Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Risk - Who is Going to Push You? by Jim Rubart

If we want to be successful writers, we need to be involved at some level in marketing our work—whether we like it or not. So during the month of November, our Writer’s Journey Wednesdays are dedicated to a four part series on the subject. Jim Rubart, an author and professional marketer, will be sharing his expertise with us. Please welcome our friend!

Marketing Series
Part II

Risk – Who is Going to Push You?

“You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.” Annie Dillard

I didn’t want to hurtle toward the ground face first from 191 feet up, strapped into a roller coaster called Aftershock. The problem was, I did.

As I stood staring up at the two towers of the coaster last week, straddling the fine line between desire and fear, it was my 14-year old son who pushed me over the edge. “C’mon, Dad! Are you a man or a mouse?!” Until his challenge, I was definitely the gray, furry little creature.

Yes, of course I went on it. Twice. What a ride! See, my knees whack together hard when it comes to heights, so anything of an Aftershock nature really gets my adrenaline pumping. (I’m a bit of a thrill seeker and love the rush, which yes, added to my fear of heights makes me a bit schizophrenic.)

My point? I probably wouldn’t have taken the ride without my son pushing me. (And I’m pumped he did.)

The application? You have to find people who will push you in your writing and especially find people who will push you in your marketing.

Marketing is frightening for a majority of writers. (You are definitely not alone.) It’s intimidating. And many don’t know what it is, let alone where to start.

Yes, in one sense marketing is complex, but in another it’s extremely simple. Let’s concentrate on simple.

Marketing: making yourself known and making yourself likeable. If someone is going to buy your proposal, your manuscript, your book … they have to know about you and it will help a great deal if they like you. That’s it.

What do people like? They like being surprised. They like being entertained. They like learning new things. But most authors never try anything risky with their proposals, e-mails, manuscripts, presentations so they sound the same as every other writer.

When I sold radio advertising in the late 80s I did magic as part of my presentations. It was a risk. It was a cliff and sometimes the wings didn’t come together and I crashed. But I won far more times than I lost.

You want to stand out? Get noticed by an editor or agent? Take the risk. In whatever you do, whether it’s writing an e-mail, posting on Facebook, twittering, answering the phone, writing a proposal, try something that will make yourself stand out. Something that’s a little bit risky.

But I mentioned at the beginning of this post, sometimes you need someone to give you a push. Yep. It’s time to go find a friend who will escort you to the edge.

Jim Rubart is a professional marketer whose clientele has included ABC, AT&T/Cingular, and Clear Channel Radio. He is also a professional speaker, and writes recurring columns for Christian Fiction Online Magazine. His first novel ROOMS comes out this April from B&H Fiction. Jim and his wife and their two teenage sons live just outside Seattle, Washington. You can catch up with him at and

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