Market Your Writing The EEASY Way
Marketing your writing is a skill. The great news is that anyone can learn how to do
it. I donít care how shy, nervous or introverted you are, you can learn how to market
your work and have great fun doing it.
I've boiled marketing for writers down into an acronym: EEASY. It stands for
Enthusiasm and Enjoyment, Application, Self-Confidence and Yell.
Enthusiasm and Enjoyment
Enthusiasm is the key to writing, and it's also the key to marketing your work.
Editors will forgive you much if you bring real enthusiasm to your work.
Enthusiasm and enjoyment go together. You must discover, if you donít already know,
the kind of writing you enjoy. This is the kind of writing you would do for your own
pleasure, even if there were no possibility of getting paid. Your enthusiasm will
come through in your writing.
What do you like to read? What you enjoy reading is a good indication of the kind of
writing which is fun for you, and to which you can bring real enthusiasm. If you find
it difficult to read in an area, you'll find it difficult, if not impossible, to
write in that area.
I enjoy copywriting. I also enjoy tinkering with technology, so I like to write about
technology. What you enjoy changes over time. When I wrote romance novels, I read
romances. These days, I prefer mysteries and thrillers, so that's what I write.
Think about your life. If you have children, you could write for parenting magazines.
If you like cars, write for car magazines. If you like to travel, cook, take photos
-- are you seeing a pattern here? When you write about what you love, you increase
the likelihood that people will be happy to pay you for your writing.
Enthusiasm is not a commodity. You need to find someone who's enthusiastic on whom
you can model yourself. Who's the most enthusiastic person you know? My role model
for enthusiasm is Peter Cundall, who presents a gardening program on Australian TV.
He's in his seventies, and he loves gardening. His enthusiasm is infectious. If you're
in Australia, watch Gardening Australia, and see how Pete conveys his enthusiasm
for what he does --
You've discovered what you love to write. The next step is to write it. And then
write some more. (We'll deal with marketing below.)
Let's see how this works. You love to read mystery novels. One day it occurs to you that
mysteries might be fun to write. All you need is a crime, and a detective. How hard is that?
You start to write. Oh shock, horror and utter woe -- this is difficult! It's much harder
than you expected, and after writing 20 pages you decide your work is so much dreck and give up.
Slow down. You performed like a professional writer, until you gave up. The only
difference between you and Ruth Rendell or Reginald Hill, is that they didnít give up.
Writing is messy. Everyone expects artists to make a mess as they paint, but oddly
enough, no one expects a writer's first draft to be a mess. This is where beginning
writers come undone. They expect that when they write, it will look like the
published work of their favourite author.
Expect to make a mess. Expect your first draft (and maybe even your second and third
and fourth) to make you cringe in embarrassment. Itís OK. Just keep working.
At this stage, you may want to take a course, or read a book or two. Couldnít hurt.
However, it wonít help either, unless you continue to write. So remember -- Application!