People keep telling me that anything you make and want to sell – an event, a performance, a book, a frock – is 40% construction and 60% promotion. By golly I believe that’s true. The marketing part of selling a book begins as soon as a book is a gleam in a publisher’s eye, and never, ever stops. Every day throws up new ways to sell it, new people to tell. I don’t believe there’s ever a marketing-free day, so I may as well just embrace it. Ten minutes here, a scribbled note there, it adds up, constantly encroaching.
I settle down for a quiet afternoon of editing (joy!), and three different, urgently exciting, marketing ploys pop up in my head, because that’s what happens when you multitask: the brain never shuts up. There’s a fizzing sense of possibilities, all these interesting, absorbing things to do to make this book more visible, to make that book known to that group of people. My struggle is to keep focused on the task at hand, not get sidetracked, otherwise I’ll be constantly starting up new things without completing any of them.
Current editing tasks that are constantly being interrupted by marketing eureka moments:
- proof-reading scanned text of Handheld Classic 3, Desire by Una L Silberrad (Edwardian new Woman novel of a woman’s right to work)
- thinking through when to publish Handheld Translations 1 (Dutch classic novel of travel in the China seas)
- reworking the advert to be sent to Mslexia (Handheld is always open to new authors and book suggestions)
- designing the advert for Handheld Research 1, The Akeing Heart, for the Sylvia Townsend Warner Journal
- realising that I’m already part of a receptive research community who are just hopping up and down for a glimpse of Handheld Research 2, The Conscientious Objector’s Wife.
Better get on with the job.