Tag Archives: author / marketeer

Job Description: Author/Marketeer by Jeannie Lin

15 Feb

I haven’t written a word in seven days.

It sounds like confession when I say it like that.

For the six months after The Call, I stayed really busy. Butterfly Swords required two rounds of extensive edits before being accepted. I then wrote and sold a related short story to Harlequin Undone. I had completed three manuscripts before selling. My editor wanted to see the other two so I polished the follow-up novel, The Dragon and the Pearl, and also completely re-wrote the first book in the series. After I sent both manuscripts to my agent, I finally had a moment to catch my breath.

Now what? Do I try something new? Maybe something inĀ  a more popular genre? Or do I expect my agent to peddle my hard sell manuscripts forever? I couldn’t decide.

Fortunately, my editor dangled a possible release date for Butterfly Swords in front of me. The perfect distraction. So here’s my new job description, one which I’ll have to execute alongside my writing tasks.

Marketeer Extraordinaire


  • Assign and procure marketing budget
  • Research marketing options – ads, bookmarks, giveaways, flyers, etc.
  • Create marketing plan
  • Identify venues for ads
  • Design promotional materials
  • Schedule opportunities to network, blog, and go to conferences
  • Negotiate time with Author Extraordinaire for PR activities such as networking, blogging, and going to conferences

When I first started writing, I thought a great book would sell itself. I’m sure that’s still true to some extent. But a book is a product. How are people going to know to buy it if they’re not aware it’s out there? Ay, there’s the rub.

I went full steam for about two days before reality set in. Already the marketing budget is edging on the entire amount of my first advance. I had dreams of advertisements in multiple languages and bookmarks and little customized charms.

There’s so much to do! It’s a fast and furious marketing strategy for what will amount to about a two month window of opportunity. The task is shiny new and challenging. Most importantly, I’m getting excited all over again about the book and, in turn, it’s making me more excited about starting the next writing project.

Which brings me back to the beginning.

Author Extraordinaire is what I set out to be. Without her, Marketeer has nothing to sell. On the other hand, I can see Marketeer robbing Author of her precious writing time by justifying that this could be their one and only book if sales tank.

They say the best way to increase your sales is to write the next book. And then I suppose I should write one after that and another one after that. When’s the right time to focus on marketing? And how much is too much? Do debut authors make the rookie mistake of spending too much time on promotion or not enough?

Marketeer Extraordinaire wants to know. She’s quite new at this and it took Author over four years to just begin to figure out writing. Marketeer doesn’t have that much time to learn, so she’s going to need a little help. And soon, very soon, Author is going to want her stage back.