RELAX: You Are Not Alone… So Create Magic

I’ve said it before- My journey as a writer hasn’t quite gone as planned. I still remember the day my first short story went up on Amazon. I was so sure that the price incentive of .99 cents would be the thing that launched me up on the sales rank. Imagine my surprise when it barely moved. I was devastated. I was hurt. I thought- Seriously, I worked this hard on a 6,500-word short story and I’m not even going to break even…? What the heck…?

Did I quit…? No, I pressed on and wrote the novella My Friend Louie. I was so certain this little YA Horror Story would be the hit. Again, nothing happened… I asked myself a million questions. I could not understand what I was doing wrong. I remember sitting on my patio and just shaking my head. I felt God was leading me to write, to be a storyteller, to create with Him. However, I was not experiencing success on the level I wanted to.

That is when it hit me- I defined my career according to my terms and not God’s terms.

So, for two years I did a few things.

  • Studied the craft.
  • Made friends and connected with others in the industry
  • Practiced, Practiced, Practiced…

Those two stories are still up there for sale (But I have come so much further).

The point is. I have banged my head against the wall a hundred times. I have tossed in the towel every day. I have quit- Only to come back and bang away at the keys instead.

Maybe it’s my nature. I mean- I’ve gone from being a high school drop out to being a VP in a Marketing Firm. Maybe I don’t know how to quit. Maybe because on some level I know one day I’ll make a decent break through.

Maybe, Maybe, Maybe- Maybe I’ve realized that creating stories is the only thing I’m any good at.

Yes, I give up. Yes, I stare at a blank page and cuss the blinking cursor. Yes, at times I feel it is pointless. Yes, I feel disrespected. Yes, I feel my genre is laughed upon and underrepresented. Yes, I feel most publishers do not know jack about marketing. Yes, I have wanted to give up… Guess what- So has every other creative type I know.

We write because we are called. We write because it is who we are.

Remember- We create a special magic when we become one with the page, and the words, they are the wands…

So keep writing. Never look back. Someone, somewhere, needs to hear your story.


I by no means claim to be a Marketing Expert. However, I have worked in the field for over ten years. And if those ten year of experience have taught me anything it’s this:

Comparisons Marketing is an alienation of the Brand You Should be building…

Tweet: Comparisons Marketing is an alienation of the Brand You Should be building. @jjjohnsonwriter #AuthorMarketing #Engagement

What do I mean by Comparison Marketing…? Well it’s quite simple really. It’s marketing yourself in a way that compares you to a product within the audience you are targeting.

Now don’t get me wrong. Comparison Marketing works so long as you aren’t the one marketing it that way. An endorsement from someone comparing you or your product to a similar individual or product is something entirely different. In fact that’s what you hope to achieve in some aspects of Endorsement Marketing.

But when someone seeks out to create an ad, tweet, FB Post personally Comparing their work to someone else- I want to shake my fist and scream at them!!!!

 Recently I came across several different ads on Social Media by authors where the title was:

“As Good as Ted Dekker…?”

“As Good as the Wheel of Time…?”

“As Magical as Brandon Sanderson…?”

Every time I see these I have to resit the urge to message the person and say: “Stop!!! You’re doing it all wrong!!!”

In Marketing you want to find ways to be Remarkable, Unique, Different… Basically You want to be remembered. Not Compared.  

I work in a Direct Marketing Firm. Every year we send out over 170 Million Pieces of Mail marketing our various forms of Life Insurance. Some will say:

“Now wait J.J. Direct Mail is like Junk mail. It’s almost like spam. You’re against the ‘Buy my book Spam post.” 

You’re right. I don’t like the Buy my book tweets and Facebook post. I like engagement tweets and Facebook post. But what we do in our company is simple. Most Spam tweets, emails, post etc. along with junk mail have one purpose and one purpose only. Flood the masses.

But does flooding the masses work? Maybe at one time it did. But my philosophy is that it doesn’t anymore.

What we try to do in our company is go beyond the idea of hitting the mail box with an envelope. Our goal is to engage you enough, without deception or trickery, into opening the envelope.

My advice. In your marketing. Go beyond comparing yourself. Go beyond just creating a simple tweet. Be creative. Be you. Be engaging.

Then you’ll be remembered.

What about you? As a reader. What makes you want to stop and look at a tweet, Facebook Post, or Ad online…? What makes you want to engage with the writer? And possibly- Buy their book…?