Living Outside The Box Born-Again Techo-Geek Renaissance Man

12Oct/150

Marketing And Self-Promotion

For me, marketing is a something of a sticking point. As a general rule, I don't like marketing, for several reasons. Usually it's because they're trying to sell something that nobody needs.

So when I think "how can I reach more people" my first response is "Oh God, I'm becoming a marketer!"

But it's a question I have to start thinking about now if I'm ever going to consider writing for a living. I don't like screaming for attention, but in person, I tend to... how shall I say this... stick out in a crowd. I like interacting with people, but I don't see that as marketing. Why?

Because it's a two-way street. It's communication, not an advertisement. And advertisements annoy me because they assume they know what you want, when in fact 99% of the time they have no idea. But with communication, I can ask questions and adjust the conversation to suit that particular interest, or maybe segue into a related topic.

So how does that apply to the writer? Of course, we want people to read our work. But we don't want to come across as pushy. Because, let's be honest, we're just writers. Not everybody can be Steven King. Can a "regular" writer still write good books that are entertaining? I believe so.

I was discussing the merits of a personal blog with some fellow writers, and it got me thinking. The purpose of a blog is to interact with people. Of course, you could just post updates and call it a day, but you really don't need a blog for that. You can just use your Amazon author page to post updates.

No, with a blog, you can cross-pollinate with other writers. You can ask for feedback from your readers. You can tailor your posts to suit your audience. You can offer things that a simple author's page won't have.

One of the people I respect a lot as an author (and just a generally cool guy) is Larry Correia. He's not just a writer- he posts tidbits of things on his blog that give people insights on who he is, how he thinks, and things that tie into his books in one way or another, which is to say, things his fans would probably be interested in.

If I wrote books that were heavy in spiritual content, it would obviously follow that I'd write about spiritual things here. If my books were very sci-fi and technical, then of course I'd want to post articles that discussed those things.

You see, Larry's not just a good writer. His blog develops his brand. It's the whole package. He doesn't just push his books, he pushes the world his books take place in. You feel like you want to be part of it. As his Blog title suggests, it's the Monster Hunter Nation, putting the emphasis on his blog being for his fans.

Some people come to my blog for fitness advice. Some come here for technical advice, or musical things, or for spiritual insights on current events. Still others are interested in when the heck am I going to finish my next book? (you people know who you are!)

I want to provide things here that people want to see. Not because I want to push myself or hawk my books. But I want to develop fans who are people interested in the same kinds of things I am. I want to be able to offer things that people like. Could my book series ever get big enough that people would want t-shirts and cards from it? I don't know, but those are the kinds of people I like. The ones who say "You know what, if they offered a shirt with the Majestic Sojourner on it, I'd wear that."

So this means I need to write. I need to keep creating worlds and characters that connect with people, that resonate with the kinds of things that drive me, that I'm passionate about. All those words are still tucked away in my brain. I need to write, and set them free. Then I will truly have people understand the worlds inside my head, and people who like them will stick around.

So... back to writing. I just hammered out 1,000 words. Got more to come.

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

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