A Rant about Marketing

This is technically Part II of this post, which ended with the thought that if you’re not on social media sites, but if you have something that you would like to promote and sell (like writing, music, or art), you’re at a disadvantage.

To successfully market a product today (any kind of product), you have to be on social media, at least in some capacity, simply because the majority of the world is on social media. By “social media,” I mean sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. A blog is technically social media, but I have a strong feeling that most people today don’t read blogs unless said blog is super popular. They would prefer to look at pretty pictures and moving images instead, which is why we have a proliferation of GIFs and even YouTube trailers for upcoming books, but I digress.

Anyway… it’s commonly acknowledged in most writing/publishing guides that writers are not the most social creatures in the world and thus not necessarily the most ebullient promoters. But to be successful (i.e., sell a significant number of copies [i.e., any number greater than 100]), you have no choice but to promote, and today, that means social media.

I apologize in advance because I have no advice on promoting/marketing your work, so this post is pretty much a rant about selling things. I am the worst salesperson in the history of the planet, especially when it comes to my own work. Back when I was in Girl Scouts, I failed fantastically at selling those delicious cookies because I was (and am) horribly shy, and marketing/sales has always seemed evil to me because a lot of the time, the marketer is trying to convince the potential seller to buy something he doesn’t need.

Maybe it’s because I’m not a big buyer of stuff in the first place. I always feel awkward when I think about eventually selling my book because I rarely buy books, and I even more rarely buy new books (this includes e-books). So it doesn’t feel fair to ask people to buy my books when I don’t even buy books myself.

So my problem isn’t social media, but selling and promotion in general. I always tell myself that when it comes time to promote or sell or market my book that I’m going to try to get away with doing as little as possible, and I will not have any sales goals. I may just put the book out there for free. Or, if I have the fortune to win the lottery, I will pay a marketing company to manage all that promotion stuff for me. They can handle Facebook and all the rest of it. 🙂

In short, I write for fun, and I don’t care about promotion, even though that seems to be the most commonly followed course: You write something, then you try to get some money out of it ’cause money makes the world go ’round.

How do you feel about promoting your work?