My friend Meredith is a social media consultant. She knows all about leveraging the internet for fun and profit, and she makes a tidy living off of it. Also, she loves to nibble and chat as much as I do, so we plan regular outings. Now and again she and I discuss The Creative Loop, and my hesitance to pull out the stops and market it more heavily. After all, it took a decade of training, work, and writing to create it.
Shouldn't I try to sell more copies?
There are a million actions I could take, tweets I could post, relationships I could exploit, and platforms I could leverage. It would be easy to offer you a list; as a former web-based workshop leader and copywriter, the business of selling is known to me.
But no. I'm not aggressively peddling my wares today.
The truth is, at this moment I don't want to run a book give-away, hold a Google+ hangout, or spend some money getting my listing higher on search engines. I'm choosing not to ask people to review the book, or attend a workshop based on its principles. Every day offers come across my screen for "what to do to boost sales." All deleted.
Why not attempt to capitalize on my hard work? When, as Meredith pointed out today over (unbelievably delicious) biscuits and gravy, the book already exists?
I'll tell you why. Authenticity. My goal was to publish the principles, not profit from the book. And I met that goal, a few days early. I learned a ton. And I'm thrilled with the result.
But the truth is, the content of The Creative Loop is almost a life-style. Each idea is radical in its way. If I were to become a full-time pitch person, I'd be implying a commitment to see that through; to follow up with those who takes on the deep work of using the book to transform their creative lives.
And I have not chosen to commit to that. At least, not yet. I have a previous promise to keep.
I don't want to create the expectation out in the world that I am available to mentor and coach right now, because I am otherwise engaged. No amount of hourly fee would induce me to take on the hard, intense work of coaching, or running workshops. This is not the moment for me to stand high up on a stage, looking down and talking the talk. I'm busy.
I wrote the book so people can access that knowledge freely and easily, for a fraction of the cost of a coaching session. That's the beauty of independent publishing; the work is there. Anyone who wants it can have it, instantly.
I feel fantastic about that. And now, I need all my time and creative energy. Because I use every piece of advice offered in The Creative Loop. All of it. That means I am doing creative work, regularly and with great joy.
Because I have learned self compassion, goal setting, boundary defense, and the other skills in the book, I am occupied creating. I love my clients, my readers, and my students. One day I may enter a joyful commitment to return to passionate, deep block-crushing that is coaching. And if I do, I will mean it with all my heart. Nothing less is worthy of the brave, talented people who turn to me for help
But no, I'm not trying to goose my sales numbers. I'd prefer to earn a following by practicing what I preach. Word of mouth, loyalty of those who know me already, and the results that ripple out from my former students/clients/mentees will do for now.
My greatest hope is not for myself as an authority. It's for you, as an artist.
Let's all do some great work today.