Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Balancing Act for Writers

Do you find it as tough as me to balance writing and marketing? I would imagine that most writers just want to write. It’s the stories I get to watch unfolding in my mind that brought me to writing, and it’s what keeps me here. I’ve told myself tall tales since I was a child to help put me to sleep at night. Though it’s not working quite the same anymore as it just makes me want to jump out of bed and continue writing! So I keep a notepad by my bed to jot ideas down in for the next day.

I’ve gone about my writing in different ways over the years. Tried first person past, third person in all the ways imaginable, and now I’ve created a story that’s first person present which is about as immediate as your writing can get. I’ve tried all kinds of loveable and less loveable characters, storylines and still I come back to the paranormal. It just speaks to me more intensely because I get have my kind of magic in the form of insta-love (how my husband and I got together, but that’s a whole other story!) and fantastical things happen, or at least that’s how it works for me. I would never presume for anyone else as we all experience things through the kaleidoscope that is our life: Past, present and future.

Marketing, while I work away at it in off-hours, is a little harder for me to find the enthusiasm for, unless it’s writing blogs which I do enjoy for the obvious reason: I get to write! The best thing I did for myself was hire an expert recommended by my esteemed publisher to set up my virtual blog tour for each book’s release. For a reasonable sum you get some great marketing done for you; reviews, interviews, and your blogs posted by knowledgeable promoters available to help writers.

I do admit to reading a fair lot on the subject of marketing and know where others think your time is best spent, according to polls and the like. This only seems reasonable to me as why spend time on things not proven to make a whit of difference to writers. Facebook comes highly recommended though Twitter a little less. A website is seen as crucial. Well, that’s become a whole lot easier these days and they’re free on weebly and other sites. And of course, choose your publisher well! J. Ellen Smith at Champagne Books and all her wonderful staff make the journey a whole lot easier, providing solid help to authors.

And so I’m come full circle. Knowing that I have to balance the two competing fields for my time and attention and knowing which one will win out most often. And that’s okay. Writing is what writers do!
PS. Forever Angel is being released October 7, 2013 Yeah!

            January Bain
            Storyteller / Forever Series


Big Mike said...

What makes it even harder is that most marketing avenues provide little to zero return given the time you have to put in them.

Michael Davis (Davisstories.com)
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

joyce said...

Nicely written. It's always a comfort to know there are other writers that dislike the marketing aspects less then the writing.

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

First person, present tense is a bear to control. It has its place, and I'll be interested to see how you get around the I, I, I without going passive. One thing -- always true, you'll learn a lot. It's easy to go back to a more popular way of expressing immediacy.

Good luck on the seventh.

Jude Johnson said...

Well done, January. Marketing is always more work than writing but it can be fun. Congrats on your new book coming next month!


January Bain said...

Thanks all for your comments. I feel blessed to be part of such a great community!

Liz Fountain said...

It's a huge challenge for me, and I'm trying to focus on the things that I can do consistently, which bring me some pleasure, too, and which "align" (in a nicely magical way) with the spirit that moves me to write in the first place.

In my head I translate "marketing" into "connecting with readers" and that helps me a lot, because I hate selling, but I love connecting with people.