Embracing the M-Word

Hello fellow writer.


My name is Scott. Like you, I’m a writer. I’m also fortunate enough to have a job working for Writer’s Digest Books. While I always imagined myself working in writing and editing, I am not an editor. I’m a Marketing Manager.


Now… before you run away thinking I’m some sort of smarmy used-car salesman type of guy, please give me a chance. Let’s talk about what marketing really means. For many writers marketing is almost a dirty word—an ugly truth that must be dealt with in order to make money as a writer. I understand where you’re coming from.


In today’s world it’s difficult to go anywhere or do anything without being asked to buy something or sign up. It’s a fact of modern life. The result? Lots of people begin tuning out. They ignore most of the advertising that they see. So what does that mean for marketing? It means it doesn’t really work to push a product into someone’s face and ask him or her to “buy now!” Instead, successful marketing involves connecting with an audience by informing, educating and entertaining them. Now… doesn’t that sound like why you got into writing in the first place?


Writing is essentially a conversation with the reader, so think of marketing as striking up a conversation with someone you’ve only just met. Having that interaction with a stranger happen as naturally and genuinely as it might in a pub or on an airplane is the trick. If you can learn how to do that then you’ll not only be more successful, but you might actually enjoy promoting your work.


And, that’s what this blog is all about. Working for a publisher, I get to interact with editors and authors on a daily basis. I’ll pass along bits of advice I learn from them and also give you some ideas about how you can go about promoting your work.


Thanks for reading, and best of luck with your writing.

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2 thoughts on “Embracing the M-Word

  1. Nelson T. Dy

    Hello Scott,

    I thoroughly enjoy your blog and I wonder if you can tackle how an author can market a book in the U.S. while living on the other side of the world.

    I live in the Philippines and have published three books here. I believe I am doing the right things to market my books: building a platform by writing a regular column in a local newspaper, appearing in TV and radio interviews and conducting seminars related to my books.

    Lately, I sent copies of my books to a U.S. publisher, hoping it will reprint and distribute them to the American markets. Its director remarked that while she enjoyed reading my books, "at this point it would be difficult to successfully market a book in the US written by an author living in the Philippines. At the same time, I hope some day to be able to publish authors like you. I just have to find a way to do it successfully."

    May I ask for advice what to do next? Should I look for a U.S. literary agent? Contract an American self-publishing house with a strong distribution channel? Either way, I think we would eventually go back to the disadvantage of living in Asia.

    I do hope you can give some time and thoughts to my dilemma.


    Nelson T. Dy