A – Always
B – Be
C – Closing
No, it doesn’t just apply to sales. It applies to writers too. You’ve written widely, now start getting your name out there. It’s time to close.
I write about many relevant aspects of breaking out of the “aspiring writer” tag. This post deals with perhaps the hardest part for many aspiring writers—self-promotion.
Point blank – You need to sell yourself and you need to sell your writing.
Your writing could be stellar. However, if you think it sounds tacky to promote yourself, there is NO WAY you will rise from obscurity to literary renown, there is NO WAY you will have people beyond your friends and family read your writing, and there is NO WAY you will earn a cent from your writing.
So get over your fear of self-promotion!
Is it tacky to promote your writing? The answer is irrelevant, as you have an IMMENSE amount of competition in the field. There are SO MANY writers trying to get some attention and guess what, many of them are incredible. How do you break in? Well, of course you need to write well, and an editor can help sharpen your work and a publishing consultant can steer you to the right places to publish your writing, but even after your writing is published, unless it’s at a Big 5 or a top literary journal, you still have tons of work remaining. That work is self-promotion, and you MUST do it if you want to build a literary career.
So, how do you self-promote? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Provide something of value to other writers or to readers beyond your own writing – The amount of published writing on the Web and in print is hard to fathom. Unless you’re publishing with a Big 5 or in a top journal, even if you publish widely in the small presses, only a handful of insiders will know who you are. To extend your platform, consider giving back to writers (or readers) in another way.
2. Have your own webpage – Writers should absolutely have their own webpage. This should be your command center for any writing-related projects you have completed. Utilize keyword research to steer traffic your way. If possible, hire an SEO expert to help with the marketing of your website.
3. Network with other writers – The joke is that writers hate other writers. I don’t find that necessarily true, but even so, get over it and start buddying up to other writers and people in the publishing industry. Talent is talent, but talent can far more easily get recognized when it puts itself out there.
4. Consider obtaining a BFA or MFA – A formal educational program will put you in touch with accomplished writers as professors. If you’re good, they can help mold you to be better and open doors for you.
5. Tell everyone you know – This is the part that raises writer’s eyebrows. Yes, not everyone may want to hear about your latest manuscript, but if you took that much time to write it why not share the information with your circles? Not everyone may be able to help you get your writing out there, but some people just might be able to. The thing is, they won’t do it if you don’t tell them about what you wrote.
I hope you find these suggestions useful. If you found this post helpful, could you please share it on your feed? Thanks!