This is the introduction to a series of blogs on marketing:
The interesting thing about marketing is that most of us know a whole lot more about it than we realize. If you work in or have ever worked in a job that involves selling any kind of a product, you can take what you know and put it to work in marketing your manuscripts. A manuscript, after all, is just another product looking for a buyer.
So, what is it you already know about marketing? Principles of supply and demand? The importance of knowing your customer, how to reach him, and keeping up with his changing needs? Believing the customer is always right? Think about everything you have learned about selling successfully.
Let’s assume that you are going to start a new business selling software, cookies or bird houses. Before you start, you will find out everything you can about the need for your particular product, how to reach the customer, what the customer is looking for, who your competition is, and all the other concerns that come into play with your particular product. You would never open up shop in a random location without first studying all these factors critical to your success. As I remind people in my marketing classes, you would not make a dress or any custom-made product and then go door to door looking for someone to buy it. The smart business person will find out what the customer wants and create a product to fit.
Yet many writers approach marketing like the person going door to door. They write a manuscript and then start shopping it from one editor to another, looking for one that needs something with that particular slant and length, who hasn’t already published something like it, who is looking for manuscripts, who can afford to buy something right now, etc. It is no wonder they face rejection after rejection. Once you view writing as a business, and approach the marketplace in a business-like manner, you will sell your manuscripts like Mrs. Field’s sells cookies.