An Intriguing Way to Look at Book Promotion
October 24, 2013 | 2:15 pm
By Joanna Cabot
In this morning’s links, there was a great article from Digital Book World which talks about the role of the writer in today’s marketplace. Marketer Rob Eagar asserts that there is no such thing as an “author” anymore. Rather, there are “people who write stuff they want other people to buy”—aka salespeople. He makes the often-made point that if you want to be financially successful as a writer, you can’t ignore book promotion. In his words, “you cannot afford to separate selling from the writing process. As you learn the craft of writing, you must also learn the craft of selling.”
Fair enough. I’ve made this point myself on more than one occasion, to mostly silence and crickets chirping, because many authors have this misconception that anything which takes time away from the ‘writing’ is outside of what they should be expected to do. But here is where I loved Eagar’s article: he refreshingly looks at just what this book promotion entails specifically:
“Selling your book means writing effective newsletters, blog posts, short stories, free resources, social media posts, word-of-mouth tools, magazine articles, etc. If you’re truly a writer, then these types of promotional activities should be in your wheelhouse.”
Bravo, Rob Eagar! I love this little paradigm shift. If promotion can be achieved by writing more stuff, than isn’t that exactly the role of the writer? Shouldn’t writers learn not to fear these activities as much as they do now?
I’d love to see something on Coursera or iTunes which teaches this sort of promotional writing not in a huckster-ish sales and business context, but in the context of just another genre of writing, with rules a writer can learn to follow the same way they can learn to follow the rules for mystery writing, or romance writing, or science fiction.