When it comes to marketing, there’re two fundamental issues. 1) The work NEEDS to get done. 2) The work is ancillary to our REAL work.
We are writers—storytellers or informers. Our work is to research, write, craft, and polish our work, and then submit and/or publish our written products. Marketing those products is how we are compensated for our work—it’s not our work itself.
Even someone like me, who is a trained marketer and does marketing to supplement my other writing income, will downgrade the perceived priority of my marketing work in the face of a crushing deadline. Considering I’ve spent most of the last few months running into deadlines like they were massive brick walls, I haven’t done nearly as much marketing work as I should have.
The thing is, if you have a column idea or a story or an article or a novel or a book, but you’re not doing the marketing necessary to get it into the market, then what’s the point?
I know it’s a balancing act. I understand that the love-work drives us, whereas the marketing is something most of us would just as soon live without. But the point is that our careers won’t live without the marketing. We could—if we had the money—hire the best marketing team in the world, but we’d still be left planning, directing, and otherwise shaping what they did. And since most of us don’t have that kind of money and because, even if we did, what we really want is a relationship with our readers, we’re left with a lot more of the marketing workload placed directly on our overflowing plates.
However much we’d rather ignore it, that’s really a good thing. You’re not selling a story or an article, a novel or a book; you’re selling yourself as a storyteller or an informer. You are your greatest marketing asset! So, you need to balance that workload and find a way to make it work. And so do I.