Monday, July 14, 2014

Four Tips for Marketing While Writing by Melissa Tagg



Melissa Tagg
Happy Monday, writers. Wearing my reader hat, I had the privilege of being part of Melissa Tagg's "Tagg Team," which helped promote her first two books. Such a fun experienceboth reading and sharing the books. (If you haven't read them, do!) But, from the sidelines, I wondered how Melissa, and other busy authors on deadline, both write and market their works at once. Thankfully, Melissa graciously agreed to offer some very helpful advice. Read on! ~ Annette 



Four Tips for Marketing While Writing
by Melissa Tagg

When Annette first asked me to write this post, she suggested I write about marketing one book while writing another…which is exactly what I happened to be doing at the time. My second book, Here to Stay, released in May. That same month, I had a deadline for my third book. So I did my best to wear both my writing and marketing hats at the same time. I also wore my full-time day-job hat. And my friend/sister/daughter hats.

I will admit, it was challenging.

But that’s the reality when someone with only one head tries to wear multiple hats.

Marketing while writing is difficult…but not impossible. Though I’m still figuring it out myself, I do have a few tips:

1)     Do what you can and don’t sweat what you can’t

You can’t do everything. You just can’t. Unless you’re super-human. In which case, I bet you’re not reading this blog because you could probably market, write, and save kittens stuck in trees all at the same time.

For the rest of us, it’s better to admit we can’t do it all.

Problem is, if you’re like me, you’ll be tempted to waste time bemoaning all the things you’re not doing. And that’s just not helpful. So I suggest choosing not to kick your own tail for what you’re not doing. Don’t compare yourself to the people who seem to dominate every social media platform known to man, snag all the interviews everywhere and have zillions of followers. Nurture your mental space, don’t feed it negativity…focus on doing what you can and doing it well.

2)    Focus on what works for you

I am one of thirteen women in the world who doesn’t care for Pinterest. I used to feel guilty about that…but no longer.

Marketing is about building relationships. Well, if I’m going to build a relationship in my regular life, I’m not going to go hang out at a place I don’t like…say, Hooters. I’m going to go somewhere I’m comfortable and know I’ll have fun. (note: I am not comparing Hooters to Pinterest!)

If you’re in a different season where you have more time, then hey, it’s always good to branch out! For instance, when my deadlines are over, one thing I’d like to do is seek out more speaking and interview opportunities. But when in the throes of a deadline, it’s smart to gravitate toward the marketing efforts that come most naturally.

3)    Writing before marketing

This was my rule for myself this spring as I faced a deadline during release month. I want Here to Stay to do well. I want it to sell. But I have to think long-term. If one book sells well but then the follow-up is poorly written, I haven’t done myself too many favors. So while I definitely worked hard (and am still) to market Here to Stay, I prioritized writing over marketing.

4)    Trust God

More and more, in every aspect of writing, I’m realizing that to have any semblance of peace in the process, we have to trust God. He gave us our stories in the first place! So why do we obsess about marketing or not doing enough or sales numbers? Why do we—okay, I—think I need the perfect balance of writing and marketing and doing-everything to make it in this industry?

God is in control of my career and my dream.

Just like He’s in control of yours.

And when you think about it, that’s an incredibly calming thought.

Do you have any questions about marketing while writing?

 
~~~~~

Melissa Tagg is a former reporter turned author. Her second book, Here to Stay, released from Bethany House in May. In addition to her homeless ministry dayjob, she is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and lately, obsessing over the band Needtobreathe. Connect with Melissa at www.melissatagg.com, on Facebook, Twitter (@Melissa_Tagg), Instagram (melissatagg) and G+ (+MelissaTagg).


~~~~~
After playing nomad for five years, Blake Hunziker has finally had enough of adventure. Not sure what reception he'll get from everyone back in Whisper Shore, he's stunned at not only a warm welcome from his hometown but also a job offer. The job is his if he can successfully pull off the annual Christmas Festival. If only he knew the first thing about coordinating events. . .

