Marketing 101 revisited

Writing the stories for Nine Romantic Stories: Carla Sarett: Kindle Store:  was wonderful.  I'd had luck getting the stories published in Erics HystericsScissors and SpackleDanse MacabreInfectiveInk and The River Poet's Journal-- but submission to magazines is cut and dried.  The less you say in your cover letter, the better.  Either an editor loves what you write or she doesn't.  End of story.  No query letter required.  Easy-- and if you pick the right magazines, speedy too.  Some editors wrote me back the same day!

Getting agents and publishers, of course, is a slower business.  There were entire blogs dedicated to "writing a good query letter."  Yikes!  Not for me, thank you.

So, on to the world of self-publishing.  I'd worked in marketing (sort of) so I naively imagined that I'd navigate easily.  I knew in a remote sort of fashion that the readership for short stories isn't a big one.

How small is it?  I constructed a "Keyword Search" using Google Adwords using my favorite writers, writers like Allegra Goodman, Dawn Powell, Deborah Eisenberg, Laurie Colwin,  Muriel Spark.  Well, the total "reach" of all of those is neglible.  Even if I used ALL of them, Google's Adwords estimator informed me that I'd get ZERO clicks.  Zero, as we all know, isn't a good number.

With my marketing head, I could advise a writer -- do that search beforehand, and you'll get a sense of how big or small your market is.  But truth is, most writers don't write for money - I certainly didn't-- but we do write with the hopes of finding our readers. I'm not sure that self-publishing makes that process any easier than, say, writing that good query letter.

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