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Marketing Interviews

I asked ten writers ten questions about marketing and this is the result

I asked 10 writers 10 questions about marketing and here’s what they said – click on the writers names’ below to read the interviews. Some of my interviewees are poets, some are novelists, several are short story writers, several write in more than one genre, and more than one has had experience of marketing as a day job. Here’s what I asked everyone (with the option to leave out any questions they didn’t fancy).

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The Questions

  1. Can you tell us a bit about you and your work? What are you working on at the moment?
  2. How do you approach marketing your work, on a practical level? For instance, do you schedule it for a particular day of the week, or use a different desk, or make time for it every afternoon?
  3. Some creative people treat marketing as if it’s creation’s evil twin. Is there a way of making friends with it?
  4. Do you think about marketing before, during, or after writing, or is it ongoing?
  5. How do you tend to market your work? (For instance, do you use social media? Do you blog?)
  6. Would you spend a substantial amount of time on a piece even if you knew you wouldn’t or couldn’t publish and sell it?
  7. Do you use any of these for marketing purposes: school visits, workshops, readings, video book trailers, seeking press coverage?
  8. I once heard someone dismiss a career in book marketing by saying ‘he might as well go and sell fridges’ – is selling books really the same as selling fridges?
  9. There’s a lot of marketing jargon around, such as ‘find your niche’, ‘create a sales funnel’, ‘engage with your audience’, ‘create a platform’ – do beginning writers need to engage with it from the start? Has that changed since you started writing?
  10. Any examples of book marketing you think worked really well?

The Interviews

  1. Self-puffery, common sense, and a golden hare. An interview with poet and copywriter, Peter Kenny
  2. An uncertain writer on writing habits and building networks of readers. An interview with one of the co-founders of Creative Future, Dominique De-light.
  3. “The best marketing is to write like a demon.” An interview with writer, Vanessa Gebbie.
  4. Marketing is your friend: vloggers, gantt charts and friends’ houses. An interview with short story writer, Anna Maconochie.
  5. “Be bold, carry copies of your book with you, get into conversations”. An interview with poet and short story writer and editor at Cultured Llama, Maria C. McCarthy.
  6. Making friends with marketing. An interview with playwright and novelist, Hannah Vincent.
  7. Don’t confuse ‘marketing’ with ‘selling’. An interview with poet and non-fiction writer, Robin Houghton.
  8. Send books to your friends, and see humour as a key tool. An interview with short story writer, Frances Gapper.
  9. Allow potential readers to discover your book. An interview with novelist, non-fiction writer and founder member of Beach Hut Writers, Bridget Whelan.
  10. It depends what people hope to achieve. An interview with short story writer, poet, and editor at Frogmore Press, Jeremy Page.

Read the next ten interviews here