Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Navigating your way to becoming published

Crystal, over at http://www.moneysavingmom.com/ has a Monday series on ways that you can make money while staying at home and not compromising your family. Writing is one way. What one needs to remember though, is writing is more then just writing. Writing is more then just writing well. Writing includes marketing and networking.

The key to getting your work seen, read and purchased is a good "platform". Think of it in terms of diving if you will. You can have the perfect form in the air and water but if the platform or surface you begin your dive off of is not solid, you will fail.

So what is a writing platform and how does one go about building it? It isn't as hard as you might think. Platforms vary with each writer and it also depends on what you are writing. If you are a non-fiction writer then you need to have a bigger one then fiction. But the basics are the same.

1. Get a blog or a website or both! If you want to publish non-fiction then you should post on your chosen subject matter. People want to know that you are an expert in your field before they shell out $$ on a book. If you are a fiction writer then blog toward your intended target audience. My fiction is meant for the conservative Christian, stay at home mom/daughter, with children or intending to have children. They also have a passion for serving their God and families and have avid interest in homemaking and country living skills. Since this pretty much describes me, I can blog about my life experiences. If I wanted to write say, political thrillers, then my target audience would be different and I might want to alter my blog content.

2. Speak. I know, I know ,you're thinking... I'm a writer not a speaker! But the more you can share your book/passion with others the bigger audience you can build. Give library talks/readings, teach classes, contact newspapers and get interviewed.

3 Get some business cards. Talk your self up and hand them out! Think about creating an author trading card w/ a picture on front and stats about you on the back.

4. Create publicity! Send out press releases to local, regional and national media. You are a writer after all.

5. Network. Join associations and groups, make friends, create contacts (and a great maliling list) attend conferences, guest blog, comment on blogs. Rachelle, a Christian literary agent, over at http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/ has a great post today on how she came across her literary clients.

There is so much more I could write about. But I think that's enough to fill your minds today. If you found this topic interesting and want to know more, please leave a comment and/or question. I too am traveling the road to publishing for the first time but I'm more then willing to share what I've learned.

Now go get your figurative hammer and nails and start building your literary platform! Literally!


Dana said...

I've always admired those who could write and be published. I mean, how do you dream up everything in your head? My mind just won't wrap around that concept.

On the same note, I've been thinking about writing an eBook. I've bought so many of them.... The thing is, figuring out what to write about! Marketing an eBook would be different from a "real" book, wouldn't it? Would it be harder or easier?

Just thinking...

Cyndi Lewis said...

Ohhhh... good questions, Dana... I work up a post on that.

Jendi said...

I'm interested in Children's books. How different is that?
I think the illustrations play a big part in children's books.

Jendi said...

I'm sorry. I couldn't find your e-mail address quickly.

Wondered if you'd ever read this blog
She likes to do Write It Out Wednesdays.