So, the days are long gone when you sit down, write a novel, send it off, and wait a short time for someone to begin the bid on your novel, after which the publisher throws their entire workforce behind it to get the novel in every store still standing.
Today, you face a long wait just to find the right agent. But that’s another blog.
Once you’ve received a contract from a publisher, your job is only beginning. You, not the publisher in most instances, will have to find a way for your work to be seen, reviewed, considered by buyers.
We hear more and more about a writer’s platform. What does that mean, and what are you doing to develop one before you are contracted?
Ask yourself these questions:
Have you developed an online presence? A website, blog, facebook following, twitter?
Are you taking the opportunity to speak with writers’ groups, become part of critique groups—locally and online? Are you attending conferences where you can network with other writers, editors, agents? Have you looked into doing articles for your local paper. There are numerous opportunities now with internet news, both locally and nationally.
There are many sites online which are looking for reviewers. I know a few publishers who are always on the lookout for proofreaders. This gig is golden as you learn what to look for in another individual’s manuscript.
Do you take advantage of online classes? Organizations? ACFW, Faithwriters, RWA are all information rich organizations that offer classes as part of their presence. They all have contests, some on a monthly basis that sharpen your skills. And once your presence is established here, you have the potential for dozens more readers as your book is released.
If you writer historical, do you belong to local historical groups? Fantasy fanatic? Are you working with fantasy groups near home?
You can’t pass on any possible opportunities to have your name known so that when your novel is contracted, you will have already established a fan base.
The days of the publisher doing all the work for you might be gone, but you have numerous ways that you can market yourself.
Use social media for more than taking up your valuable time; let it go to work for you.