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Marketing Emmett Wilson

I’ve been writing, editing, and submitting essays on Emmett and my research to several literary journals. Also, my writing partner and I have been submitting proposals to speak about our work at writing conferences.

I’m not anywhere near an official publication date for Emmett’s book, but a longitudinal academic research project requires funding and promotion to keep it alive until it’s finished. There’s three parts to it:

  • The research itself,
  • Documentation (writing), and
  • Marketing/funding.

The marketing/funding is weak because the focus has been on research and writing. Logically, I have to have a product in order to have something to market. But I’ve never been a good salesperson. I’ve never been comfortable asking for money. The few times I did volunteer to fundraise at my kid’s schools or for my daughter’s Girl Scout troop (in a pinch), I wasn’t good at it. It wasn’t that I didn’t try, or that absolutely nothing came out of it, but I was awkward, and it came across, even when I put my best effort into it.

Part of my job requires me to apply for grants, submit proposals, and so forth for different projects. I’m better at these, because it involves writing and documentation, not calling someone on the phone, or going face-to-face asking for funds, or to publish my essays.

My strategy is also about building a relationship with the organization offering the grant or publishing opportunity: I get to know the principals, I seek out projects or publications that will benefit mutually with my work.

Also: I can talk about the grant/funding/promotion process and other related business writing components in my classes, which is win-win. I have to jump through specific and exacting writing hoops with potential partners, just as adult learners must do to pass my class. I’m not just being a tyrannical teacher: This is the real world of business writing.

I have good news: I submitted essays to seven different publications, and applied for a fellowship over the past two weeks.

One of the essays was accepted for future publication (Wanderlust Journal); one was rejected — but it was a positive rejection in that the editor gave me specific feedback and invited me to resubmit.

I haven’t heard back on the other five submissions, and the fellowship won’t be decided until the end of the month. Meanwhile, while I’m in between semesters, ’tis the month to market Emmett Wilson.

Categories: Book The Writing Life

Tagged as:


Communication, Arts, and the Humanities
The University of Maryland Global Campus

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