What are you doing to market yourself?
It has become a job every bit as much as writing. And where and when do we find the time? Many writers have day jobs. We’ve all heard the old adage, don’t quit your day job, and that’s true in many instances. But now we have added another nearly full-time job to the mix, and that is we have had to become our own publicists.
I laugh when I think of those authors who are bringing down multi-million dollar deals. Their thank yous tend to include wonderful words for their publicists. But that’s above most of our pay grades, so we struggle to find the extra five minutes in the day in order to market.
We can’t attend any function for writers without the discussion of platform coming up. I find that right after a conference, folks are talking about little else.
Here’s the thing: find what YOU are good at. Be it one media or a dozen. Pick the things you are best at, and go after that thing or things. You should spend a few minutes of your professional time each day working at those activities. For one writer who is super efficient that might be fifteen minutes a day. For others who are just dipping their toes in the water, it might be half an hour a day. But spend some time each day getting the word out about yourself and your books.
Is it going to make a difference? Yes. Editors are more and more looking into prospective authors by checking their presence. In your search engine, type in the name of a writer who is working diligently, even if only a few minutes a day, and you will see the name pop up all over the net. Does that mean only FB, Twitter, and a website? Not necessarily. You might be an author who reads for enjoyment (hopefully), and who decides to write reviews for those books. There are numerous sites where you can put your talents to work. How about magazine articles? I was recently at a conference where a magazine editor told me he’s practically begging for short stories and short non-fiction submissions. How about volunteering some time for a small publisher to proof read or one with graphic experience to help with cover designs, back cover copy? These are all activities for which there is a need.
You visit bookstores to make friends that you might work with later once you have a release. All kinds of benefits of getting to know your local booksellers.
You can market yourself on your terms with the time that you have. Pass on romance reality show, and write a romance review. Write some tidbits during the half-time of your favorite football team’s game. You can do short reviews and smart blogs during commercials of any show, just discipline yourself to do it.
There you have it. Marketing 101.
You don’t need to be a PR genius, you just have to try.