If book writers had unlimited funds, selling their works wouldn’t be quite so difficult. They could simply write whatever moves them, and then hire others to do the rest: edit, format, publish, promote, market, and even sell it. For most of us, that isn’t an option. For those authors fortunate enough to have found an effective agent, the route to being read takes a different path than the one that I will discuss here. Never having found an agent willing to work with me, I can’t speak to that experience. So I am left out here all alone being buffeted about by the winds of change in the publishing industry that never seem to die down.
Here are some suggestions for those of you who find yourselves in the same situation. These are things that I am doing for building my own budding career as an author but these suggestions don’t claim to be a textbook picture of all the methods that can be used:
1. Begin to build a platform for yourself. A platform is that for which you are known. Enter “writer’s platform” into your search engine and you’ll learn all about building a platform.
2. A website about you and your writings is essential. There are many inexpensive or free sources to help you. Enter “build website” into your search engine and choose the one that seems best for you.
3. Begin a blog. You will want both a blog and a website as they do different things. Your website gives the details of who you are and what you have done and what you are working on now. It needs updating only when something has changed such as the publication of a new book. Your blog is a regular posting of your thoughts and ideas regarding issues related to your platform. Enter “blogging” into your search engine and see what comes up.
4. Social media is a great way to meet others and learn from them. I like LinkedIn.com for it’s writers’ groups. On Facebook I have an account for my pen name and am connected to all sorts of people with whom I interact on a variety of subjects, helping them to get to know me. Twitter has to be understood for the complexities of how to use it effectively. Get a book called “Twitter Marketing for Dummies.” It will tell you all you need to know.
5. On most of the social networks you can put in settings so that an entry on one will be sent to the rest that you subscribe to. It’s a great time-saver.
6. Learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) so that your online writings will show up in various search engines. In your search engine, enter “how to do SEO” and you’ll learn how to write your web content for a greater chance that your website will get a more favorable ranking in the search engines.
There are problems with going it alone, obviously. One is the massive amount of time that it takes to handle one’s own career as a writer. It takes time away from the writing that we want and need to do. Nevertheless, if you are able to set up a system of marketing that works for you, the rewards will be far higher than had you never tried at all.