Friday, April 24, 2015

Creative Marketing

Visiting a few of the millions of blogs online this month has confirmed my belief that marketing, as once we knew it, has changed. Banging the buy-buy-buy drum nowadays is boring. And buyers shy away from the hard sell.

public domain photo from
farmers' market
After all, trying to market writing and/or writing services is not like selling a vital commodity like food or health--or is it?

For so many of us writing is as necessary for our health as breathing. If we can afford to devote our life to it, we are lucky indeed. But for many of us, it may be the only option for earning a living. And although we're always being told about the global market, in the end we're lucky to find enough readers to fill a tiny village.

And how do you sell goods in a village? Word of mouth, sales to friends, arrange small house parties to sell selected items, sell door to door by appointment, display posters everywhere you can, chat,chat, chat to everyone--not primarily about what you're selling but about what the people you're talking to want and/or need. Natural networking--ask what you can do for everyone not what everyone can do for you.  Make friends, help friends, share your expertise freely and you'll find friends eager to help you back.

Readers as Neighbors

Chat through your social media sites, through your blog comments--ask for opinions, ask for ideas, ask what readers want to know. Give small reports from your niche, short stories featuring characters from your novels, give a helping hand when asked. Be neighborly.

People love quizes. especially the type which claim to predict "What kind of person are you?" Offer a giveaway or two as prizes.

Extend your blogging network by offering guest posts, finding blogs relating to your characters' hobbies and commenting on posts. Join as many forums as you can, just to chat and ask questions, offer solutions.

Yes it will mean lots of extra work but no-one  ever said it was easy to make a living writing except for those marketers who promise untold wealth in a week.

Look and Learn

  • Make a point of visiting a new blog every day and commenting even if only to say how pleased you are to have found it.  
  • Note the things you like--maybe the color scheme--and what you dislike. Maybe the columns are too cluttered. Too much to take in.
  • Keep revising your own blog layout and articles in the light of everything you learn. 

Best of all, whatever you're writing, just relax. You're with friends. Let your soul shine through.

What have you found the best marketing methods for you? Please share some ideas in the comments below. We love to chat. :-)

Anne Duguid
Anne Duguid Knol

A local and national journalist in the U.K., Anne is now a fiction editor for award-winning American and Canadian publishers. As a new author, she shares writing tips and insights at her very new Author Support blog:
Her novella, ShriekWeek is published by The Wild Rose Press.


Shirley Corder said...

All so true, Annie. I have loved this A to Z Challenge we're both on, but you're so right. I can't believe how many talented writers and bloggers there are out there, and most of them have great things to share. Every day I learn something more. Just today I learned how to do this signature line in my comments!

Shirley Corder from
Out of Africa - Topics from A to Z

Anne Duguid Knol said...

hehehe and so good you had to do it twice lol.
It is so useful to have a clickable signature link though.
In case anyone else would like to add a signature to comments, here's a link to my signature post. S for Signature
The how-to add signature post is attached at the end. :-)
@AnneKnol1 from
New Author Support - Tips on Writing and Promotion from A to Z

Karen Cioffi said...

Annie, great tips on moving your marketing forward. It really is getting more difficult, so you do need to do the work and try to think outside the box. I just revamped my email offer system. It just never ends. :)

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

As it happens, I was reading an article in the LA Times on replacing grass with drought-resistant plants and the featured yard had a little "Share books" library. These kinds of things have been featured in the LA Times before, but they seem to be getting more popular. It seems something like that could drum up lots and lots of publoicity if the author knows enough about PR--stuff like writing a query letter and media releases! Ahem! To get those basics (and more), may I suggest The Frugal Book Promoter, http;//

Anne Duguid Knol said...

Be interested to know what you had to do and why. I've been scrabbling away trying to catch up with the beginning steps of an email offer system for ages...really find auto responder systems hard to understand :-)

Anne Duguid Knol said...

Carolyn, you are an indefatigable and generous source of great promotional ideas. And I totally agree that The Frugal Book Promoter is an evergreen source of help and advice.

Karen Cioffi said...

Annie, on Monday I have a step-by-step DIY (really detailed) on creating an amazing lead magnet (freebie) at my site. It's easy to do and shouldn't take much time at all.

And, this Saturday, I'm sending an email to my subscribers, so they can get what the new subscribers will be getting.

And, you just gave me a great idea for a webinar on using email systems. :)

Karen Cioffi said...

Oops, that's next Monday, May 4th, for the DIY instructions.

Unknown said...

Anne, I like your advice about visiting a blog a day. It's doable and not overwhelming.

Debra Toor, Author & Blogger

Anne Duguid Knol said...

Thanks, Karen. Duly noted. I'm looking forward to that as you give such clear instructions. :-)

Anne Duguid Knol said...

Thanks Debra, I'm just hoping I can keep it up...

Linda Wilson said...

Annie, I'm catching up with emails and just found this post. It's lovely and inspiring and loaded with good ideas. It's a keeper, thank you!

Celebrating the Coming Release of "The Frugal Editor" with an Essay on the Conceited Pronoun "I"

A Little Essay on the Pronoun “I”   Using "I" As a Conceit   By Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of fiction,  poetry, and how-too bo...