Channeling Stephen King

2015-02-06 22.14.14 (4)Because I’m an author I’ve been told by just about everyone (myself included) that if I want to sell books I have to market them. No one will ever find them, buy them or read them if I don’t. Book buying and book selling has changed since “the olden days” and I better get on the marketing bandwagon or be left behind.

If you’ve followed this blog you may have seen my posts about my frustration with marketing and if you haven’t and are interested you can go back and read those posts. I won’t repeat myself here.

But recently I’ve come to the conclusion that I have two options:

Option One:   I can learn how to market effectively so my books will sell.

Option Two:   I can train myself not to be bothered that my books don’t sell.

I’ve had my hand slapped more than once for voicing what is perceived to be my negative attitude toward marketing. Saying that marketing bores me in and of itself is not negative. It’s simply the truth. But honesty is rarely appreciated. Saying, “How dare you be bored by marketing?” is like saying, “How dare you dislike kale?” As someone who was made to eat everything on her plate during childhood, I have learned there is no safe place to share those kinds of feelings and frustrations. Except on my own blog where everyone has a choice to skip by it if the subject matter doesn’t interest them.

Earlier this week I watched the first in author Mark Dawson’s podcasts on how to market books successfully by creating Facebook ads. I think it’s wonderful that he’s so good at it and he’s willing to share how he does it. I even joined his  self publishing formula FB group. Where today I stumbled upon a post that lead to an article entitled: Stephen King Used These 8 Writing Strategies to Sell 350 Million Books. Of course I read it. Who doesn’t want the selling power of Stephen King?

But am I the only one who sees the irony here? The article isn’t “The 8 MARKETING Strategies of Stephen King.” It’s 8 writing strategies.” Stephen King says he never set a single word down on paper with the thought that he’d get paid for it. Me neither. Which is why I’m  grateful to be published and to have any book sales at all.

This is where I always get stuck.  You can market crap. And there’s a lot of crap out there. I know because I’ve read some of it. And I know others who have read it. Or tried to read it and returned it. I don’t believe anyone else’s hype, so why should the average book buyer believe mine?  When I see a book that I thought was lousy with hundreds of 5-star reviews, I’m skeptical about where they came from. And yes, I know, mine is just one subjective opinion.

So thanks to Stephen King, I’ve come up with two more questions to ask myself:

Would I rather write the very best books I’m capable of writing, and sell very few of them because I don’t market and I can’t create hype?


Would I rather write so/so books, have the ability to market the heck out of them and sell lots?*

Yes to the first and no to the second. This is why you’ve never heard of me. And one day soon, I’ll be okay with that.

*(And no, I’m not for a moment implying that every author who is good at marketing is a so/so writer. Many excel at both. I’m just not one of them!)

#books #marketing #stephenking #writing


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