Confession-I have unsubscribed from some email mailings.
*Not because one appeared weekly in my box. If I didn't feel like reading it, I could save it for later or the delete key was there.
*Not because the subject line said something like, "24 hours left..." I'd glance and if the opportunity or sale didn't pertain to
me, I deleted it.
*Not because I was "informed of the blog post every writer needs, or the book I should read." Somedays I did want to read it.
Then again, if I was too busy, I deleted it.
I unsubscribed because the site or person imposed their ideas, tried to push me into their ad, or belittled me.
I want to have a choice and not feel guilty about my decision.
Recently, I unsubscribed from a very well known writing marketer because the subject line alone felt threatening to me....AND it included my name. I felt like the person was yelling at me.
I wasn't asked to check out their product. I was .... nagged.
In today's publishing world, writers are asked to market their own product. The reasoning isn't bad. Who better knows the product than the writer?
The problem is: to be a great writer one needs to spend time alone--writing. This hermit, of sort, is asked to make friends, network, put a face "out there" and tell a world about their book.
A difficult task.
When should we ask more? When is asking nagging?
The word "ad" will be used below to include: email subject lines, newsletter text, blog posts, announcements, book sales, any marketing we as writers do.
Here are some marketing tips for asking:
1. Ask once. If someone misses the first ad, don't worry. Thanks to word of mouth and Internet sharing, any news about a good products will spread to those who didn't see it the first time.
NOTE: each social media, place you go, email subscriber, etc. can be asked. There may be an overlap of audience, but
this is acceptable. The same ad on FB and on Twitter is not a problem.
2. Word the subject line and the ad with kind words. No demands. No guilt trips. How would you say the words to your grandmother? But don't beg. Pretty, pretty please?
3. Fun subject lines and text are enticing. Add humor, or a bit of casual wording to show you are a human and not a computer generating the ad.
4. When referring to holidays, news, events, etc., be considerate of all. Refrain from disrespecting others.
5. The hammer approach. Repeating information several times, even if only rewording to get the audience's attention and help them remember can cause readers to simply close out the site. The same happens for unnecessary fonts, bold, and neon colors. Readers have precious few minutes to read an ad and will only read as far as he or she enjoys.
6. If you held an open house, consider how you would speak to guests you don't know. How would you dress? What would you offer them for refreshment? These are the exact same skills needed when posting about our work on FB, Twitter, email, newsletters, in any text, etc.
We need to ask.
It's the only way to market.
I know it's hard. Sometimes it's worse than going to the dentist and having a root canal. BUT if we don't ask, no one will know about our work.
God wants us to be strong and tell others about the writing ministry He gave us. So many people have been drawn to the name of Jesus through fiction stories. If only one person learned about Jesus through your story, wouldn't it be worth climbing out of a hermit world and asking/inviting a person to read your story?
I hope you ask me. :)
To practice this lesson, I'm going to ask you for something.
If The Writers Alley has helped you on your journey to publication, consider nominating us for the 18th Annual Writer's Digest 101 Best Website for Writers Award.
All you have to do is send an email to email@example.com with "101 Websites" in the subject line. Then include our URL in the body (http://www.thewritersalleyblog.com/) with a brief explanation that we have helped.
Thank you so much!
What questions do you have?
How can we help you?
I can't wait to read your comment(s)!
Mary writes young adult mystery/suspense Christian fiction, is honing marketing and writing skills, and loves to pen missionary and Bible adventure stories on her ministry blog, God Loves Kids. She has finaled in several writing contests.