August 01, 2023

Dear Marketing Conflicted Writer


Dear Marketing Conflicted Writer,

Do you worry about having to sell yourself and your book?

Many writers do. For some, the fear and aversion to selling is so strong that they do nothing to promote their books, which is absolutely in their right. No one has to do what they truly don’t want to do. If promoting yourself and your books fills you with anxiety and insecurity, don’t do it. You’ll be happier for it. At the same time, you have to be okay with accepting the possible results of not promoting—fewer sales, fewer reviews.

Then there are the writers who want to promote but worry about others thinking they’ve sold out. Why? Because there are artists out there who believe marketing is a bad thing, that real artists shouldn’t stoop so low as to promote their work, that the people who do are only after fame and fortune. They say you’ve “sold out.”

I am here to tell you that promoting and marketing and branding are not bad things. 

We all have different goals.

We all have different ideas of success. Even of art.

As it should be.

We all have the right to choose for ourselves what’s right for us and our art. No one else has the say. No one else’s opinions matter. 

You are a real artist if you promote, and you are a real artist if you don’t.

QUESTION: Do you worry about (or hate) having to sell yourself and your book?


  1. Yes, I'm a marketing conflicted writer. I don't want to do it enough that I'm not sure I want to get published.

  2. I've pretty much accepted that I dislike marketing, have no idea how to do it anyway, and am willing to accept the consequences.

  3. Ah yes "selling out". I think you reach a certain age and realize that "selling out" is just what happens when you figure out that the world isn't as black and white as we assume when we're young children and teens. It's not selling out. It's realizing where we want to be in the world and how we fit in with all the others who had those same feelings.

  4. I've made a conscious decision not to market book 2 of my big book series, but because I know I have troublesome things with it (more to come in my own post tomorrow), and I don't want to contribute to the existing societal problems by encouraging people to read it. I will finish the book, and let those who want to read it do so. But I've long since decided I don't write for profit, so there's no harm in me not marketing.

  5. I think "marketing conflicted writer" is probably a much nicer way to describe whatever I am. :)

  6. Hi Chrys - someone suggested I'm a life-style blogger - my own way of blogging ... which I think I'll stick with. If I don't want to do something, then I don't - if I can see the future value, then I'll make a start. Good luck and thanks for these thoughts - cheers Hilary

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