of my goals for 2011 was to clean out my inbox every day. Epic fail.
Wait. Epic isn’t a big enough word. Gargantuan failure is more
accurate. I lasted until January 3 before the e-mail flood buried me.
kind of guy, I do believe somewhere in the recesses of my deep insanity
that I’ll catch up and get that pup cleaned out. But in my more
realistic moments, I confess there will be thousands of e-mails at the
end of 2011 that deserved my attention but never got it.
Why? The simple answer is I
don’t have time to answer all of them. The more complex answer is so
many things compete for my attention these days I choose not to use my
limited time bank to answer all my e-mails.
No, I refuse to comment on the
stack of private Facebook messages I haven’t gotten to.
Is there a point to
Yes, here’s my thesis: We’re not
as patient as we used to be. The time drain on our lives is epidemic. I
don’t need to point out the areas, you’re thinking of them right now:
blogs, Twitter, Facebook, TV, movies, Internet, e-mail friends, family,
working out, and reading … (wait, reading isn’t a time
drain, it’s life!)
Fine, I get it. We’re
impatient. How does your point apply to marketing?
Because people (editors, agents,
readers) have more coming at them, we need to communicate more often in
bites. In media terms a sound bite could be described as a concise,
communication that clearly conveys a thought or idea. (I hear you
alliteration junkies clapping, thank you.)
I actually suggesting you to talk to people in twenty or thirty-word
sentences? Yes. Exactly.
Think about your elevator pitch.
It’s short. Pithy. Makes people go, “Oooooo.” That’s the same way you
need to think about answering any question an editor, agent, or reader
you’re pre-published, you are
marketing to editors and agents every time you talk to them. Go on too
long and their eyes not only glaze over, they shut at least mentally.
If you’re published, you’re
marketing to readers (and possibly to agents and editors as well) and
doing radio, TV, and magazine interviews, posting on your blog,
Twitter, and Facebook. If you wah, wah, wah like Charlie Brown’s
parents, no one will buy you or your books.
Remember, you are marketing in
every moment whether you admit it or not.
Sorry this column is a little
shorter than usual, I need to go check my inbox.
(As always, if you have a
marketing question you’d like me to address, shoot an, uh, e-mail my