Continuing the Process: Marketing

Hope everyone had a happy Fourth of July yesterday. I spent the day at the Picnic in the Park in Batavia NY. It rained considerably while there - I even had a puddle in the center of my area, but eventually the sun came out as did the inhabitants of Batavia. I spent my day talking with people, teaching them about weaving and discussing Azure Maris. While I did not sell a great deal of items, I did manage to tell people about what I did which is a basic portion of marketing.

One of the aspects that surprised me with publication was the marketing portion. I knew that one needed to market oneself to magazines in the cover letter as well as keep the name out in the public. Blogs, websites, Facebook accounts and other items are brilliant for this aspect, but the constancy of it can overwhelm anyone.

Every artist must market himself through whatever he does. Sometimes it might involve doing something as a volunteer, sometime it's negotiating a price down. Sometimes it is maintaining a blog, and often it involves fairs, shows or signings. The process of keeping the name out in the public, maintaining the connections to your audience and introducing new readers involves putting oneself out there, but it's worth it. Sometimes, it simply involves teaching people about what you do. Since I'm a new author, I don't have the name recognition that better known authors have so placing myself out in the public introduces me to the readers. With my weaving, I often have to introduce the time it takes to weave something to people. Weaving is not a dying art, but it is a rare art especially where I live since quilting is more popular.

The other thought I have found interesting is the combining of my two arts: weaving and writing. Azure doesn't weave like other characters do. The art I normally emphasize with her is bookbinding since she does journal. My ability to do both is not unusual, though it often feels that it is. The ability to do both helps me with my marketing since I can bring the items around two ways: through writing or through weaving.

In other books that I have (one of which is due out in March), the main character weaves, so I am developing some of the elements that she will do. Marketing is a many faceted aspect of any business: it involves a little bit of everything from how a website looks to how one dresses at a fair. Much of the marketing, especially for artists, depends upon the individual. It sometimes feels as though I'm just another sound trying to be heard in a room full of sound. Some days, I wonder if it is worth it, but I talk with someone who enjoyed my book or loves something I created and I know that I have the energy to keep going: a sip of cold water on a hot day.

By the way, I mentioned last week about not seeing lightning bugs since moving to New York. After a long day, God smiled on me for last night, in my bedroom, I had two flying around much like a little fireworks show all for me in my room.

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