Today is a very special day in the pond because we have the lovely and talented author, Miss Jennifer Fusco, as our guest! She’s sharing a very poignant story about the importance of embracing all of your life’s experiences, whether you think they are relevant or not. Take it away, Jennifer…
A second career…
After college I joined one of Corporate America’s largest companies. I had a degree in English. I wasn’t an Engineer or a math nerd, so the places I could fit in the ginormous conglomerate were few. Luckily, I found myself stuck in the Marketing department.
I’d never taken a marketing class. Had no knowledge of what it was, exactly. You tell people why they should buy stuff, okay. I get it. And, a career was born. My day job educated me in all things marketing. They sent me to workshops, classes, industry meetings. It turned out that telling people why they should buy stuff was harder than it sounded. It wasn’t sales exactly, nor was it psychology either. It was both.
I spent fifteen years in marketing. Learning, practicing, putting those learned techniques out into the market place and evaluating their results. I did well. I won the ANA’s Advertising award three years running. I knew stuff. Yay, for me. But, it was a far cry from the teacher I thought I’d be as a child or the writer I dreamed I’d be as an adult.
Was I happy? No.
Marketing is a discipline. Anyone can learn it. Anyone can convince people to buy stuff. There is a market for everything. The challenge was over.
Then I discovered a writing group, CTRWA to be exact. In essence, we made a deal. You teach us how to market, we’ll teach you how to write romance. DONE! A second career was born!!
I began teaching my fellow chaptermates about brand, and marketability. They joined with me and I took my workshop to RWA National. And, I was set. From there, I conducted more workshops, more classes, gave more speeches. Turned out, my chaptermates were right. Authors did need to learn marketing, and they needed to learn it the right way.
I opened at publicity services company Market or Die Author Services, LLC in 2012. Now, my partner and I maintain over 40 active clients. Shortly after I signed with an agent, I drafted a proposal for a marketing book for writers. We sold it to Belle. It releases today.
The point of this post is that in life there are things we’re going to learn, to embrace, whether we want to or not. I never intended on being a marketer. It happened, but it prepared me with the skills I need to teach you how to do your very best marketing work, and sell more books.
I encourage you to take a read through Market or Die. In the book you’ll find marketing lessons not only from me, but from some of the most successful names in romance, like Eloisa James, Loretta Chase and Kristan Higgins.
Please don’t think marketing is this force with which you must endure. I did for fifteen years, and it only makes it harder to understand. Learn, embrace and ask questions. Feel free to email me at [email protected] with your questions.
And who knows? You may like it so much you might want to start marketing as a second career for yourself. 🙂