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, 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.