Really interesting and thought-provoking entry by Moonie-Dreamer on marketing one's work:
I posted in the comments there, but wanted to archive this in my Journal Entries for future reference, as well as give a heads up to people interested in the topic. It's certainly an important one!! This is less actual for people with a dependable 9 to 5 job, but for a freelance artist it's a must to consider these things, since you never know which of your promotional efforts will get you a job (or which won't). For example, I never would have gotten the TOKYOPOP publishing offer if I hadn't joined the GirlAMatic and WirePop comics collectives; and I wouldn't have been invited to _those_, if I hadn't been putting my comics and things on my own website in the first place. So, taking some initiative to be seen certainly went a ways there, for me. And even so, was that enough effort? I know for sure I've lost potential readers by hiding under my art rock for months on end, instead of engaging with the online world and sharing my creative exploits. I can't tell you the amount of people who are still surprised by the fact that I have books out besides "Dramacon"--and I can't blame them! "Nightschool: The Weirn Books" came out like a ninja in the night, with barely a word or two from me, its own creator, to announce its existence to people who had kindly followed me at that point. (...In my defense I was working like a dog all throughout that series, I barely had any leftover functioning brain cells to remember how to brush my teeth ;;;;OTZ).
So, this is something I've come to realize over the years of working as a professional comics/manga creator--YOU have to give your work the best chance you can. And this doesn't just mean sacrificing on the altar of comics-making fun things like outings with friends, videogames, being up-to-date on all the current anime (that's how I published those 10 books in 8 years!). It doesn't just mean staying at your desk and drawing when you could be watching a movie. Giving your work the best chance means ALSO taking the time to have it Seen and Noticed by people. And this is difficult for us artists, since most of us are shy, retiring hermits by nature who think 'Everyone Else Draws Better than Meeeee' and 'Why Would Anyone Want To Even Look At My Stuff, Anywaaaaay'. The wisest advice ever given to me by a writer friend on this topic was: "Don't take that choice away from people. Maybe they'll like your stuff, or maybe they'll hate it. But don't decide FOR them." Words to live by, IMHO.
...That being said, I still have a deep need to hide under my art rock while I create, and that will always have to come first >.> TL;DR--creating is important, getting the word out is important, but probably the most important is to find a balance between the two that works for you?...