Friday, 3 February 2012

Going to Market

One piece of advice I've given to my kids is, "Be true to yourself and don't try to be what others want you to be." To paraphrase this, "Don't try to be something you're not."
It's a philosophy I've tried to live by over the years - with varying levels of success.

At the moment though I'm having to break with that ethos.

The thing I'm trying to be and the thing I am most definitely not is a - salesman.
The problem, is when I think of the word 'salesman' I think of Harry Wormwood, the dodgy used car salesman from Roald Dahl's Matilda, brilliantly portrayed in the film by Danny DeVito.

Following the guidance of those who have gone before I'm doing all the usual networking stuff through Facebook, Twitter and this blog.  My marketing style seems very apologetic though - as if I'm from the Sgt Wilson school of salesmanship.

If you're British and over 40 you'll probably remember Sgt Wilson from Dad's Army.  For the rest of you, Dad's Army was a BBC comedy about the Home Guard in World War II.  By day Arthur Wilson was a bank clerk.  At night he was the mild mannered second in command to the pompous Captain Mainwaring.  When relaying the Captain's orders Sgt Wilson would always preface the instructions with "Would you mind awfully," or "If it's not too much trouble."

With this fairly passive approach I suspect I'm too much of a voice in the crowd - especially when some people are able to post, tweet and whatever else throughout the day.

I haven't got that much time available to me and I'm a writer first and foremost.  It might be procrastination but given the choice I'll always put some effort into my novel or a short story rather than market my book over the social networks.

I really want as many people as possible to read my work.  If I can get an income form it- even better.  So if I'm going to make enough money to realise my dream of writing full time I know I'll have to network more, market more and sell, sell, sell.

If you've got this far and are wondering where the short story is - I've moved them all to a new page (on the right).  There is a new story there with this post.

Better still - if it's not too much trouble, would you mid awfully clicking on the link to Amazon on the far right and taking a look at Shades of Imagination.


  1. I completely know how you feel. I actually was in sales for awhile--and kind of still am. It is not my favorite thing. But I suppose everything in life is sales and promotion. We package ourselves just right when we date, we type our resumes to sell ourselves to employers, and we persuade our readers through drama and tension to keep reading. It's one of those inevitable things--death, taxes, and self-promotion. Maybe not quite in that order.

    1. Melissa, thanks for your comments. It's good to know that I'm not the only one to feel this way. And you've helped by putting a different slant on things when you talked about packaging ourselves for dates, jobs etc. This has given me some encouragement and something to think about in how I go about my marketing.

  2. Hello, Chris. Thanks for the follow back. And I made it all the way down to the bottom, and for what it's worth, I like your writing. Susan

  3. Susan, a comment like, "I like your writing" is worth a lot. Especially when it comes from someone you don't know and who is not obliged to be nice to you. While I'll happily admit that I'd love to make as much money from writing as Stephen King or J K Rowling, first and foremost I want people to enjoy what I write. So, as I said, your comment means a lot to me. Thank you. :D