The novel is written. The manuscript has been polished. You have had everyone you know who has an eye for editing and proofreading review it with a fine toothed comb to ensure there are no mistakes. Now what?
You have read every book out there and all the information on the internet about formatting the manuscript. Perhaps you have even hired a professional editor or proofreader to go over and polish your work… but you are still receiving rejection after rejection.
Or maybe you have already found a publisher, but your book is in print now, and it’s just not selling. You don’t have a lot of money to work with, so how can you promote your book without going broke?
Or maybe you don’t fall into any of these categories – perhaps you just want to be a writer, or have always dreamed of being a novelist, but you wouldn’t have the first clue how to break into the industry.
What should you do?
There is no better way for an author to break into the world of literature and publishing than to network with people already in the industry. The first thing you will learn about being a writer is that there are millions of talented writers in the world – but one thing that sets the ones who succeed apart from those who only write as a hobby is that those who succeed learn the “business of writing” and the “mechanics of writing” as well as they know the natural talent and flow of writing.
Many authors have paid hundreds or even thousands of dollars or more attending classes, getting degrees, attending seminars, hiring publicists and editors – only to discover they have spent more money than they could ever hope to earn as a writer if they keep on their current path.
I hate to say it, but it seems that sometimes a bit of “luck” is required in the writing industry – but never fear, because I also believe that we can create our own luck.
“Huh?” you ask.
It’s simple… sometimes luck is simply being in the right place at the right time, right? Well, there is a way to put yourself in the right place at the right time to increase your chances of “getting lucky”.
Networking is the buzz word of this age, but what does networking have to do with writing? Simply put, networking means that you are putting yourself out there, connecting with others, congregating where people in your industry congregate, and making sure your name gets known. When others get to know your name, that piques an interest, and the more people who know your name and the more you “put yourself out there” the better your chances are of being discovered by someone who can help put you and your writing over the top.
In this internet age, networking can occur in many different ways:
1. BLOG – you need a blog. Get yourself one or two or several. Promote your books, promote your writing, talk about your projects – and invite other people who are interested in the same things to read your blog. In turn, read theirs. You can learn from their ideas and trials and experiences as much as they could learn from you – but more importantly, when you comment and show interest in them, they are more likely to comment and show interest in you. The more interest you generate, the more you are likely to sell books!
2. WRITER’S GROUPS – join writer’s groups or writer’s forums. There are a large variety of writer’s groups available from which to choose too. Yahoo! and Google both have chat groups and email groups for all sorts of writing genres and categories. Find writer’s forums where successful authors post regularly, or find forums where agents, editors and publishers might lurk or post. When you find the right groups, post! Post regularly but sucintly and professionally. Use these forums as a means not only to learn from others who have succeeded, but also a means for showcasing your ability to communicate.
3. ARTICLES – write and publish articles promoting your talents. Do you know a trick others might not know? Write about it. Find article submission sites where you can post your articles at no cost or write articles and sell them to reputable online publishers. When you do, provide some useful information, just enough to pique an interest and show your knowledge, and then use the resource tools and links to draw the reader to your site for more helpful information.
4. REVIEW and CRITIQUE – Amazon.com has a great book review system, and if your book is sold on Amazon.com, then review other books there too. Become a top reviewer. Be honest and insightful, helpful, and write well worded reviews to show your ability to communicate in the literary world. Help others review their work and you not only will learn a lot about what type of competition you have out there, but you will also be creating a network of those who will most likely provide you valuable reviews and critiques when the time comes for you to need them too.
These are just four ways of putting your name out there and connecting with other people in the writing and publishing industries, but they are just the beginning. The main thing to remember is this: GET KNOWN! You want people to know your name so they will know you are marketable, and the only way to do that is to put yourself out there!
Good luck in your writing career!