BookstoreMany readers and others outside of publishing view writing, especially fiction writing, as glamorous, fun, and/or easy. Those of us involved in the process know the truth. Yes, it can be fun, but sometimes it just isn’t. When our muses are being particularly cooperative, sometimes it can be easy. Rarely is it glamorous.

Combine the demands of self-publishing in which the author must also be business manager, coordinator of subcontracts (for graphics/book cover, editing, layout/format, etc.), press agent, and marketer with the priority task of writing and most of the time, it’s just plain, hard work. With rewards, of course, but hard work all the same.

One of the tasks that many–maybe most–authors shy away from is marketing. It is scary and unknown. Often, that fear is rooted in the way they view the tasks and the way they define marketing. Many authors are reluctant to be marketers because they do not want to be viewed as hucksters. But that’s where a misperception comes in. They see marketing and selling as one and the same. It is not. Marketing is not about selling alone.

You can market, but not make a sale (which is a scary proposition), but you can rarely make a sale without SOME sort of marketing (which makes it a requirement to be a successful author). Marketing is everything from your author bio on Amazon to your book tour to a bookmark to an author website. It is advertising, it is public relations. Marketing is the umbrella under which all these aspects fall. The enormity of it is another thing that can make authors resistant to it.

For self-publishers, being in control of every aspect of their writing career is both a benefit and a conundrum. By far, marketing is the task that puzzles, stumps, angers, frustrates, and strikes fear in authors the most.

Here is a perspective from author SAM STALEY about why most authors find marketing “uncomfortable”:  A Nature of “Selling” and Why Authors Should Care – Adaptation: A Writer’s Journey.

How do you feel about marketing? What successes or disappointments have you experienced that might help other writers? Has something kept you from marketing your book? Please share in our comments section below.

Editor’s Note: Sam Staley is an award-winning author of fiction and non-fiction, an economist, and a Florida State University faculty member. His most recent novel St. Nic, Inc. is a modern-day adventure that re-imagines the Santa Claus myth. Staley’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN.com, Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, Chicago Tribune, and the L.A. Times, among others. His other novels deal with the problems of school violence and bullying (Renegade and A Warrior’s Soul), and the trials and pitfalls faced by a young female pirate captain in the 19th century (The Pirate of Panther Bay). The sequel to The Pirate of Panther Bay will be published in 2015 by Southern Yellow Pine Publishing. To learn more about Sam Staley, visit www.srstaley.com.

Gina Edwards is a retreat leader, a certified creativity coach, and a book editor. She is also a writer, so she’s intimately familiar with the challenges and elation that come with being one.

She supports all writers—published and aspiring—who want to write as an act of courageous and necessary self-expression.

Walking the writer’s path hand-in-hand with her clients and students, she helps them establish a writing practice and define a creative life on their own terms.

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