Brand Building Takes Time

quick query critique with marla millerAfter 6 years of toiling out here as an independent editor, my labors-why I branded MarketingtheMuse to me in 2003- are beginning to bear fruit. I am attracting writers I want to help; solid story-tellers with solid stories to tell. From experience I know that unless you’re famous, authors are on our own, a lesson taught to me in 1999 by Simon & Schuster, publishers of my first book.  I launched MarketingtheMuse editorial services/platform building strategies a few years before indie publishing became an option. Once it did, the overuse/abuse of the word ‘marketing’ threw MarketingtheMuse into a pool I wanted no part of-marketers.

I was about to change brands but then this happened: Two years ago, I started to work with several fine writers, one of them is Tom Huth. We met at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference and we’ve been working together since. I first acted as developmental editor-big picture view-and then shifted to the role I play now, social media strategist/consultant.

Repeat after me, building your brand takes time. I have a few writers in my MarketingtheMuse tribe now. Not bad for six years of work that included giving LOTS of stuff away free including over 200 videoed query letter critiques. Yes, free. You have to give away good stuff if you’re not a big name. I was without much of a name at all when I began my little business. I was a founding magazine editor-in-chief who had just settled a legal suit with my former publishing partners brought against them for several egregious acts I could no longer ignore. Prior to that entrepreneurial enterprise, I wrote for several southern California magazines and always part-time; my steadiest, a sixteen year columnist gig with the Orange County Register’s COAST Magazine. Of my books, one is traditionally published.

I don’t claim to be the best read, experienced or the most literary. My master’s degree is in science not arts. That acknowledged, I have a good eye for story.  I’m also a lifelong student of our culture and believe the lens I look through often helps authors’ market their muse out here.

When Tom Huth met me at SBWC 2014, I did not know he was an old time stoner journalist. He did not know I was a medical cannabis activist. I just knew a good story when I heard it. At that time, Tom had written two memoirs, both rejected by traditional houses. He did not have a view of Forty Years Stoned: a journalist’s romance when we began working together.  He had files filled with stories that included/revolved around his lifelong use of cannabis.

That was enough. Writers, Forty Years Stoned: a journalist’s romance is much layered and mighty entertaining, even as your heart hurts for these two longtime lovers.

On publication day, 4/20/2016, Tom will be reading @ Boulder Bookstore from this memoir that shines light on cannabis but really is a love letter to his wife, Holly, who for twenty of the last forty years, has coped with the devastating effects of Parkinson’s Disease.

Huth’s Forty Years Stoned: a journalist’s romance is a fine example of why mastering craft is essential before tackling a story that has any chance of resonating with readers long after we’ve read The End.

Forty Years Stoned: a journalist’s romance is now available for pre-order in print & Kindle. I hope my writing tribe here supports this well crafted story. I will update Tom’s promotional events booked around the country. Everywhere we pitch, they want to know more.

On Sunday, 4/17//2016, Tom’s caregiving piece ran in the New York Times,  three days before publication of Forty Years Stoned: a journalist’s romance.  This longtime journalist, with his small team (that includes publisher, Naomi Rosenblatt) is marketing his muse effectively by using journalism skills honed back in the day when he wrote for the Washington Post and Conde NastTravel. 

Experience counts. Isn’t that nice to know that when you are ready to market your muse, experiences from your past may help?

Authors I’ve worked with  who are now published, click here.

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