Marketing Yourself

Re-posted from another blog of mine.

Marketing Yourself

I read an interesting blog the other day about marketing. It seems, I have been promoting instead of marketing myself and my books. There’s a difference.

The marketing guru says to find something that is consistent in each book and then apply it to yourself. Like “The writer who talks about love” or “The writer of battles”. So I looked through my books and came up with a few. There’s “The writer with hands”, “The writer who writes stuff” and my favorite at the time, “The writer that has pages”.
Pretty snappy huh? Don’t be a hater, those titles didn’t fall into my lap…I worked hard for them. Granted, I did have hands before I started writing, but I didn’t use them for writing until after I started writing.

Still, I wasn’t satisfied. Those were nice, but they didn’t really tell the world who I was, what I did. I thought harder and came up with “The writer that drinks coffee” and “The writer that uses a laptop”. Again, both fine choices but absolutely not perfect for me.
Now it was getting serious. I had no identity of my own. I was doomed to walk the planet as simply “the old guy that owns Noob the Wonder Dog”. It was not going to inspire people to read my books unless Noob growled at them. I needed to brainstorm.
I spent hours watching TV, hoping for a smackerel of inspiration, a dollop of genius…a smidgen of brain activity. Then it hit me…I was watching a “My Little Pony” marathon. The ponies were slowly but surely sapping my brain stem functions. Instead of being “The writer with higher brain functions”, there was a strong possibility I would go through life as the leader of Team Fluttershy.

I was getting frantic. If I couldn’t think of something soon, I would be no better than the Justice League…highly anticipated and probably horrible. I was downcast, trodden and generally feeling blue.
My hopes and dreams were about to be bashed against the rocks by the angry waves of the marketing seas. I returned to my books and scoured them for a clue as to who I was. Even my muses…writers have muses as opposed to crazy people who have voices in their heads…even my muses were mocking me now. I could hear them giggling.
Then it happened. It. The defining moment of my literary career. The inspiration of inspirations, the shining beacon on the hill, the one thing everybody wants…I got a fan letter. It was an email, but it was from a fan and goddamnit, it was mine! I toyed with making it full screen and nailing the laptop to the wall, but I figured it would be a drag to keep refreshing it. But here it is in all its inspiring awesomeness.

“I just finished The Last Ranger of Sarn and it was wonderful. You make the characters come alive. I can’t wait to read more.”
Huh? Isn’t that something? My fan base came to my rescue. I love that lady. There was my identity, the person the literary world would know me as… “The writer that got fan mail”! HA! Now I know what Elvis felt like, what The Beatles felt like. I wondered if I would have to get a disguise when I went to Shop-Rite for milk now.
My public was out there, waiting for their chance to be around “The writer that got fan mail”. It was dizzying! Even Noob the Wonder Dog was impressed. I could tell because he licked his nuts extra clean for our walk.
Yet there was still no recognition from the populace. I figured it was time to get serious, turn off the Pony marathon and get to work. She said my characters came alive. I started looking through reviews and sure enough, every book had a review that stated the characters were the kind that you felt for, cared about, believed in, ect. There was the common bond between four high fantasy, two crime dramas and one collection of short stories.
If one wanted to market themselves, attention to details and research into character development were good things to build on. The characters in all of my books read like real people because, in essence, they are exactly that. The character of Fire in my Chronicles of the Free People Series is based on my wife. She’s quiet yet strong when need be and she has a heart of gold. Sal DeSantos, the hit man in Crime Scene is a blend of my Uncle Frank and a couple of guys I hung around with as a ne’er-do-well youth.
My characters are very alive to me. Maybe that’s why they come across to my readers as so lifelike. I also happen to think that the more you care about a character, the more you’ll keep turning pages to see what happens to them. So the marketing wheel turned again and it stopped at the one I hope will catch on… Ed Ireland, The Author that creates people.
I thought it had a nice flow to it. It says what I do in a unique way and should be a very marketable title to work with. Now I just need to get my fan base into a group that needs a bus to get around instead of a scooter.

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