by Thea Atkinson
I suppose I’m like many writers: I say I write because I love to. That I write because I simply can’t not write. I write to explore topics of interest to me, to discover stories that haven’t yet been told, to communicate. Yes. That last one. I write to communicate.
Well, I’m no different than most writers. I have an ego. It does get slashed and burned at times and it does every now and then get stroked. Yes. I like it when that happens. I’m human after all; doesn’t everyone like a little love now and then?
Like most writers I get all warm and fuzzy when someone tells me they loved what I wrote. During my freelance days, I never really cared one way or another if someone loved my essay or my article about Uncle Bob getting an award. I just wasn’t invested enough.
But I’ve been writing fiction for years. Really. YEARS. I’ve studied the craft, worked at it, practiced, edited, critiqued, and judged it. I still have a long way to go before I’m a Margaret Atwood or an Alice Munro, or an Annie Proulx. Heck. I’ll probably never get there, and if I did, by now I’m old enough that if I ever do get there, I’ll be gone the next day.
But I digress. I always do.
I’m just saying that the worst kind of email a writer can get is a piece of spam that starts out with a subject line: I loved your book.
You know I was going to open it. I had no other choice.
And what was within? Oh, dear heaven. SPAM. Spam for some other writer’s book. What kind of lowly author would do such a thing? What kind of masochistic writer would use another writer’s sensitive and fragile ego as bait to schlep their own wares. (Hmmm. I’m amazed my spell checker didn’t scream at me for the word schlep…it must actually be a word)
Ok. So this writer is a moron. An insensitive, sociopathic moron.
Could it be that the writer ‘gets’ his audience? The book being schlepped (teehee. Still no spellcheck warning) was about how to market your independent book, the market was writers. Not readers. Writers. Could it be that this author really understood his audience and captured it the best way he could?
Well, I clicked. And then I read. And then I got angry. And now I’m blogging about it.
Regrettably, I learned a few things. One: that my ego isn’t as hardened as I’d thought. Two: that I still seem to need validation. Three: That there is a right and wrong way to market even if I nailed the ‘click’; there is within the message, a need to be authentic to achieve buy-in. Four: that my mantra of pay it forward and back is even more solidified in my mind. We writers need to stick together, not use each other.
Did you get the email? What did you think?
If you liked this post, please do share.
- [ Pitch Slapped ] Selling the story without the blurb (thecanaryreview.com)