A Writer Learns to Market

Written by RitaC on July 1st, 2017

I’m a writer. I belong to the solitary craft of writing, sorting out my world and creating art in the process. Open to inspiration, I jot down ideas and lines on whatever paper is nearby. I spend hours in front of the computer, choosing from thousands of words suspended in the universe, ready to be placed in a particular order. The result is one that has never existed before.
This is my life.
Imagine my distress, when I discovered I needed to sell a predetermined number of copies for my new poetry book to be published.
My initial reluctance to advertise my work, which is myself, morphed into the need to schmooz with purpose. Multiple marketing primers from my publisher provided everything I needed to become a marketeer. I adopted the”act as if” attitude, meaning that my poetry book was now a reality. I was bolstered by the thought that if my friends could do it, I could do it.
I began advertising my work: emailing people I hadn’t been in contact with for a while who might be receptive; mailing postcards to family, friends, and writing communities; contacting newspapers and radio stations, posting and advertising on social media (hoping people wouldn’t grow sick of me on social media); asking businesses, libraries, churches, grocery stores, anyone with a storefront to post flyers and postcards; accosting people I knew with the same.
This was and is a side of me that I can “do.” But after 8 weeks, I was done, depleted, worn out, longing for “butt in the chair” time. Fortunately, a vacation afforded a 10-day respite, a sort-of reward for the challenge I had met.
Lest you think I’m anti-social, a hermit in front of a monitor, I’m definitely not. When I’m out and about, I make it a practice to smile a lot. I chat with people about anything. I mentor women in writing, in living. I care-give my two grandchildren two days a week. I attend a writing group in Cincinnati, fall, spring, and summer. I maintain fitness with yoga classes, walking, gardening. I stay current with pop culture. On the Meyers-Briggs, I’m a tad into the extrovert camp, but I love solitude, wandering on and off trails in the woods and in my mind.
I think I was born to write. It is in my nature, my inclination to pause, to absorb, to see, to welcome the current that snakes its way to my brain in introvert fashion.
With respect to all the marketeers who keep this world running, I say, “Carry on.”
As for me, I think I’ll take a walk and settle in my office chair, for another try at finding the right words in the right order.


Greene County poet writes new book, And Yet


2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Cheryl L says:

    Did you make it to that “magic number”, Rita? I meant to order one and then in the busy ness of life, forgot to!

  2. RitaC says:

    Cheryl, I did make the “magic number.” And orders are still coming in. Rita

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