If there's one thing Autumn Kingsley knows, it's Whisper Shore. For years, she's been stuck running her family's inn when all she wants is to see the world. Now she has a visit scheduled from a potential investor who could take over the inn, as well as a dream job offer in Paris. But with just two weeks to whip the inn into shape, her chance at escape is a long shot.

The Hunzikers and the Kingsleys may not get along, but Blake knows Autumn's the only one who can help him. She agrees to a trade--she'll help with the Festival and he'll help with inn repairs. But what was meant to be a simple deal quickly becomes much more than that when the guy who's done running away joins forces with the girl who can't wait to leave.

22 comments:

  1. Melissa, I soooo appreciate this post!
    "Nurture your mental space, don’t feed it negativity..." LOVE this! Thank you for sharing!!

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    1. Oops, I must've missed responding to this comment earlier! So glad you appreciate the post, Dora. That negativity thing can be a killer...

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  2. Agreeing with Dora! Those are great reminders, especially #1! We can only do so much. Panicking only stifles creativity -- and becomes a vicious (very vicious) circle.

    Thanks, Melissa!

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    1. OH yes, panic is soooo stifling. And paralyzing. Definitely something to steel ourselves against.

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  3. Yes! The first point was great, Melissa. It's so easy to worry about what we think we should be doing. Angie you're point about panicking was on the mark, too.

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    1. Yeah and the thing with worrying about what we should be doing is it just wastes precious time on what we could be doing!

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  4. Great post, Melissa! I love what you said about trusting God. He's got it all worked out for us. :) I can't wait to read your next book!

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    1. Thanks, Jill! And here's my fourth or fifth or gazillionth EEEEEEeeee of excitement over your book contract. :)

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  5. Great tips, one of the most difficult modern day writing challenges I think!

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    1. I would agree, Lisa, definitely difficult. There's more than ever to distract us from writing, but also more opportunity than ever to market smartly. Finding the balance is the key. :)

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  6. Thanks for posting, Melissa. I appreciated the reminder to not get caught in a pattern of negative thinking, such a downward spiral. Congrats on all your success so far and I can't wait to read your next novel and/or novella.

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    1. Thanks so much, Heidi! By the way, I'm so excited to read your book. I'm sorry it's taken me this long. Finally nearing the end of my deadline sprint and then YAY, I will get to read it. :)

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  7. Melissa, what a thoughtful, meaningful post. I've had to pick and choose because in between writing and marketing there are also edits. LOL. Hubs, who is needy and retired (wink wink) has got to come first.
    I needed the reminder that God is in charge. Blessings to you.

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  8. These tips work for lots of things well beyond the writing arena. Thanks for the permission to not try and do it all…all the time!

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    1. Yep, we probably only trip ourselves up when we try to do everything at once. I need to remind myself of that more often than not. :)

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  9. "But that’s the reality when someone with only one head tries to wear multiple hats." Oh do I think I needed to hear this today, Melissa! :)

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    1. Funny, I needed to hear it too. I wrote it about a month ago with no idea I'd need to hear it today. Here's to wearing one hat at a time as much as possible... :)

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  10. Melissa - this is a great post. I'm so thankful God is in control. I also love to read about other authors with full time day jobs. Keeps me from feeling so alone!

    Your book sounds great!

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    1. Yep, you are definitely not alone, Terri. Writing and working full-time is a HUGE challenge...but it's amazing how God seems to multiple our time when we need it most.

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  11. Great post, Melissa! I am in awe of how you manage to juggle so many things.

    Do you have a set amount of time that you typically spend on marketing each day?

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    1. Hey Michelle, sorry it took me forever to reply to this. No, unlike some, I'm just not scheduled/organized enough to have an exact amount of time I spend on marketing. I will say I probably spend an hour a day replying to emails, FB messages, doing guest blogs and interviews, etc. But that hour is usually spread out in between my day job, writing and my itsy-bitsy social life. :)

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