Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Marketing Me


I’m certainly no expert. But after five years of owning a store, I like to think I know a little about merchandising and marketing.


And that includes marketing me as a writer.


I’ve got this plan—it’s been a long range one but it’s there nevertheless. When I started writing, I had no credits which meant no credibility. Like a buyer who walks into a store and sees empty store shelves, if a publisher were to walk in and take a look at me, they wouldn’t see much of who I am or what I sell.


So in the past four plus years, I’ve been working at getting myself out there. First, I started writing for anything to get my credits built up. I wanted a nice resume to show when I submitted to the larger companies. I wrote and submitted until I finally picked up some better product to add to my shelf.


I have written two romance books at different times in my life with two different word counts so I can submit them more places. Now I’m working on a woman’s contemporary fiction that will give me a wider spread to market it rather than only to the romance publishers. I also hope it will give an agent a better sense of what I can do.


Finally, I’ve gotten my blog going and I just set up my Web site. I try to stay active on Face book and keep up with my e-mails and responses to others. I love doing that but it’s still a nice easy way to let others know I write.


Marketing takes time but it also means adding new product to your shelves. What have you recently added to yours?
(The picture is from Paradise, Tunk. PA. Thanks to Patti who owns it and is also my former partner. If you ever get a chance to go through NE PA, stop in and say hello!)

22 comments:

Jan Cline said...

So true. You are working hard and I know you will reap the rewards. I am wondering if I should have a website just for writing. It takes a lot of thought to get all your ducks in a row.

Cindy said...

Sounds like you're working productively toward building a platform and getting the word out about you and your books. Great job!

I only started attempting any of this at the beginning of the year so I feel like I am so far behind. But every little bit helps and I am learning to let God help lead me to the right places and the best avenues for marketing and promoting.

Jill Kemerer said...

I want to go shopping in your picture--too cute!

You've got it right. This business isn't just about the writing. You've taken it to a new level and should be so proud! I can't wait to hear you got "the call"!

Ginger said...

Sounds like you really have a great plan in place. I agree with Jan...a website would be another great way to put your name out there.

Kristen Painter said...

I'm working on a novella so that I have something shorter to put on my "bookshelf."

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

I just returned from a writer's retreat in PA where I had not cell phone or Internet access. I was on vacation at the beach the week before that. So my blogs have suffered and I'm still trying to get back into the swing of things. The airline lost my luggage and rerouted me to a different city on the way home so that has caused some issues. I've lost one follower on my blog as a result, but gained a few followers on Twitter. Now that my debut novel, Highland Blessings, will be out next year, I trying to inch my way into doing some public speaking and workshops. Marketing is hard, and it's a never-ending endeavor.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Oh, Terri, I'd love to hear more about how we can market ourselves, or build our readership. For instance, how did you get into writing for the Chicken Soup for the Soul books?

I'm in this very process now, trying to become marketable. Seems so excruciatingly difficult for a nobody like me.

Contest is one way I've heard of to build credits by finalling and winning. But what else is there for a fiction writer? How do drive people to our blogs? etc.

Warren Baldwin said...

I started blogging b/c of the book I have coming out. Then someone said add FB, and after resisting for a considerable period of time, I did. I have articles in a number of journals. Hope all this helps! Sounds like you are on track!

Jeanette Levellie said...

Terri: Wow, I am so impressed with your forethought! You are doing an excellent job.

These things take time, but the benefits will be worth it. Especially the benefits of new relationships gained.

Blessings on you, and God's favor,
Jen

Jessica said...

Oh, you'd have to ask! LOL Well, I'm trying to figure out this book trailer thingy but am having the hardest time. I'm very annoyed at iTunes right now. Hrrrmpphh.

So is that your store? It looks so pretty! YOu're very smart to have so much forethought. While you've been building credits, you also get paid a little, which is nice.

Nancy said...

This blog is the only new thing I have done in a long time. It is a start. I love the way your plan is thorough and is one step at a time. I have written five childrens' novels. They are all different. I think I could market them to quite diverse audiences.

Jody Hedlund said...

I like the idea of adding another product to our shelves! What a great way to look at it! Sounds like your right on track!

Melissa Marsh said...

I think you're doing a great job so far! Keep it up!

Wendy said...

I keep taking on new things, new blogs to write for, online magazines to write for, new writing projects and in all this marketing I'm realizing I need to be careful not to lose my focus on my MS and slip into a lack of boundaries.
~ Wendy

Kara said...

You are so right and have built yourself a wonderful portfolio. I'm still trying to market myself, but I do getting your name out there means a lot. When I first started writing my column for our small newspaper I thought it was just a way to keep my feet wet, but now I'm realizing how many people out there recognize me by that column, well at least a dozen. But that's a start:)

Sassy Granny ... said...

I don't know about my own marketing, but I do know that switching things around, adding color, changing a font, or even adding some "scent" makes for an interesting home and/or office. I've never been fond of status-quo, so I'm often about the business of switch-outs.

Great food for thought!

Andrea said...

I have been building my blogs and facebook.
Enjoying the journey,

andrea

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

Building a platform is a lot like layering a story. Add a piece at a time, and do it well. That's my plan and my two cents for today. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Lin said...

funny you should ask. for the past year and a half i've written a free column for the local senior citizens. now i felt it was time to gather my columns together and try to market them to my readers and friends. i've also been teaching free writers classes and writing daily on my blog so i'm gathering a group of readers/friends who will hopefully buy my book. i'm also going to rent a table with other writers at our statewide readers conference in sept to try to sell it. so i'm moving...

Sinclair said...

I meant Firefox. Spell check couldn't catch that one!

Sinclair said...

oooh, my first comment disappeared? I am sorry to multicomment, but I was saying that I changed to Firefox in March/April after Explorer allowed a virus to infect my computer. I love it and have not used Explorer since.

Carmen said...

Love the photo of your friend's shop! I wish I lived closer.

You give such great insight on the writing process. My life is so hectic now that I cannot seem to organize my writing time the way I want to. I love to write and want to delve into the publishing process some more.

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!