Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Murder of Marketing

There is a future in self publishing. If nothing else, self publishing gives you almost complete control over your books. However, it comes with a heavy price. Marketing. I feel like I am constantly drowning, trying to prove that I am a real author without being published. Only a few people know that I have always been a writer at heart.

I should start saying my blood type is ink.

I can't survive *not* writing. I *really* don't like trying to prove this to other people, in part, because I must prove to myself that writing is a legitimate career, and that I am a real writer, even though I am not yet published. CBMusicworks (husband) tries to remind me all the time that I am, in fact, a writer. He tells people that his wife is a writer. This still boggles my mind. I fall into my complex of "Who's really going to believe that I have what it takes to do what I love?"

Why is that? What is it that makes me have such low confidence?

I can only answer part of that question. The first part has to do with the many roles I must play in my life.

My writer's role wars with my mother's role, and sometimes with my wife's role. My writer's role wars with just about everything else most people think of as "normal" in society.

It requires me to be alone a lot, which at the moment, is nigh impossible. It requires more money than I have to actually do location research and beyond. *sigh* It requires me to bear my soul, to strangers.

It requires me to write alone after writing with my co-writer for 10 years. This is a requirement because I want to publish and my co-writer does not. My co-writer is my muse. I will never give him up, but I do need to expand my horizons.

So why the low confidence? It's a matter of exploring the unknown. I like taking risks, but I am very cautious about which risks I take. However, I am getting better at just plugging my nose and diving into the deep end.

This year I have gained a lot of confidence after doing NaNoWriMo two years in a row, and finding my footing in social networking a little more. I am finding new and exciting ways to do location research. I am diligently working on a novel that takes place (finally) in the world I have been wanting to write. Also, I am beginning to not fear feedback as much. *shudder* I am posting some of my short stories, which are similar in flavor to my novel in progress. This is frightening because it opens myself up to that terrifying feedback.

Overall, it's a journey, and I love to travel in all forms. And because I now have a new dream for how to get my writer's retreat; here's my little plug for Amtrak's new plan to have Writers in Residence on their trains. How cool is that!? I want to make this happen so much! I love trains and this would be *perfect*.

My writing will always be a part of me. I look forward to sharing with the rest of the world someday, but I'll still be taking some baby steps along that path for awhile. More importantly, I will be struggling along the path in my own way. There won't be many people who can tell me how to make my book(s) happen. I get too overwhelmed with the extreme number of options out there. Along with my novel(s), I have to make this marketing thing up as I go along.

I'll leave you with some words of wisdom on marketing and choosing a publisher avenue from Lynn Viehl and the National Novel Writing Month Blog.

"How you pick your pub is a business decision, not an illustration of your character, a demonstration of your ego, or a yardstick to size your IQ. If you view publication as an industry (which it is) you’re basically opting to either work with an established company (traditional) or set up your own business (independent.) My advice is to set your priorities, educate yourself, choose what’s right for you and stick with it—like a pit bull, in cleats." - Lynn Viehl  Since her debut in 2000, New York Times bestselling author Lynn Viehl has published 47 novels in 8 genres, and is the host of Paperback Writer, a popular publishing industry weblog featuring writing advice, market info and free resources for writers. 

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