Friday, April 29, 2011

It's All In The Marketing

Originally Posted on June, 2005

The last thing any artist would want to talk about is marketing. Normally, the publisher does all of that. However, when the artist also has experience in publicity and writing press releases, guess who does a chunk of the marketing?


So, how does one balance the marketing of a piece of art or a book without being too self-promoting and overbearing?

The stereotype of an artist, musician, poet and writer is a fragile human being. On one hand, they struggle to get through their art in order to make ends meet. Once the art is out in the public, they become either one of two people: timid and humble or a complete egomaniac.

I could be wrong. Maybe I’ve seen too many situations where the artist is a complete egomaniac who thinks that the world revolves around them. If there are any friends are around, they seem like window dressing than anyone supportive and true.

On other occasions, I’ve also seen situations where you try to find the artist, but can never find them. Then, along comes someone speaking on behalf of them because they have sunken into the corner of the venue where no one can notice.

Where do I stand? Right off, I’m very humble. I love the fact that The Boy From Reseda is in print and people have been buying it. However, I sort of feel a tinge of embarrassment. I’m a very shy person that has to overcompensate when I am presented publicly to a good number of people.

There are times, however, that I do rise to the occasion and come off quite well. Yet, I also had moments where I took advantage of the situation and ended up becoming "too much" for the crowd. Perhaps "bouncing off the walls: is an apt description. If someone is bouncing off the walls like a racquetball during a volley, people tend to back away slowly...then run!

Now, do you see the quandary?

The solution is here is to just "be yourself." You can interpret that any way you want, but let me put this in context. Oprah Winfrey would tell her audience one thing: "live life with integrity." Part of being yourself is being authentic. If you’re nervous, then you are being authentic in your nervousness. Identifying this means you truly care about the work that you put into the art that brought you to the point of being nervous before a public appearance. It is sage advice I've received over time.

A friend from Virginia recently told that I have this inner light that attracts people to me. That sounds like I'm E.T. His point’s well taken. Sometimes you have to raise the dimmer on that inner light in order to overcome adversity, including the work of promoting your art.

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