Marketing is a Misnomer


Earth to dummy, come in, dummy. Earth to dummy, come in, dummy…

Marketing your book…and, you’re not the dummy, by the way, it’s me…anyway, marketing your book isn’t marketing it at all. Marketing is just a term, a word, meant to scare the living pants off of the weak and timid squirrelly-minded folks not blessed with an iron resolve. I used to have an iron doorstop, but it rusted and ruined my carpet. Just like the word marketing can ruin your efforts to sell your book.

You are not a marketer. You, my friend, are a writer. And, even though there are some pretty good marketing writers, and you might be one, you are a novelist first and foremost, and through and through.

But, gee, Mr. Wizard, if I don’t market my book, however am I to sell enough copies to retire in Provence and grow grapes. Well, Skippy, I’m glad you asked.

We are not marketers, you and I. We are publicists. Publicist. Has a much more noble ring, don’t it?  We are not marketing our work, pandering to the common masses as if we were hawking corn flakes. Marketing is a highly specialized field, filled with buzzwords and jargon and MBAs. Not newbie nimrods like you and me. Well, me.

All seriousness aside, isn’t your goal to sell your book to people who want to read it? You didn’t do all that work just to sell a dust jacket, did you? To be on the close-out aisle at Barnes and Noble?

No, no, no.  That’s the province of the marketer.

You, you write your WordPress blog, you have your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+. You are spreading the word through your social media, which is good.

But, you are preaching to one hundredth of one percent of your future readers. If I sold a book to every reader of this blog the total would come to three…four if I buy one, but, really, I’ve already read it.

Your book is not its own entity. Your book is you…that must become your mantra. I am my book. My book is me.

Although it’s filled with beautiful imagery and breathtaking passages, it all comes to naught if no one knows about it. About you.

So, begone knock-kneed marketing fool, and be welcome, sophisticated publicist…

Okay, so, like, what now?

Well, what does a publicist do? Publicists bring their clients an opportunity to talk, to build interest in the book.  A publicist sails the seas of opportunity, thinking in new and different ways about how to get you noticed. The notice turns into a chance to talk, which turns into public curiosity about your book, which turns into sales, which turns into grape arbors in your front yard. See how easy it is?

So, that is the task for you and me – I include myself because you shouldn’t have to do this on your own: we will become publicists, but not for our books. For ourselves. You and I will get the world interested in us…so interested that they will clamor to buy our novels. And that clamor, my friend, might just bring you your own estate-bottled chardonnay.