The 80/20 view


Most author forums have extensive discussions ongoing about marketing. Naturally, after all the work spent writing a book or story or poem, the goal is to have it read. If the reader is willing to pay something for the experience, all the better. And there are tons of good ideas floating around that involve rapidly emerging marketing tools. More people are likely making money from writing about marketing writing than from other types of writing. There is nothing wrong with that. WRITER’S DIGEST and other magazines have built decent businesses out of the how to aspects. But it is interesting.

The problem with marketing is simply the time it takes. As with any job, you must master the tools, then apply them. Marketing is a lot of work, and much of it not trivial. The pieces don’t look difficult, but there are many of them, and you do not know in advance which ones are the important ones. In fact, a very old adage about advertising says that 80 percent of advertising money is wasted, but no one knows which is the 80 percent and which is the productive 20 percent.

In fact, marketing is rife with variations on the 80/20 rule: “20 percent of salespeople make 80 percent of the sales” has been around longer than anyone I know.

You would think that, in erotica, the problem would be less, as it is a niche market. Unfortunately, that also means that the competition is more severe. Fortunately, it is a market that consumes a lot of stories. And so maybe it finally does work out. At least 20 percent works out. But if I have to spend 80 percent of the time marketing, then when to write?

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