Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Marketing You and Your Writing

Marketing You and Your Writing 101—the book I wish someone would’ve written before I published my first novel…

Wow! It’s the first Wednesday of the month and time to talk about the business of writing. The first Wednesday in January I shared the release of the first book in the Writing to Publish series. The book is doing well and I’m getting great feedback from writers wanting to launch a career. Designing a Business Plan for Your Writing is intended to help people get to the point of publication.

I reached that point a few years ago. I thought I had “arrived.” My publisher was about to release Breathing on Her Own. My work was done, right? Wrong.

My work was only beginning. I envisioned people at my publishing house sitting around reading my book and brainstorming ideas about how they would put it in front of millions of readers. When they asked for my input on potential book covers, I was surprised to see a young couple on the front with autumn leaves floating down. Another option showed the same young couple in the springtime. The covers they proposed had nothing to do with my book. So much for everyone reading it.

I also discovered that publishers have insight on how to market books in general. Their marketing is not (nor could it be, realistically) customized and finely tuned for each book they publish. Any customizing came by way of me sending them quotes from the book or posts I wrote.

I am not complaining. Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas has been wonderful. No, I’m not complaining. I just didn’t know. I didn’t know what I needed by way of a headshot. I didn’t know how to set up a book launch or the different types of launches. Basically, I didn’t know my role in the marketing process.

My husband reminded me, “Getting published is not an event. It’s a process.”

He was right. I’ve shared those words with new writers reading my blog and with those who come to me for advice. That experience fueled the second book in the Writing to Publish series, Marketing You and Your Writing 101.

Writers can do much before they’re published. Doing so saves the author stress and money. This little handbook is divided into two parts: Gearing Up and Launching. Gearing Up outlines everything writers can do before even completing the first draft of the book. A few of the topics in this section include getting a professional headshot, writing a bio, and setting up as well as managing relevant social media accounts. The second part, Launching, helps writers prepare a book proposal, an elevator pitch, create a media kit, and plan a book launch. Among other things.

Is this book the definitive word on marketing? By no means. In this ever-changing landscape of technology, there will always be new resources for writers to use for marketing. But the tools offered in this book are the basic tools every writer should have in their marketing toolbox.

This is the book I wish someone had written before I published my first work.

Be sure to check out the Writing to Publish series. Book 1, Designing a Business Plan for Your Writing, is a handbook to help you outline a plan to write.

Book 2, featured today is called Marketing You and Your Writing 101. It's about marketing your work...and yes, you have to do it!

And watch for Book 3. Writing with E's takes a close look at those five habits you can develop to become the writer you've always dreamed of being.

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