Saturday, October 03, 2009

Marketing

I rang my mum this morning. 'Have you been writing?' she asked, her usual question. Well, no, I had to reply, at the moment I'm marketing. There was a little silence and then she said, 'What on earth do you do when you're "marketing"?' Honestly, I could hear the inverted commas! And you know, I did feel a bit sheepish: isn't the truth really that when I'm thinking about such things as promoting a new book I can't concentrate on writing, rather than that I don't have the time? This is the guilty thought - and sense of literary inadequacy - I usually carry around with me, but then spelling out for my mother precisely what I've been doing in the past 3 weeks or so made me realize how much time marketing does take up, thus:

A day at least, and maybe more (by the time I had emailed everyone with drafts and worked on the adjustments they suggested) designing a poster and leaflets for the Didsbury Arts Festival reading.

An afternoon buying a colour printer to print it out, and then working out how to use it.

Equivalent of a whole morning altogether delivering said poster and leaflets.

Much of one afternoon making phone calls to try and organize launches for Too Many Magpies.

Another afternoon designing a poster for Too Many Magpies requested by a bookshop, and then delivering it.

Two afternoons, I'd say, emailing bloggers to inform them of publication, and emailing Salt with resulting requests for review copies.

A morning writing a press release for the local press and sending it out.

A morning disrupted by talking to a journalist who contacted me as a result, and sending her pictures.

A whole day, more or less, racking my brains for the two quizzes/profile pieces she also asked me to do for the paper.

Probably about three hours altogether packing up copies for contacts and going to the post office and waiting in the queue with them.

A whole afternoon working out how to make a podcast.

An afternoon making podcasts for my page on the Salt website.

And - this is the biggie - countless hours on the web, making a FaceBook group and FaceBook events, organizing a GoodReads giveaway, uploading photos, blogging and generally promoting - not to mention the way you get sidetracked into more general and extremely enjoyable web chat while you're at it!

And I've got a feeling there are other things that I've failed to recall...

8 comments:

Andrew Philip said...

"And I've got a feeling there are other things that I've failed to recall... "

Let alone the awful feeling there are other things you've failed to do ...

Or even know you were supposed to do ...

Elizabeth Baines said...

Eek, Andrew!

Tania Hershman said...

Oh yes, I know the feeling! Your head is stuck in "how can I sell the book? how can I sell the book?" mode... I don't know how any of us are supposed to write as well as all this. Sounds like you are doing brilliantly though!

Elizabeth Baines said...

Yup, that old dilemma, Tania!

SueG said...

Yes, this all sounds right, and very familiar. No doubt about it -- marketing is a huge job and I know when I was really in the throes of it for Tangled Roots, I could barely think of anything else, no less write about it. I've read that some authors say they devote an entire year to marketing when a book comes out, with the understanding all around that no new writing will happen. I think this falls into the category of "be careful what you wish for..." :-) But regardless, I'm so happy for you and can't wait to read it!

Elizabeth Baines said...

Ah well, Sue - at least we get some other skills, and get out and about a bit, eh? ( I do enjoy it all, actually, I have to say!)

Debi said...

It's taken me a week to get here but the air round this post is still crackling with energy! So pleased this is happening for you.

Elizabeth Baines said...

Thank you, Debi! I am just so indebted to Salt...