Sunday, May 22, 2011

You Need Many Hats if You're a Writer

A writer is expected to wear many hats today.

Author and Editor Hat

First, you must write the best book possible and the edit it or have someone else edit it who knows what he or she is doing. You have to research the markets which means finding the publisher who is looking for the kind of book you've written. (Ideally you should have done this earlier so you're manuscript will be formatted according to the publisher's standards--or the same thing if you're trying to find an agent first.)

Publicist Hat and Web Designer Hat

While you're writing you should be planning on how you are planning to market this book. What is your platform? Do you have some special skills or background for writing this book? What will you be doing to promote the book? Do you have a website? A blog? Are you on Facebook and Twitter and other social sites? Have you signed up for Yahoo lists that deal with the subject or genre of your book? Have you collected contacts for reviewers?

Most publishers want to know all of the above, often right when you're querying them.

Speaker Hat, Performer Hat and Instructor Hat

Once the book comes out besides the online marketing, you need to get out and meet folks and sell your books.

Bookstore signings are much more successful if you can turn it into a speaking engagement.
Libraries are a great place to give talks, and most will let you sell you books or will have someone to do it for you.

You'll need to make contacts (if you haven't already, but it's an ongoing job) about other speaking engagements to service and social clubs.

If you feel you have information to offer new or aspiring writers, see if you can get on the faculty of writing conferences.

Social Butterfly Hat where you'll also be wearing your Promotion Hat

If you attend genre conferences, you need to polish up your social skills so you can meet people, make friends, and let them know you're a writer. Go to community gatherings, make contacts, let people know you're available to come and give a presentation about your book, writing etc.

Your Friend Hat

Make friends, be nice to everyone. Never judge anyone by how they look. The most unlikely looking people can become your biggest fans.

Get your Hat closet ready, because it's going to be busy.

Marilyn

2 comments:

Jacqueline Vick said...

Great advice as always, Marilyn.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Hi, Jacqueline, why do I never see typos until after I post the blog? Glad you stopped by.