You’re washing your face in the bathroom sink. The warm water makes a pleasant gurgle as it swirls down the drain. It’s California, so you don’t run the water too long.
Suddenly, the water reverses course, and comes up out of the drain. Thinking quickly, you shut off the tap. No good. The water is gray and malicious, and soon the sink is full. It stops filling before the water spills over the edge, but just barely.
So? What do you do? The sink is full, which means the pipes under the sink are full. Are you a plumber?
In my household, I would attempt to fix it, would flood the bathroom, and never hear the end of it from my wife and teenaged daughter.
“Why don’t you just call a plumber?”
“I can fix it, honey! See, it’s just a… oh.”
Slosh, gush. Gaglub, gaglub, gaglub.
“Nice going, Dad.”
You’re a writer. You know how it is. We write, you and I. Unless you’re a marketing writer, the whole business of promotion and publicity is outside our bailiwick.
So, here we are in the world of self-publishing. I did all the work – I wrote Droppington Place, I edited it, had it read and ignored by family and friends, I published it, I created a Facebook page for Phineas Caswell, I opened a website, PhineasCaswell, and I even bought a book about Dummies marketing on Facebook.
So far, I’ve sold 4 copies of the book – three to people I know and one that might actually be legit.
By day, I’m a technical writer/illustrator. I do what I do because I enjoy it, and am good at it. I’m not a plumber, although I do get my hands wet upon occasion. But, I am a miserable excuse for a plumber.
So, my writer friend, must it be true with marketing. Here we are in the most freewheeling, enabled, and unshackled time in history for writers – dude, anyone could read your book right now! – but are fettered at the gate of success by a lack of time and marketing knowhow.
The answer is to let the plumbers plumb and the marketers market. The answer is the same as it always was: do what you do best. If you need the help of a specialist, for goodness sake, hire the specialist! Unless you can do your own dentistry.
As for me, I’ve got to fix this sink before my wife gets home… it’ll all be done and she won’t even know I did it myself until I tell her!
Crack. Gaglu, gaglug, gaglug…