Saturday, October 29, 2016
14 Areas All Authors Must Master For Success
Writers are particularly observing, analytical, and creative when it comes to their approach to perfecting their craft. But for some reason they seem to be at a loss when it comes to their understanding of why their writing career hasn’t soared. The truth is they need to embrace the kind of common sense advice that they likely would dole out to others. If only they can observe themselves from a distance and then sharpen their tools to repair their writing lives.
Here are 14 areas all writers should focus on – if they are serious about becoming successful authors and book marketers:
1. Learning more about book publicity and marketing. Whether you read blogs like this one or read books, attend conferences, download instructional videos, subscribe to industry magazines, listen to helpful podcasts or consult with other writers, build up a body of working knowledge in the very area that will help you grow the most.
2. Utilize strong time management skills to help you balance your commitments and desires. You’ll need time for writing and for promoting. Time for strategizing, researching and learning, and time for taking action. You’ll need time for work, chores, rest, family, friends, health, fun and everything else life demands from us. Budgeting your time, setting priorities, staying committed and focused, and acting out of a sense of urgency are a must.
3. Raising funds or borrowing resources will be the key to your writing freedom. It takes money to make money, so have a plan on how to pay for marketing campaigns. You may need funds to give you time off from work so you can have time to write and market your book. Who or what will be your bank?
4. Networking will always be helpful in life, but especially for your writing career. It is true that who you know is more important than what you know. Those who have access to the things and people that could help you are worth a lot. They help you take shortcuts and eliminate lost time and failed efforts. Get to know the kind of people who can help you, from other writers to publishers, editors, literary agents, members of the media, writer groups, and trade associations.
5. Be organized. It may seem like obvious advice – and it’s applicable to every career – but I can’t highlight its importance enough. You need to have your act together in order to be a really successful writer. You can have a messy desk, work under chaotic circumstances, and deal with many challengers, but you do need to be organized and self-disciplined.
6. Choose to write and promote -- not either or. One must invest a heart and soul to write well and often. The same is true for book marketing. Leave energy, time, and brain power every day to do both.
7. Find support. Writers are loners and we pride ourselves as being independent thinkers, even leaders. But we need help too – whether from a professional coach, mentor, friend, colleague, family, or therapist.
8. Set goals or set yourself up for failure. Create a plan to address all of the smaller steps to meeting specific goals. Set priorities and deadlines for yourself. Fitter all activity through the prism of fulfilling your goals. Anything else puts you off track and on the road to nowhere.
9. Participate in social media. Yes, don’t cringe. Set up your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube – or all of them -- and post, share, connect, and click until you see your members go up, up, up. No matter how many books you sell from it, social media is important.
10. Always further your branding and marketing. It’s a 24-7 experience. You need to work at in order to get good at it – and to get a pay-off. If you need assistance, hire a marketer or branding expert.
11. Get better at procuring and doing news media. There’s so much media out there – local and national – even international. There’s radio, television, newspapers, magazines, newsletters, trade publications, blogs, podcasts, video sites, and so much more. Become an expert by declaring yourself one via media appearances, byline articles, book reviews, and guest posts. Again, hire a publicist to help fill in the gaps or to simply take over the process for you.
12. Speak and then speak some more. Every opportunity to speak can lead to book sales, book deals for a new book, more speaking opportunities, media exposure, a chance to influence others, and a great time to build your marketing portfolio.
13. Develop spin-off products, services, and books. Also, sell off or pursue other rights formats (such as audiobooks, e-books, paperback editions, foreign rights, film and TV, etc. Will you create a series? Can you repackage content into something else like a paid webinar or seminar?
14. Acquire technology devices/programs and the skills to use them to your advantage. This is a battle everyone in the 21st century must take up. We need to be aware of the myriad of devices out there that can help us be more efficient and successful. Plan on taking refresher courses, online tutorials, or experimenting in order to find the right technology that becomes an asset to you and not a burden.
This list could have been of 114 things – not just 14 – that writers should address in order to advance their careers. But these 14 shall serve as a great starting point, and if mastered, will really position writers to become profitable and successful artists.
In Praise of Books“The books we read help to shape who we are. Reading offers us, as children, our first independence- allowing us to travel far beyond the confines of our immediate world. Books introduce us to great figures in history, narratives that stir our spirit, fictions that tug us out of ourselves and into the lives of a thousand others, and visions of every era through which human beings have lived. And in the process of stretching who we are, books also connect us to all others- of our own or previous times- who have read what we've read. In the community of readers, we instantly become linked to those who share our love for specific characters or passages.” -- Helena Hjalmarsson
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2016 ©.
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