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...