Trans publishing at Homofactus Press has been a side project for me for about seven years. About two weeks ago I decided I needed to focus on this business of trans publishing. To focus on Homofactus Press, I needed to focus on this business of marketing.
Now I hate marketing. I hate planning for marketing. I hate executing marketing plans. I just hate marketing. But reminding people about our books must be constant, as in marketing everyday, seemingly all the time. So I took the plunge, bought a copy of Tim Grahl’s Your First 1000 Copies (based on a recommendation by Pam Slim< --super fabulous person), read it, began implementing his suggestions and now find I actually rather like marketing.
Marketing – creating the flyers, tweets, facebook updates – for any business, be it Homofactus Press, another trans publishing business or my blogs and my book, Self-Organizing Men, isn’t difficult. What is difficult is creating a consistent message.
In the realm of consistent marketing there is no better guru than Gretchen Rubin of the Happiness Project. I signed up for her daily happiness quote and have been impressed by her focused consistency and her ability to create and reuse her content. She works extraordinarily hard at her job as a writer.
As a writer, she understands her job is marketing. I see now that creating new content isn’t difficult, at least not for me. I can write a 500 word blog piece in under 15 minutes. But how do I let people know about the content? How do I get them to buy my book? How can I excite them about my memoir? Once I answer these questions, how do I then implement my solutions?
Gretchen Rubin describes herself as someone who does not do things in a moderate fashion. An all or nothing approach works best for her. So she works at her marketing every day. She (or someone paid to do it for her) updates her facebook page- which she responds to btw – and twitter page and linked in and her blog. Everyday. And she reminds us over and over and over of some of her better content.
A few years ago I would have thought her rather greedy and grubby. But having worked at Homofactus Press and my writing for over seven years, I want some sales. A lot of sales, actually. Sales result from creating great content and then spreading the word. Why labor to produce quality content then not share it? How much of the stereotype of the underpaid writer is a result of our own unwillingness to market ourselves? If we can’t toot our own horn, why should anyone else?
I’m grateful I’ve had the opportunity to understand some components of marketing, even seemingly so late in the game. Marketing a trans publishing company is rather like living with a daily hormone prescription. A single dose doesn’t really mean much. It is the totality of doses over time that add up to a gender I like. Hopefully my marketing shots will add up to a walloping growth in sales I like.∗