Friday, May 05, 2006

Writing is synonymous with marketing

This week, Richard Hoy presented us with his second installment of online marketing information. As before, it's really good, useful information - even for writers!

Or, should I say, especially for writers. He definitely addresses his audience's needs, by discussing the benefits of online marketing to an author who would like to sell his or her books online. With this goal in mind, he explains the principles of building a web site, spending a good deal of the discussion on creating copy that will pick up keyword searches. The article includes an excellent link that will help anyone develop SEO materials, whether for their website or not (I bookmarked the link, myself). And he also focuses part of his article on blogging.

Speaking of his section on blogging, I have one comment on what Richard Hoy has to say. He claims that free blog services don't allow you to publish the blog on your own site's URL, but I know that actually isn't true: I use Blogger, a free blogging service, and it did give me the option to publish the blog to my own URL. So, even if you want the blog to appear on a URL of your choice, you can still save your pennies by working with a free blogging service.

Now, as for the marketing thing - I imagine some of you newbie writers are wetting your pants at the thought that being a writer might require marketing. It's such a stereotype: the shy, almost hermit-like writer, hiding behind her pen and her books. Well, in these days, it would be her computer screen and her books; and, also in these days, it might seem more possible than ever, given the fact that the internet gives more opportunity for communication with less requirements for interaction.

But, realistically, being a writer does require a lot of marketing and interaction, and you're an idiot if you think otherwise. Someone has to promote your work, and unless you're sitting on a gold mine, who do you think is going to do it besides you? Yes, a lot of it can be done online - websites, blogs, emails, advertisements, and the like. However, there will still be times when you'll need to follow up with a reluctant contact with a phone call, interview someone over the phone or in person; and if the muses are kind to you, and you one day publish the book you've always dreamed about, you won't be able to just sit back and watch the cash flow in - there will be book signings, readings, and talks, all to sell that book that you became a recluse in order to write.

Trust me, this all doesn't - and won't - come naturally to me. I was painfully shy throughout my childhood, and I still can recognize my "shyness tendencies" showing through from time to time. But the way I figure it, my dream was to be a writer, and facing periodic challenges to my comfort zones is just part of the trials I need to endure to achieve my dream.

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