Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Mystery of Marketing

Since the debut of Zinovy's Journey in October, 2011 (Has the book really been out that long?) I notice that all my posts on this blog have veered over toward the marketing department, either directly or indirectly. 

The Authorial Process

When the authorial process begins, all the action takes place in the writing department.  But it very quickly (don't ever use either of those two adverbs, especially right next to each other) moves over into the editing department, and the two department heads (or the two-headed monster, whichever analogy seems appropriate to you) wrestle back and forth with each other until both are exhausted and left, sweating and panting, on the editorial floor.  

At this point the publishing department (in my case the self-publishing department) picks up the manuscript, wipes away the blood, sweat and tears, whips the product into a more-or-less presentable condition, and puts it on   

From there, the product moves into the marketing department, and it stays there forever. 

Marketing--The Great Mystery

How does marketing work?  Is it magic? Miracle? Or just more blood, sweat and tears?  

I asked my friend and mentor, Jeff Gerke, for advice on this mystery.  He's young, bright, excited about writing, imaginative and experienced in all aspects of the writing process, so I figured if anyone could solve this mystery it would be him. 

Here is. . .

Jeff Gerke's Marketing Formula:

I'm a believer in what I call the 30-to-1 Marketing Plan.  You have to do 30 things to market your book before 1 of them works. 

The problem is that you don't know which one it was, and if you did it again, it wouldn't work again.  So you have to keep doing those and 30 [other] new things to get a new 1.  Do that enough times and your 1's will finally begin to add up. 

There really is a correlation between elbow grease and results, when it comes to marketing fiction.  My authors who do less to market their books tend to sell fewer copies than my authors who work longer and harder to promote their books.

So there it is.  Jeff would be the first to say that magic plays a part.  He is, after all, a fantasy writer.  And he believes in miracles as well.  But bottom line, like any other great achievement in life, it's the well-greased elbow that gets the job done.

I'm pushing up my sleeves as we speak.

P.S.  If you're a writer of faith-friendly books who is considering self-publishing, I highly recommend Jeff Gerke's services.  He is a well-respected fiction-writing jack-of-all-trades, with experience in all aspects of publishing. He was invaluable in my process, as a consultant, an editor, a typesetter, a cover designer and, through it all, an encourager. 


Janet Sketchley said...

I would heartily recommend Jeff Gerke's books on writing, as well as his software for developing characters and plots.

Thanks for this, Ginny. It doesn't really surprise me that the best advice comes down to "work hard and persist". After all, that's the best advice on writing, too.

Linda B said...

Jeff was the keynote speaker at last weekend's Realm Makers conference. I always am inspired by hearing him speak and have several of his books.

Linda B said...

Jeff was the keynote speaker at our Realm Makers conference over the weekend. I always enjoy hearing him speak and come away encouraged and inspired. I also have several of his books.