Marketing for the terrified

Last month I wrote a post about my paralyzing fear of marketing. Since that post, two things have happened. First, my novel Sage Courage was published and second, I began spending up to an hour a day on marketing.

Confronting a dire fear of marketing proved invaluable and liberating. But how did I do it? This meditation (blog) is an attempt to share what I’ve learned in the last few weeks about overcoming unreasonable fear as I suspect I’m not the only person who is faced with it.

A lot of fear is focused on the future. We imagine a negative outcome and then we obsess about it until it feels real. It isn’t real.

When I recognized this, I decided to employ my creativity in a playful way in the present and to avoid thinking about or hoping for a particular outcome. After all, this is something writers excel at. Writing a novel is an extended exercise in being creative without any promise of all that work/play paying off.

Love has also become an important tool for fighting off my fear of marketing. What wouldn’t we do for what we love? And, as a famous quote in the New Testament tells us, “Perfect love casts out fear.” I have chosen to dwell in my love of life, my love of writing, my love of my subject matter. Selling this novel is not a commercial enterprise but rather a labor of love–a gift intended for the world of readers.

Just now I am sitting in a coffee shop with a stack of novels and a sign announcing their availability. It is still a little nerve-wracking, but I’m out here in a spirit of playful love with a gift for the world.

A tale of true terror


So it’s Monday and I’ve promised myself to post a blog once a week and Sunday is The Day and it came and went (I have excuses, I promise!) and now it is Monday and after an extended period of navel gazing I have come up with a whole lot of Not Much on my mind.

Good. That’s over with. I had this insane urge to write a really good run-on sentence so now we can get down to it. I’m afraid of marketing. Well, that’s not strictly true. Let’s try it again. I am terrified of marketing. Closer. One more go. If given a choice between marketing and, say, a stint at Guantanamo Bay… You get the idea.

I read an article that really hit home a few years ago. Following an intensive Google search just now, I cannot find the article (frustrating!) but I’ll summarize. The commentator said one of the biggest differences between the iPad and Kindle Fire was that when the iPad was launched Steve Jobs did this huge, glitzy unveiling to a wowed audience while the Kindle guy (no idea of his name) muttered, “Here, take this,” and threw a couple Kindles at the crowd while failing to make eye contact.

I identify with Kindle Guy. Every cell in my body is urging me to secretly publish my novel “Sage Courage” and then run and hide. My body cells may not be as wise, however, as the synergistic output of my brain which tells me I should look into telling people about my novel and explaining to them why they would like to buy it.

My fingers have frozen. I find myself looking out into space and picking at some dead skin on my arm. And all because this was the paragraph where I was going to tell you, Dear Reader, about what I wrote.

Deep breaths. You can do this, Heather.

I wrote this nifty horror novel called “Sage Courage.” My faithful pre-readers have dubbed it a page turner, enjoyable, loved it, etc. Seriously. I had one reader tear through it in one sitting and come up for air (and food) only after the last page.

This paragon of entertainment will be available in Amazon in ebook and print formats August 16, 2016. Like, next week. 

Now I’m going to go throw up a little.