Sometimes my stupidity & ignorance surprises even me!
I had a revelation the other day, and like most revelations, it is blindingly obvious now I see it and I actually feel a bit of a plonker as a result. You’re probably going to laugh, scoff, or roll your eyes when I tell you what it is, but here goes – not everyone works in marketing (duh!).
Even as I write it I know how absolute obvious and dumb it sounds, but honestly it just goes to show how your own frame of reference can completely skew your perceptions.
So here’s how I came to this revelation – though I’m sure not everyone would agree with my use of that word, some might refer to it as pulling my head out my arse and that’s totally fine. I was watching a webinar during Jericho Writer’s Summer Festival of Writing (I seriously don’t know what I’m going to do with myself when it ends) and the session was on building an author platform. The speaker was talking about the benefits of having an author website, and that generally WordPress is a good place to start.
As part of these events people are encouraged to submit questions, and someone asked ‘what’s wordpress?’ and I literally paused in my note taking and had to confront my own privilege in this space. I work in marketing, so terms like WordPress, landing page, social ads etc. are all just part of my everyday lexicon, but that is not the case for everyone. And it dawned on me that the reason self-publishing and promoting my book doesn’t seem so scary to me is that it’s just an extension of what I do everyday, only, instead of promoting my company, I’d be promoting my book. It’s basically the same process, and therefore not such a huge leap to make.
But for anyone who’s not experienced in this area, I can 100% see why it can seem intimidating, and why traditional publishing – where they typically handle a lot of that for you – seems so much more appealing.
And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I want to make it clear that this ‘revelation’ is all about me facing up to my internal biases, and is no way a judgement on anyone else’s experience. I know I am extremely fortunate to work in marketing and have (some) skills that will make selling my book slightly easier; though I’d never claim to be a marketing guru, and know that there is always more to learn. But just because someone else doesn’t have that experience and skill set does not mean they don’t deserve to have their book thrust into the spotlight and enjoyed by everyone else.
I suppose my takeaway is that when it comes to the marketing side of Becoming an Author, do it the way that works for you – just like you do when writing your book.
If that means working with a traditional publisher and getting them to do all the heavy lifting, great, make them work for that cut of your royalties. If it means using a self-publishing service to help you with all the technical stuff and marketing bits, then definitely do that and benefit from their experience and network. And if it means taking a course on marketing so you can learn how to do all that stuff yourself, then more power to you!
Only you will know what the right route is for you, and at the end of the day you want to give your book and author career the best chance of success, so ignore what everyone else is doing, and follow your own path.
There you have it, my most recent revelation in my journey to become an author. Now I’ve confessed my embarrassing realisation, does anyone else have any they’d like to share? Please comment below or tweet me @Hilly_B_Author and help me feel less alone in my utter foolishness.