Reading over NINCs newsletter and came across the section about bad productivity advice. It’s striking how so much of the advice given can be ‘bad’ for one person and great for another.
‘You should write everyday’ – unless you’re a burst writer
‘You should outline’ – unless your a discovery writer or plantser.
‘You should write only when the muse hits you’ – okay, that one’s pretty damn bad if you want to be a full-time author.
‘You need to release a book every month/quarter/year’ – except there are exceptions, and some people aren’t looking to be full-time.
‘You should not edit’ – except not everyone is a good first draft writer.
‘You should work only on one project at a time / work on multiple projects’ – which is it, people!
And so on, so forth. Writing advice is somewhat strange since people / writers have different processes. A lot of writing is figuring out what the process is for you, at that time. Because, here’s a tip – your process and what works for you at that moment will change. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.
It’s also partly why I hate delving into craft topics. There’s very little good craft advice that works for everyone, all the time. Well, other than the – you need to write.
On the other hand, marketing is something everyone has to do.
I hear from successful people who talk about how they don’t do marketing. Often, what they mean is that they don’t do paid advertising. Whether you like it or not, if you have a product out there, you’re doing marketing. Every decision leading up to it hits the 4P’s in Marketing.
What might, and often is, happening is that the decisions being made aren’t done on a systematic basis.
No, but I really don’t do marketing!
Do you have a book out? Is it in ebook? Paperback? Hardcover? How about large print? Why, why not? (You just made some product packaging decisions there. Sorry).
Are you in Kindle Unlimited? Wide? Are you using distributors like Draft2Digital or Publishdrive? Or webnovel apps? (Sorry, you just made distribution decisions there – Place in the 4P’s).
What did you price it at? Is it free? Do you do promotional pricing sometimes? (Do I have to say it? Pricing).
Oh, but I meant I don’t do promotions. But you do have a website. A FB page. A twitter account. You had it up on Kickstarter and mentioned it there. You do mention you write to people, right? (promotional places and in-person sales – promotional decisions all).
Just because you eschew paid promotions doesn’t mean you’re not choosing to promote. You might be choosing to do low cost promo, or doing more subtle or long-term promo, or more limited promotions. But you’re still making a choice of HOW to promote and why.
Marketing happens, whether you make those decisions consciously or not.
I personally think you should have some conscious strategy to it. But hey, some people have managed to hit it big WITHOUT it. Sometimes, you just get lucky.
For those of us wanting more consistent results though… spend some time thinking about it.
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