Recently, I’ve been spending a lot of time and energy figuring out the marketing for FoF (Feast of Fates). Promotion is one of those pursuits that can really go on forever–financially and otherwise–if you don’t set a limit for it. Still, promotion and marketing are without a doubt, essential, to a well-received product. As artists, we have this tendency to not think in commercial terms. As if it debases the value of what we do. I think that this is a dangerous blind-spot to develop. One should always have knowledge of their product–which,unless you are writing and releasing material solely for free–is what we are creating. Perhaps it is because I was a self-proprietor earlier in my life that I understand these lessons. And so, I’ve been meeting with marketers and ad agencies and all of the other forces that most writers recoil from the idea of ever encountering. I want my book to be successful, and not simply because it has been advertised, but because people are aware of it, and respect its message, prose and world. Awareness is the first step to success. If you are not willing to stand up for your work, to cast it into the world, shout “look at me”, and subject it to whatever scorn and praise may be evoked, then you should probably hope that you find a really, really good agent to manage your career. Personally, surrendering any degree of creative control, once my work has reached a certain level of refinement, is difficult, which is why I prefer to do as much of the legwork in promotion as I can. While the criticisms and corrections of many, many professionals helped me to get my manuscript to its final state, now that I have that complete and tangible vision, I want to be damned sure that its tone is properly conveyed. I would hate for this work, which I have dedicated so much of myself into making, to be trivialized or marginalized by poor marketing.
These stories are our dreams, our creations, our children. You would not give your children to an irresponsible person, or someone who you do not trust. Exhibit the same scruples when it comes to managing your work and I believe that success will more easily find you. Surround yourself with strong critics, other focused and sensible creatives, and PR persons that mirror your passion (particularly for your genre). At least that’s what I hope! Just a few more weeks, or months, and we will find out if all my bluster and theories have merit. My work will be in the world, as close to its original vision as it can be.