Words from the otherworld: Media, marketing, noise and just, no. This is a web, let’s treat it as such.
I have been thinking a lot about ‘marketing’ lately. I have also been doing a lot of researching and admittedly I still have a lot more research ahead of me. However, what I have read so far didn’t sit well with me. It made me uncomfortable and even went against my values. “Ah, but marketing isn’t about values its about money! And making sure your wonderful book reaches the readers that so desperately want it!” Hmmm. That still doesn’t sit well with me. So, I have been sitting and thinking about the internet, the ‘web’. The web is my main source of contact to the outside world since falling ill and in many ways it has been a life saver. I have made some truly profound connections via the web. Also, I met my partner and the majority of my great loves and friends, via the web. How did these connections happen? By rippling out honestly, and bravely across the web just as I am. Much like life, I think of the internet like a spiders web. Grandmother Spider is an old tale and one that is very close to my heart. If you would like to know about the myth Journeying to the Goddess is a great place to start. The general ideas of Grandmother Spider center around life, death and fate; she is said to have brought the alphabet, narrative, the moon, the stars and in some instances even the sun to humankind. She controls the connections made in our lives and help us connect with the strands of narrative that make up our inner wisdom particularly through dreams. She ensures that those we are meant to meet cross our strand along the great web. As such, she is considered a very important mythos and Goddess for writers. “Spider Woman’s themes are magical charms and growth. Her symbols are spiders and woven items. Spider Woman appears in the myths of the south-western Native Americans as a resourceful helper who spins magical charms and each person’s fate. No matter what problems or obstacles you face, Spider Woman creates the right network of energy to put you on the road toward accomplishment. In metaphysical traditions, all life is seen as a network within which each individual is one strand. Spider Woman reveals the power and purpose of each strand psychically and keeps you aware of those important connections in your life.”
As a storyteller I am drawn to the Grandmother Spider mythos and the ideas behind it. That is, focus on the connection to yourself and your truth, express that truth, walk with compassion and openness and the connections you are meant to make will come across your path. That is not to say they will arrive gift wrapped, you still have to work to make those opportunities to happen. Understanding this idea of the web and trusting in the idea of community is something I am drawn to in writing. Especially compared to the idea of flooding the web with noise about my book and writing in the loudest and most shocking way possible – that approach is just not me. I would rather live my values, build a community and if my book sells wonderful, if not then I will focus on basking in the joy writing and write another. It also strikes me as strange to try and create an object that I hope might move someone’s heart or even soul but then market it in a way that seems so impersonal and garish. Even if I just sell one copy and it moves one heart – that would mean the world to me. I understand that romance and erotica can be labeled trash fiction by some people (I am not here to discuss that issue right now) but I have had my soul lifted up by the most unlikely books. As such, I never underestimate a power of the book no matter what genre it falls under. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe I will get a publishing deal and end up handing over creative control to access as many sales as possible. Maybe I will invest in a marketing team to push my book ‘out there’. Maybe I will ripple out hard across the web. I don’t know – I am not there yet but I will be soon and I wanted to share my musings with you. Why? Because I would much rather build a community who connect with my writing – poetry, books and musings etc., and listen to what they have to say about the issue and respond to them. I would like to walk my thread of the web and weave my heart and soul into that journey and the writing I create so that if and when the opportunity to connect with someone occurs either face to face, via email or through my writing, this connection is the warmest and most respectful connection possible. However, I do want to make clear I am in no way judging or dismissing any other ways to market a book. I don’t think there is better or worse, just different. I am a young idealistic author who may be completely deluded so please; don’t take my words personally if you have chosen another path of marketing. Hell, I might be on that path with you soon enough. I just wanted to share my current feelings on the subject and see, if it is indeed possible, to form communities of readers and writers via this miraculous web we all wander that don’t require rambunctious marketing campaigns rather, they allow you to wander the web like you might and old bookstore and grab a book that your heart leaps at or, the cover design catches your eye or, the old bookstore keeper/book blogger recommended having known what you liked in the past. What do you guys think? Is this way of working the web possible? Is it already happening? All thoughts are welcome.