During the Renaissance it was the fashion for aspiring artists to attract wealthy patrons who supported the struggling artist or writer and who acted like an agent in finding the right clients for their protégé. Today if you don’t have the an agent it means you have to do the hard yards to promote yourself.
The disparaging label of self-promoter is often wrongly given to people who network with ease, people whose nature thrives in the milieu of social networking. How incredibly fortunate you are if you are creative as well as a natural born marketer.
But for the vast majority of us creative folk the marketing of ourselves and our products is an internal battle that is hard fought with the knowledge that if we want to sell or promote our work it comes down to DIY. Each avenue of self-promotion that we study is hampered with fear about our capability to make it work.
How many thousands of writers and artists out in the world know that their lifelong expression of their heart is the only path for them. Accepting that each day of working at their craft learning, experimenting and honing their creation will be without remuneration of any kind. But then it is complete and for us writers we hawk our manuscripts around the publishing house and for the artists it is the galleries.
Dealing emotionally with the rejections before trying again and again. Buoyed by the stories of house name authors who met the same fate with their first work. Agatha Christie, five years of rejection, J K Rowling, C S Lewis, Stephen King with his first novel Carrie, Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code was rejected because it was ‘so badly written,’ eventually picked up by Doubleday and went on to sell 80 million copies world wide and Margaret Mitchell received 38 rejections before her epic work Gone with the Wind was published.
Self publishing of course is a good way to get your work out there but you still have to market it. To me there are few creatives who have that strong action based networking desire and know-how to promote their work. They would rather be telling the story than selling the story.
What myself and these fellow artists need is a co-operative mentor, a group of people who are there to encourage, advise, guide and when the final product is finished, to promote it. Bit like The Den on ABC television where mentors invest in small operations wanting to grow into full bloom abundance and taking a cut of the business.
Could we make it happen ?What do you think?