March 27, 2012 1 Comment
I read somewhere, once upon a time, that not losing is simply a matter of redefining winning.
How on earth does that have anything to do with writing or publishing? It does, I promise!
For as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed about being one of the “big” writers. Sought after by the major publishing houses, so awesomely famous that people would pick up my books just because I wrote them. Dreaming big is a good thing. It’s what makes us writers!
Unfortunately, it can lead to disappointment. Getting signed on to write your traditional paperback (or hardback) book has never been an easy sort of thing. It gets harder and harder as time goes on, because let’s be honest. Your big name traditional publishers are in the business to make money. Should this discourage us as writers? Absolutely not!
So now it’s time to start redefining a win, which in this case means changing expectations attached to becoming a published author.
Thanks to the rapid advancement of technology, we now have the ability to carry around hundreds of books on very small reading devices. Sure, it may be harder to get signed on at Random House or TOR, but this astounding leap in technology has really opened doors for writers. Not only do writers have the option of getting in with growing publishers, like Loconeal, they have a variety of other ways to get their work out to the readers. The ability to self-publish electronically is also a huge breakthrough. The ultimate goal is to publish your work, whether it’s a physical or a digital book. Once you’ve succeeded in getting that first work out there, the next success is that much easier to achieve.
Are you any less a published author if you publish through a smaller house? Not at all. You published! A book no less! That’s a serious accomplishment. Sure, you may not be on the same label as Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, but you are every bit as published an author. The biggest difference is, you do a good deal of your own marketing.
That part can be intimidating. Where would you even start? Answer: Start small.
A blog is a great way to give fans a place to get to know you. Share your thoughts on the writing process, creating your world and characters, or the best way to make a smoothie and do the laundry while trying to get through writer’s block. It doesn’t have to be literature, it just has to be YOU. Readers want to connect to more than just the characters.
Writing contests are another way to get your name out into the literary world as an author. I never realized how many there were until the other day, which got me thinking about what it really means to be a published writer and how to get there. Writer’s Digest publishes a list of contests with upcoming deadlines. Google is also great for finding a contests that fits you.
Another fantastic way to connect with fans and create interest is conventions. There are tons for every imaginable subject. These allow you to connect with current and potential readers in person, not to mention other writers.
How do you build your brand as a writer? Have you published a novel or a hundred novels and have tips or stories to share about how you got there? If you’d like to share in a guest blog for us, please email me: email@example.com.