Joe Rogan has one of the most interesting podcasts on the net. You might know him as the Fear Factor Guy, or the ultimate fighting commentator or as Joe Guerrelli, the electrician on News Radio who made his own duct tape. (News Radio is still one of the best sitcoms ever, by the way.) There’s a lot more to him than that, though. He’s a walking, talking brain-stimulant. Plus, he makes me laugh my ass off.
I caught his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, in which he was talking about the challenges of marketing. It was kind of a throw-away comment about the crazy world of stand-up comedy, but I got a lot out of it that applies to books and writers, too.
As a young comic, Joe left the marketing to someone else. He didn’t see his marketing as his job. He was doing stand-up. He didn’t feel he should have to be hysterically funny, crass and thought-provoking and sell the tickets, too.
When he saw how badly people were selling him—or that no one was selling him at all—he took up that responsibility. Now he tweets his shows and promotes himself through podcasting, YouTube, web presence and appearances on radio, other podcasts, etc.,… Rogan’s got a cult. Rogan has staked out his land. He has followers and fans. Joe Rogan is not melting into the background of the culture’s collage.
Many writers still hope someone else will take care of marketing their books. The truth is, unless you were already huge, in most cases your publisher didn’t do a great job marketing your book. They didn’t send out that many review copies. They didn’t publicize you enough. They probably didn’t have the budget for it and if they did have a budget for your book, it was built on short-term thinking. If your book didn’t take off right away, they were off to some other author quickly to try to capitalize on short-term heat and newness. That kind of thinking is going out the window with technology.
Be fair. Publishers have many authors on their list. You’re just one and so their efforts must be scattered. Who can focus on your book the most? You can. Who can spend money on a book launch? You. (That’s what that piddling advance you got is really for.) Writers have long memories and enjoy nostalgia, so some of us are still in love with the idea of writing our books in isolation and never having to interact with a fan, a hater, or the indifferent. It’s time for all of us to get past that ideal and put on our big-boy underwear and big-girl panties. Whether you’re going indie or are with a traditional publisher, the self-promotion side of the business really has been an indie-spirit proposition for a very long time. Don’t feel bad about it, it’s a common misconception. Instead, embrace the energy of the challenge.
Who is thinking about each book on a long-term sales basis? That would be you because publisher’s talk about “their” list, but that book isn’t theirs. It’s yours. Your name is on it so you care about it more than anyone, right? That means you have to take the responsibility it promote it and help your audience find your story amid a sea of books. Daunting yes, but that’s what building your platform is all about.
Who cares more about your book than anyone else?
Overcome your fear factor. Get out there.
For starters…got that Twitter account set up yet?
- The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast Chooses Wizzard Media’s LibsynPro (eon.businesswire.com)
- The Joe Rogan Experience Live with Ralphie May (cyberculturalist.com)
- Leonard Garcia is ‘pissed off’ about Joe Rogan’s criticism of his fighting style (mmamania.com)
- Joe Rogan: Will His Mouth Land Him in Hot Water With the UFC? (bleacherreport.com)
- Joe Rogan’s Official Decision: Commission Judges Need to Change (bleacherreport.com)
- My Defense of Joe Rogan (bloodyelbow.com)
- UFC Commentator Joe Rogan Blasts the NSAC Over MMA Judging: “A Few Very Good Judges Surrounded By Incompetent Morons” (klqwrestling.com)
- Joe Rogan is Wrong: UFC Responsible for Many MMA Judging Problems (bleacherreport.com)