Posted by: Jodi | May 4, 2011

5 Things to Consider When Marketing Your Work

If you ever watch commercials then you have seen that companies will do anything to get a consumer’s attention.  They aim to make an emotional and often irrational connection between you and their product.  Laundry soap no longer just gets your clothes clean, according to the commercial it also creates a sense of togetherness between people.  Cars are no longer just vehicles, they are symbols of status, of our sense of adventure.

Marketing your work is no different.  Based on current advertising trends here are some things to consider when seeking representation or buyers for novels, short stories, non fiction, and more.

  • They are interested in your work, not you.  Although it sounds cruel, an agent or editor doesn’t care who wrote the work.  They are not selling you, they are selling what you created.  Unless you are a celebrity, the most interesting part of a submission should be the actual content.
  • Your work must somehow engage on an emotional level.  If you can get your reader to feel something or create a connection with them then your work is as good as sold.  Novels and such are more than a collection of words.  They are an experience.
  • The first impression is the only impression you will get.  Agents and editors must make judgements about a writer based on what they are given.  A single typo or incorrect word may be enough to let them assume that the rest of the work is not up to par and therefore not worth the effort to sell.
  • Phrasing and wording is vital.  There are dozens of ways to say the same thing, chances are some of those ways will resonate more with readers than others.  Take care in not only what you say but how you say it.  Everything you write should prove your confidence in your work.
  • If they can’t make money with it, they won’t buy it.  Even if your work is engaging and your demonstrated that you are competent, if an editor or agent feels that they can’t sell it they will turn you down.  It’s not personal, it’s business.  Pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and try again!

If you want to learn more about the art behind today’s marketing techniques, check out the Frontline documentary “The Persuaders.”  It discusses in-depth the art of creating connections between brands and people.

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Responses

  1. Good advice. Especially the last one. It’s frustrating that nobody wants my stuff, because I think it’s well written, but the truth remains that what I wrote is not marketable in the eyes of the publishing world.

    Knowing that doesn’t get me any closer, but at least I have my integrity (though I’ll hang onto my day job all the same).

    • Keep at it, there’s bound to be someone out there that is looking for your particular genre and style of writing. Just because you haven’t found them yet doesn’t mean they aren’t out there.

      All the same, holding on to the job that pays the bills is always a good idea.

  2. Good advice. I think your point about rejection is not personal is a lesson we authors all need to learn.

    • Although I preach about the importance of not taking it personally, I have yet to send out anything that would get me a rejection. I have a bad feeling I will be eating my own words when my time rolls around.


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