I’m aware that marketing is necessary. The world is full of competing stories, and I need to pitch my idea in order to lift it above the others.

I get it.


I’m still not enthused about it.

I wish that my experience selling non-fiction topics (note: under another name) applied here. I had a reputation as a kind of expert. Acquisition editors found me. Some ideas got spiked. Others went through to completion. My marketing effort felt minimal.

In the fiction category, there don’t seem to be the same kind of acquisition editors. Mostly because there’s no easy way for a writer to show their chops.

There’s no “Stack Overflow” for cool plot twists or clever turns of phrase. Until an agent sees your synopsis (or treatment) or chapter, there are not many ways of pitching your abilities.

There can’t be, either. Corporations pay tech people directly. Advertisers want a piece of the accumulated talent, and there are marketing services that make tech people more visible. For SFF writers, there isn’t the same kind of aggressive competition between employers.

After a few dozen query letters, I realized there might be other ways to connect with an agent. Regular blog posts might be a good adjunct to queries. Reading the Twitter feeds of other writers is key, of course. Since my chosen genre is #SFF, then #Epic and #Fantasy seem like sensible hash tags to follow for news and events.

And there’s the trade-off: time spent marketing is time not spent writing. Marketing’s important, but a good product seems to deserve a priority that’s higher by a shade.