Wednesday, September 30, 2015

How To Market Without Imposing or Nagging

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 with "101 Websites" in the subject line. Then include our URL in the body ( 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)!

Photo Courtesy: - modified for this use.

If you found any typos in today's post...sorry about that. 

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.

Visit Mary at her website and her ministry blog to families: God Loves Kids. Or chat on Facebook or Twitter


kaybee said...

Hi Mary,
I'm not published yet and this is something I'm already worried about. I couldn't even sell Girl Scout Cookies when my kids were in the program! I want to self-promote and I'm going to need to, so I guess this is the time to learn. Thank you for some great tips. We'll all get through this together, huh?
Kathy Bailey

Mary Vee Writer said...

Absolutely, Kathy.
Arm in arm. Chocolate in hand. Armadillo skins.

David H. Safford said...

I couldn't agree more. Whenever someone launches, the barrage of emails comes. It's even worse when it's a joint-launch, and you're subscribed to both parties!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Good point, David.
I suppose we need to cut those who are newly launching some slack. We all remember the newbie feeling. But, if the barrage continues, in truth, I don't feel bad about unsubscribing. Once the person finds their niche, hopefully all will be reasonable. Great lessons for us to learn as well. Don't barrage. Less is more. You know the rest.

Robin E. Mason said...

i'm rather subtle in my selling (at least i hope it's subtle - LOL) i create and share memes in FB groups and twitter, and will up my promo efforts as #2 draws closer to release day (november!!! SQUEEE!!!
but the biggest thing i do is Kingdom principle, sharing others' posts and events and accomplishments. yes, of course, i hope some of that comes back when it's my turn, but Father works in and thru all of it and by doing as He has prompted me to do, i know my promotion will accomplish what i need it to

Mary Vee Writer said...

Congratulations on your soon release, Robin! What fantastic news. Tessa looks like an exciting story. I assume this new release is book 2 in the series? Blessings on your work.

kaybee said...

I LOVE the idea of "Kingdom Principle"! If we support other writers, it won't be obnoxious when we ask them to support us. It's a relationship, and a journey. I know my crit partner is publishing in November and a good friend in December, and I know they'll be there for me, where and when "there" turns out to be, because I have been enthusiastic about their success. Because they deserve it.
Kathy Bailey

Mary Vee Writer said...

Sounds like a trio marketing made in heaven.
This is exactly how we can do this! Helping each other. I see this kindness everyday on Facebook and at conferences. There is something special about friends helping each other.