So things have been a little hectic since I got back from vacation, lots of loose ends that need tying up. But I’m starting to feel caught up, and writing again — last night at 8 I solved a problem and had to open the manuscript again. So that bodes well — it’s starting to come alive for me.
August newsletter is out — if you haven’t received it, check your non-priority inboxes or give me a shout and I’ll get you taken care of.
I mention this because I received a lovely letter from a reader who complimented my marketing skills. I told her the truth, I had a shortcut, having been in marketing in the past.
And it reminded me of a funny, sad story. Staff meeting, aerospace contractor, circa 1994. I came in with a major marketing proposal, nervous as all get out. When my turn came, I presented my idea: start a company website. Many small and large companies around us were doing it, I knew a guy who could build it for us on the cheap, and it would give us a leg up when RFP* time came — we would have all of our previous projects and successes on the site, so it would be a one stop shop instead of recreating the wheel for the RFP.
(*RFPs — request for proposal — the soul sucking process by which the government hires contractors to build things for them. It is a long, arduous process that involves a million details, long nights, and a lot of hard work. And of course, only one company can win the contract, so every advantage helps.)
Anyway, my proposal was met with absolute silence, then an older gentleman who’d been in the game for a long time scoffed, “We don’t need this. This is a ridiculous waste of time. I refuse to approve a major budget line item just so you can give some guy you’re sleeping with a job.”
And just like that, the proposal was shot down. No website for us.
As my husband can attest, said guy was NOT my boyfriend, he was a legitimate, ahead-of-his-time computer programmer. Yes, I made a SH complaint. Yes, grumpy old man was disciplined. No, we did not get a website. Soon after, I bolted for greener pastures, to a company who also wasn’t interested in a website but grudgingly let me do it, and then, happily, circumstances changed and we moved to Nashville.
Moral of the story: technology changes. The world charges forward into the breach whenever a crack appears. Early adopters aren’t always mad. Sometimes, they actually do have good ideas.
As we gear up for the LIE TO ME launch, as we exploit the now very powerful internet and my own websites to help reach more readers, I am struck by how much things have changed, and how much has stayed the same. It’s easier to reach people, yes. But the product is still paramount. And I will always be looking for a new and better mousetrap. It’s just how my brain works. It was nice to be reminded of that today.
That’s my trip down marketing memory lane. Since I still have you, please considering pre-ordering LIE TO ME, so I can free my brain from the marketing and write more books.