Marketing and the artist – a Words & Pictures Inspiration piece 

1. Consider 
As creative people, writers and illustrators often have an ambiguous relationship with marketing - at best. We have a tendency to see it in Gerard Manley Hopkins’s words
seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil 

We associate advertising in particular with crass commercialism: hours of creative endeavour spent to sell people things they don’t need.

But there are other ways to look at it.

As we are increasingly made aware, publishing is currently going through a sea-change. There are many markets out there – and they are all in a state of flux – very like what has happened in the music industry. So the example of a successful musician [who also happens to be married to a best-selling author] should be of interest.

Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman

"There is no marketing trick. There is human connection, and you can't fake it. It takes time and effort and, most importantly: you have to actually LIKE it, otherwise you'll be miserable." 

Fundamentally, she is exhorting us to share.
To share because we love what we do.
To share liberally and with enthusiasm.
To share without cynicism, and without stinting.

Here’s a summary of her key points with additional links:
I've Seen Marketing's Future, and its Name is Amanda Palmer 

This talk "Connecting The Dots" - Amanda Palmer talks art & controversy @ Grub Muse Conference is longer, deeper and well worth watching. It’s more specifically aimed at writers – but any creative person can relate to it. About half-an-hour of good stuff to ponder, especially the garret and the marketplace for this theme. [Language warning.]

2. Create 
Goblin Market by Arthur Rackham

  • Choose a character in your work.
  • Imagine them going to a market or souk or shop.
  • List, doodle, draw, collage, or even scrawl in wax crayon what they would buy.
  • What do their choices say about them?
  • How do they relate to the seller?
  • Haughty, friendly, suspicious, polite?
  • Would they splash-the-cash, scrimp-and-save, haggle or even steal to get the goods?
  • How do they get them home? Bags, crates, donkey?

You don’t have to use this scene – but it can reveal personality and drama.

By Philippa R. Francis - who writes as K. M. Lockwood

K. M. Lockwood is a writing name of Philippa R. Francis. As well as being a regular contributor, Philippa (@lockwoodwriter) is also part of the Words & Pictures team as the @Words8Pictures Tweetmaster, growing our following and maintaining our 'Industry news' feed.


  1. Many thanks for the links, Philippa, and for the food for thought. I'm not sure I feel seared, smeared or bleared - just downright daunted by the amount of commitment required to make one's marketing effective.

  2. Love your ideas, Philippa. Got so distracted by Amanda Palmer though haven't got round to telling you until now!


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