. My writing is suffering. About three days a week, I decide I’m giving up the goal of publication and just write.

    I, too, would like to believe “my fiction will ultimately stand – or fall – on its own merits” and I guess in the end it will. If your writing is bad, it probably won’t matter how large your “fanbase” is. (Yes, I know not every published book deserves to be.)

    So enjoy the just writing stage as long as you can.

    • Natasha

      Linda — and of course, not every un-published book deserves to be hidden away, either! I am enjoying writing, and I’m enjoying blogging, but as an end in itself and not as a means to an end, i.e. a huge fanbase.

      But if that were to happen that would be okay too. 🙂

  • Good points and questions. I have only thought about marketing in the simplest of terms. I don’t use Twitter, but do have a FB page and have posted the link to my writing blog, but am pretty sure none of my “friends” have looked at it. It is frustrating to spend time and energy writing, and want to share it, but not have the interest from friends and family. That’s where you all come in. The support and encouragement from you is what makes the difference for me. It is exciting to write something to post on my blog because I know my blog friends will read it and comment. The marketing energy is just not there for me right now. Guess I don’t feel I have anything ready yet. Once I think I’m ready, I’ll look at it in earnest. So here’s my question – should I be looking at marketing before I have something to market?? I have no idea how long it will take me to write the novel I am working on. It may take until NaNoWriMo to get enough words together to even work with.

    • Parrot – Getting most of the novel out of the way before marketing aggressively worked best for me.

      I think you’re a giant step ahead of most writers by having a blog with a loyal following at this stage. Personally, I think if you’re open to marketing, it’s never too early to start learning about it (I studied up on it a lot when I had writer’s block so it didn’t impact my writing). But once you’re in the thick of rolling out marketing plans, it’s extremely time consuming & tough to balance.

      There are a million opinions on this – the only one that’s right is the one that works for you.

      • Natasha

        “There are a million opinions on this – the only one that’s right is the one that works for you.” Great line, Kirsten. Stick anything in the ‘this’ place-holder and you’ve got the quintessential universal truth!

    • Natasha

      Exactly, Parrot. The support and encouragement from our writing buddies makes a HUGE difference. It’s kind of a bummer to not have so much interest from others.

      Oh, good, you’re gonna do NaNo!

  • Natasha

    Oh, I’m ABSOLUTELY gonna do NaNo again! I saw the button on someone’s blog. Click on it and it will take you to the site so you add it to your sidebar to if you want.

  • I know I’m jumping in late here, but I’ve been busy.

    As far as marketing goes, I think it is possible to spend too much time trying to market yourself and not enough time writing. After all, isn’t the goal of marketing to help promote your finished book?

    I often wonder if self-promoting too early, or trying to brand yourself before you have a clearly defined niche’, ends up being more harmful than no marketing at all. I read that many publishers have required
    some of their writers to write under a pseudo because their prepublication attempts at marketing actually hurt their marketability more than it helped. But – the novel spoke for itself.

    I’m in for NaNo – I have Seraphim Dragons set aside for November.

    • Natasha

      Glad you jumped in, DS… It’s interesting that some publishers want authors to write under a pseudonym because of bad marketing attempts. I hadn’t heard that.

      Guess that means I should ditch the chicken suit, huh? 🙂

      Oh, and you’re already planning for NaNo!!!

    • Hey Darksculptures – do you have any details on what the authors did to harm their marketability? That’s really interesting feedback.

      • One of the things I remember distinctly was having self-published your first novel and it having flopped or having very low sales numbers. Another was having been represented by an agent who handled your publicity wrong. But there were other things, like a blog that is sloppy and mismanaged, snarky comments made about publishers or agents whom you have queried, the big NO-NO of crying and whining. I’ll see if I can find the article.

        • Natasha

          Well, I can certainly understand the snark thing. I crossed those few editor/agent blogs that topped my snark-threshold off my list. Having self-published a first novel — hmm, I’ll have to think about that one a bit.

  • […] a Twitter account.  But not before I wrestled with all the reasons I didn’t want one.  As Natasha of Nancy Drew Too puts so well, “The thought of getting a Tweet every time someone goes to Starbucks makes me […]

  • Interestingly, marketing is my professional background. Marketing communications, to be specific. But for me, my blog stands as a place where I can express myself…I’ve said it before, but when I started it, it was a HUGE risk for me, since much of my personal writing had been hidden for many years from most eyes. So for me to write or say anything in public, with no control over who saw it, was a major risk for me.

    If my blog markets my writing in some way, fine. But I don’t really think my KathinInk. blog functions as that type of tool.

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