Monday, June 27, 2011

How to Sell It

     As many of you know, I am always reading to improve my writing. Writing is my passion, but I want to convey my material in the best way possible. Whether I am writing an on-line article, a blog, or fictional novel. The internet is a great free and easy source to continue improving and learning.
     But there has been this prevelant message spreading throughout the on-line community that has been very disheartening. The message is to manipulate your content for best re-sale. Whether focusing on SEO as a blogger, writing generic articles that will appeal to the masses, or finding the fictional story that will become the next Twilight or Harry Potter; the message that I am seeing over and over is that we are to write with the mind of selling.

      How does that mindset and attitude produce good content? If I am writing about what people want or need because they want or need it, not because it matters to me; how will my work be any good? I suppose it is possible to do this. But it feels very... wrong.

     These promos make me feel less like a creative individual and more like an ad salesman. I have a degree that would let me do ad content. If I wanted to do ad content, I wouldn't be here. I have always believed that writers should write what they love and what they care about and that passion will bleed through to the readers. I have never believed that writers should shape their content to what they think will sell best. But with all these articles telling people to do just that, I was beginning to lose heart.

     Then I read The Writer's Manifesto By Jeff Goins and my faith in the writing community has been renewed. If you want to be a writer then you need to read this book. Whether you want to write on-line articles, blogging, or any form of creative writing; this book is meant for anyone who plans to write for others to read. Jeff is giving a free copy of this e-book on his blog when you join his e-newsletter (also free.) And I highly suggest that you do! It's a small e-book and a quick and easy read, but it is powerful and inspiring. When I am doing my research and start to feel a little down from all the sell, sell, sell content; I pull this little manifesto out to bolster my writing spirit.

    The message this week is that you as a writer have to stand for something. Don't follow the "money" as they say. Follow your passion and your heart. If you write about what you know and love, the people who are interested in those same topics will appreciate your content more. Sure, you may not become the next Twilight, but then again... you just might. Some of the best writers out there don't write to sell. They write for their passion and that passion is what sells.

     Keep these thoughts in mind as you pursue your writing dream. Rick Riordon, Author of the Percy Jackson Series, wrote the books as bedtime stories for his children. Now thousands read them to their children at bedtime. Stephanie Myer created the Twilight series from a dream she had. JK Rowlings was a teacher who wrote Harry Potter on the side because she had a story she loved and cared about.

      Not one of them said to themselves... "What will sell?"

So, tell me what inspires you to write? Leave it in the comments section.

Thanks for reading and hope you have an inspired day!!



  1. Thanks for sharing, Heidi, and for helping me write it!

  2. Thoughtful post. My wife and I have both produced books. I'm sure she won't mind me saying that she wrote hers with a mass audience in mind. I wrote mine trying to remain faithful to my 'voice' and style. Hers is a bestseller - My book is rapidly sinking without a trace. She said 'You'll like this' to her audience - I said 'I want you to like this' to mine.

    In a way though I don't mind - because I don't want to change my voice. I may have to 'refine' it - but I don't want to change it. Refining I think, is the way to go because it improves your writing ability and appeals to a wider audience without changing your voice if that makes sense? As an example - I cut to the chase a lot quicker in my chapters than I would ordinarily but it changes nothing about the ultimate content, the ultimate moral of the story. Attention spans are smaller these days and I believe some form of compromise is necessary - but it still doesn't represent a 'sell out' by the author.

    Just my perspective on your thought provoking blog post.


  3. Rory,

    Thanks for sharing your experiences!! Refining is good! and I absolutely agree that writers should always be working to improve their craft! You say that your wife wrote with a broader audience in mind, but I'm willing to bet she wrote about something she loved and cared about as well. I guess that is really my main point.

    Hope you have a lovely day!!

  4. Jeff,

    Thanks so much for coming by and thanksd for the wonderful opportunity to help a little bit with the Writer's Manifesto!

  5. "The message is to manipulate your content for best re-sale. Whether focusing on SEO as a blogger, writing generic articles that will appeal to the masses, "

    As a computer technician and someone who has to consider SEO, web design, HID (Human Interface Design) I understand that previous content. But it applies to TECHNICAL WRITING (Imagine previous Capitalized letters as written from a type writer.) Now the Selling Points, TOTALLY. People who take the time to write and publish books probably want them to do well and sell well.

    My thought would be leave the sales and marketing methodology to the editor and publisher. Isn't that what they are their for. The heart and soul of most products come from the people who bleed into them their all. Then they hand it over to an editor and publisher who make the blood stains look pretty.... lol

    Just my 2 many cents....


  6. Kevin,

    Thanks for the comments. I'm inclined to agree. But in this day and age with self-publishing running rampant and the number of books being published by the big houses shrinking... it is something we writers need to consider. I firmly believe that an author's voice is the most important aspect and sets them apart from each other. If we all try to sound alike for best commercialization, then the books will become generic and boring. It is already happening to some of us!