To Market or to the Supermarket?

Quite a few of the blogs I’ve been reading lately have been geared toward the ultimate goal of marketing one’s book. It’s pretty much a given that, in order to sell, the writer must have a good foundation in terms of a marketing platform. I agree. I’ve not yet published my fiction or poetry nor have decided to go indie. Yet. I’m working on my platform.

Creating a platform brings up all sorts of issues, concepts and creativity. Thought you were just writing a book about how two adolescent vampires fell in love at the local blood drive? Wrong. Have you taken pictures, of predetermined pixels, that show the macabre fog rolling into the local undertaker’s house behind the parish cemetery? Did you interview Mrs. Ross, the last in the lineage of experts in Pennsylvania-not Transylvania’s- vampyres? (Watch the spelling here). Have you attended your town’s Mom and Pop bookstore for the last four book signings and made friends while also observing to see the strengths and weaknesses of the event? Wait. I almost forgot. Have you been blogging consistently? Have you gone onto others’ blog spots? Have you signed up on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and now, Bublish? Good. But did you make comments? If you have done all of these things you may be on your way.

My first real attempt at multitasking was in my first year of college. My summer math instructor suggested we take our books to the beach. He said we didn’t have to miss the sun, sand and waves just because we were memorizing formulas. The truth is that I dropped the course and swam instead. But it was an introduction to making life work. Later on during my graduate degree, I wrote the requisite paper on the roles I embody as a woman. I was proud to make the list of who I was at any given point during the day and night. Now, I prefer to take a breath and not be everything to everybody. I grew up a little bit. I think everyone around me is glad, too.

As I’ve written, I’ve just re-gutted my novel. I love the changes. My interaction with a prospective agent who made some suggestions really helped. I’d signed up and attended a pitch conference-yes, another possible way to develop your platform- and met with an agent who took some of her very precious time for me and a novel I’ve come to love. The larger piece of this is that I’ve been listening and learning by all the networking, commenting, and participating in various social marketing endeavors.

To market or go to the supermarket is a very real conflict that many of us writers have. With careful scheduling of time, money and self we can do more than we think is possible. The saying “First do the necessary, then the possible, soon you’ll be doing the impossible” rings in my ears as I write this. Carry on, writers! Enjoy. All of it!

Where have you freed yourself as a writer, in terms of marketing? How do you get it all done? Or have you decided not even to try?