The last time I wrote a book (way back in 2010), I was pretty open about my process. I tweeted about how difficult and fulfilling writing is at the same time, and how I somehow survived the process. I want to take it a step further this time around.
While writing a book is a huge undertaking, and by no means easy, in a lot of ways marketing a book is harder. Most writers are great at writing – at learning the craft, reading, researching, putting in the time to put the words on the page. And it’s a solitary process. I equate it in a lot of ways to writing music. You spend hours (with scoring, it’s sometimes 14 a day) alone and staring at a computer screen, sometimes wearing your pajamas straight through the day into the next night.
I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do after a day of writing is head to a networking event and pretend to be social. To be honest, it’s not my favorite thing even when I haven’t been writing, but that’s the introvert in me talking. However, the marketing guy in me knows that if I don’t get out and meet people, no one is going to hire me to score their film, or buy my book.
The same thing applies to online marketing. It can be overwhelming, there are so many social media sites to post on, and every site is different. And you can’t just blast them all with PLEASE BUY MY BOOK and expect it to work. You have to finesse it.
Most importantly, you need to let everybody peek inside that place inside you that you normally don’t want people to see, the creative brain. The place that all of us like to hide when we’re creating, the center of our universe. You have to be willing to expose yourself.
If you want people to relate to you, to care about what you’re doing, you have to share. You have to let them in. And the great thing is, people as a whole appreciate it, and want to talk to you about it. And when you let them in, they’re more likely to get into what you’re writing.
So I’m letting all of you in. I want to share my process with you. The tools I use, the good days when the writing is flowing, the bad days when I can’t seem to get more than 10 words on the page despite a looming deadline. The days when I have to hit up 6 taco joints in one afternoon and LA traffic turns a 2-hour task into a 5-hour trek.
And the marketing. I want this book to succeed. I want to get it into as many taco-covered hands as possible. I want to help people discover new food they didn’t know existed, and maybe find new favorites to share with family and friends. So I need to get out there and tell people about it – on Twitter, Facebook, in person, on Periscope with live video excursions to taquerias so that you can get as close as possible without tasting. And if you’re a preorder-er, maybe even an exclusive cooking lesson or two.
So I want to thank you now for embarking on this journey with me. Even if it kills me.