If we want to adopt an organic marketing approach, the first questions we must answer are: What is organic marketing? And why do it?
Organic marketing is not ‘going back’ to some dreamlike past before the World Wide Web came along, in which people relied on the big traditional publishers getting your books into big traditional bookstores and hoped that they would get enough foot traffic to make you a bestseller. The days of the high street bookshop and the casual passerby are gone: the internet with all its hype and deception — but also all its wonder and opportunity — is here to stay. No, organic marketing is going forward to a new and better sort of life, a life that brings challenge and the use of daily initiative back to work, a life which involves real communication with real people and the abandonment of false dreams which have probably been driving you mad anyway.
It means accepting responsibility for your writing, and one of its greatest rewards is the joy that comes from finding the depths in your own work that you never suspected existed; it means discovering new things about yourself and your ideas, and seeing those things flourish right through to the hearts of readers. Organic marketing is part of a wider approach which involves striving for a higher standard of writing, for work which is fresh and appealing and good, for the good life of a writer in pleasant surroundings, for the health and peace of mind which come with understanding your own vision and disseminating it, and for the satisfaction that comes from writing difficult and sometimes intricate stories well and successfully.
‘Stories?’ I hear someone say. ‘I thought this was about marketing, not the process of writing…’
The preoccupation of the writer should be a correct attitude to his or her work. If it ever comes to pass that you feel you have used up all, or most of, the ideas in your head, you will have to reconsider your attitude to your only real and abiding asset — what’s in your own heart. You will one day have to derive your sustenance from what your heart can produce. You may not wish in the future to maintain a standard of living that depends entirely on elaborate and expensive algorithms and faceless companies, but you will always want to maintain a high standard of living in the things that really matter — good friends, communication, feedback, mental and spiritual health, happiness, and fun. Your work, if nurtured properly, can support you, and it can do it without huge applications of artificial methods and supposed ‘quick-fix’ approaches, or the use of expensive advertising.
But everyone who writes needs to husband their work as wisely, knowledgeably, and intensively as possible.
Other works, too, besides your own, should merit your consideration. A writer should be a husbander, a person who cultivates his or her work; a farmer of fiction. Your imagination — or what you might have formerly thought of as ‘the set of your ideas’ — is not exclusively for your own use. The kind of varied, carefully thought-out husbandry of the thoughtful writer encourages a great variety of works, and every writer will wish to leave some areas untouched in his or her mind, where ideas can continue to breed and flourish undisturbed and in peace.
There is also the question of your relations with other writers. Many writers give up writing because they find it too isolating. A writer, living alone surrounded by faceless corporations and vast, apparently thriving writers’ groups, may well feel lonely; but if he or she has other writers nearby some cooperation with undoubtedly occur, and very quickly, that writer can part of a living and warm community. There may even be shared work; there will certainly be celebrations of all kinds. This kind of social life is already beginning in certain writing groups.
Good relations with the master authors are important too. Were many of the great writers alive today, most would rejoice to see new writers reviving and preserving the old skills and would undoubtedly take pleasure in imparting them to future generations.
Organic marketing is not only for those who have a novel manuscript completed or self-published. The man in a city apartment who learns how to express his thoughts in a haiku is becoming, to some extent, an organic marketer: he increases his own satisfaction and self-respect, and begins the journey of communicating his innermost thoughts and feelings to others.
Learn more about this journey soon.