If you ask any author what their single favorite part of the publishing process is, they will undeniably tell you how much they love marketing. Well, alright, maybe not. Most writers gripe constantly about the tedium of marketing, and how they’d rather be practicing the art of writing. Marketing is a necessity of the profession and, luckily, I’m ok with that.
What makes me different from so many of my colleagues? For starters, maybe it’s because I had a few careers before author, including lawyer and political operative. This whole realm of being an “artist” is new to me. Occasionally I feel a bit like Forest Gump, just enjoying the surroundings like a happy simpleton. At the same time, I am very serious about my writing and I do everything I can to make it work. The whole marketing process gives me flashbacks to some advice that I got from my dad as a nervous, quiet five year old on the eve of my first day of kindergarten. I’d never been to any pre-school or daycare and I was more than a little scared of what to expect. He told me to find another student who seemed nice, go up to them and say “Hi, I’m Peter, would you like to be friends?” Amazingly, thirty-plus years later, I find myself doing that exact same thing via Facebook, Twitter, my blog, and any other medium that I can find.
I like this part of being an author because I don’t look at it as “marketing”. I look at it as if I have an opportunity to make new friends who have similar interests. I almost never ask anyone to buy my book outright. In fact, had I known that this was such a good way to meet people, I would have started writing years ago!
I think the biggest reason that I don’t share the same aversion that many authors have to putting myself “out there” is because I grew up in a political family where I was forced to approach people and ask them to do stuff; donate money, volunteer, vote, etc. When I was about nine years old, I was passing out leaflets in a downtown area, asking people to vote for my mom. One businessman stopped and asked me a simple question- “why?” I froze. After shaking the deer in the headlights look off my face, I pointed over to my mother and told him to talk to her if he had questions. He said “No, I’m asking you. You said I should vote for her, and I want you to tell me why.” To this day I don’t know why someone would put a little kid on the spot like that, but a lifetime of similar political encounters had an impact. They transformed me from that shy, introverted kid, into a shy, introverted adult who is accustomed to reaching out to strangers and building bridges and friendships. I can’t say that I’ve ever grown fond of asking people for acceptance with the potential to be denied or, worse yet, criticized. But I have gained thick-enough skin so that I don’t mind the rejection or criticism as much as most people probably do.
The thrill of someone telling me that they enjoyed my writing outweighs the occasional rejection or negativity that inevitably comes with this line of work. So, instead of asking people on Twitter to buy something or to “like” my page, I’m content with simply being friends, just like in Kindergarten. Plus, when people do ask me why they should read my books, I’m ready!
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About the Author:
Manuel Corr is the best of the best in the Sub-Net unit of the Boston Police, where he invades the dreams of criminals to unearth potential crimes. He's fearless where his work is concerned, until one night when the dream world collapses around him. Now trapped in a dreamscape he can no longer direct, Manuel must try to fight his way back to reality.
But the road back is more dangerous than he realized. The tables have been turned; criminals are running the Sub-Net, and the world of dreams he'd once patrolled is a nightmare he cannot escape from.
Unless he can unlock the conspiracy behind who’s manipulating the Sub-Net, Manuel may be trapped forever. The criminal world is trying to recruit him for their side, and refusal means death. Can Manuel claw his way back to the reality he remembers? Or will the dream world become his new reality?