December Just Write Newsletter

As mentioned in October, The League of Utah Writers is organized into Chapters. The President of the At-Large Chapter, Ann Gordon, asked me to write about my adventures in marketing.
Just Write Newsletter December 2014

Member Article: Edward Massey – Adventures in Marketing

Ann asked me to write an article about “my adventures as a published author, getting noticed, getting references and reviews, blogging, and interviews – in 350 words.” Here goes:

My path to publishing Telluride Promise included “a read and a conference” with a New York publisher. The publisher told me, “Nobody wants to read about a good banker.” By his tone, I couldn’t tell which he disapproved of most: ‘good’ or ‘banker’. That day he taught me something: to make sure my synopsis sells the book I want to sell. I believe mine did; he just didn’t want to buy, or read, my book. So, I self-published with CreateSpace.

With my book Every Soul Is Free I sold short stories as a step in marketing the book to publishers. Fifty or so submissions led to five stories accepted by online and print collections. This process led to my finding Western Writers of America (WWA). At the first convention I attended I suffered horrible rejection. A well-known agent informed me that a story set in 1948 was not about the Old West and couldn’t be sold. Two newly minted good friends, prominent members of WWA, propped me up enough that I left Las Vegas with three invitations to submit. One of those, Pen-L Publishing, led to publication.

I am still a novice at marketing my books. If you look around my website you’ll find a TV interview, book reviews, radio interviews, a podcast, book club nights, art club discussions, and blog posts. So far I’ve made two observations:

  • First, something results from everything I do or try. It’s a production function: effort goes in the front end, book sales come out the back end. I’m still learning how to leverage and maximize my own production function.
  • Second (which I trust as a truism): Keep trying. I write every day and my daily two to four hours leave me blissful and joyous. I used to find writing time as torturous as I now find book marketing time. My goal is to work through this until I love the marketing part of publication.

Editor’s Note: Edward has written more about his path to writing and publication on his website.

Of interest, in Ann’s editing of what I submitted, she added the word truism. I commented:

You are terrific and I appreciate your editing.
Just one small comment. I doubt my second observation is a truism.
(From a reference source on logic): A truism is a proposition that states nothing beyond what is implied by any of its terms.
I suspect (and need to do more thinking and reading about this) anything that you trust is not a truism.
Certainly, trusting the notion to keep trying goes far beyond what it implies by any of its terms. Trusting requires going into the unknown. To keep trying, to be sure, also goes into the unknown, but more than that, it is at the very heart of discouragement.
When most discouraged, try the most. That may have been a better statement, and, certainly, it would not be a truism.

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