From the moment of conception until you present your work to the market, every decision you make — whether conscious or not, whether active or passive — is a marketing decision. This relationship is inherent in the process, not an affectation. People who study marketing with seriousness are not attempting to impose a theory on the process of production and sales, they are attempting to reveal how each decision at each step in the production process relates to sales.
The biggest problem with marketing theory and practice is in proving the causality of a particular choice or decision. As with stock prices it’s always easier to draw compelling conclusions from results than it is to make profitable predictions. In publishing such past-performance generalizations are useful to the marketing department and critic, but to the creator they have limited utility.
Why? Because at the molecular level every key press is a marketing decision. Every verb you use (or don’t), every comma you use (or don’t), every paragraph you write (or don’t), has a theoretical impact on the market’s acceptance of your work. At the same time it should be obvious that trying to understand and control these causal relationships can lead only to madness. As a practicing writer you must accept that there’s only so far marketing can take you, even if you devote yourself to it completely. [ Read more ]