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Writing And Self-Promotion Strategies
An Ugly Reality
I wonder how many artists truly love self-promotion?
Enya and I speak the same language. If I had my way, I would just write. I would never have to take the next step, namely promotion. I would be famous and have an agent, and the announcement of my new book would be enough to send readers worldwide racing for the bookstores in a buying frenzy.
And now back to reality.
My reality, and I suspect yours as well, is that promotion is necessary and it is mandatory that you do it. Few of us have loyal agents salivating in the wings waiting for our next work. Few of us have book publishers who have our numbers on their speed dial. Lovely if it were true but again, now back to reality.
If your work is to be seen then most likely it will be your job to promote it, and if that is true then this article is for you.
PURCHASE YOUR NAME
Read the next five words and commit them to memory: your name is your brand.
If you are serious about selling your work, whether it be your articles for magazine publication or your books for mass-markets, your name is your brand. In other words, you are selling you.
Yes, I know you are shy and yes, I know you are modest, but the sooner you wrap your brain around the fact that you must sell yourself, the sooner you will see success.
Since your name is your brand then you need to purchase your brand. Purchase your name as a URL online. You will be using it often (websites, blogs) so you might as well own it so nobody else can piggyback on your future success.
BUDGET FOR PROMOTION
Yes, you are the brand and yes, you need to invest in your product. Set aside a monthly publicity budget and begin investing.
One does not need to be rich in order to promote. The online world makes it fairly easy to promote without spending a penny. However, there are promotions that do cost a bit, and as you carry on you will discover others, so have some money set aside so you can take advantage of them.
SEEK NEW STRATEGIES
Pay attention to the marketing of products. They are everywhere you look. Which ones resonate with you? Do you like coffee mugs with a brand name on them? Do you like magnetic signs on the side of cars? Do you like radio ads or book readings?
See what grabs your attention and then emulate it. Do some research on the subject and find new and effective ways to promote. If you followed the previous suggestion you will even have a budget that will allow you to pay for some promotion.
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Learn how to self-promote. Go to classes, workshops and lectures and learn how to market yourself. Many of these are free and they are invaluable. Go online and join some forums that are concerned with promotion. Talk to the Small Business Administration in your city and get ideas from them.
In other words, go to the pros and learn from them. You are a pro in writing; they are pros in promotion. Do what you do best and learn from the best in other fields.
NETWORK WITH OTHER AUTHORS
Who are the leading writers in your genre? If you are a horror writer, who would you turn to for advice? Stephen King? How about romance novels? Mysteries? Fantasy?
I have found other writers to be incredibly giving and yes, I have had famous writers answer questions. I have no problem at all going to a writer’s website and asking advice. How do you think they learned when they were starting out? Many are more than willing to do the same for you. Go to their website and start following them. Make comments and ask questions. Who knows where that might lead?
Write, write, write and then write some more. Welcome to my comfort level. Leave me to my writing studio, shuttle in some meals and just leave me alone.
In that scenario, which is true by the way, there is no way promotion is happening….and there is a very good reason for that…I hate promoting. I will avoid it like the plague. It is belittling to me to promote myself….to me it is the epitome of ego.
Well, Bill, get over yourself and your protestations and start promoting, and to insure that I do that I set aside a block of time each day when I must promote. Every single day I spend between a half hour and an hour promoting my work. I hate every minute of it but I do it because this is important and nobody else is lined up offering to do it.
If you want to be taken seriously then you need a professional resume, and nothing spells professionalism in writing like credits. Where have you been published in the past? Where will others find your byline or samples of your work?
Get busy on this! You need to build a reputation, so start contacting small magazines and newspapers and pitching your work.
If you have read some of my other writing pieces you will know that I believe you each should be an expert in your field. You should have a pitch line that describes what you are going to give your readers. What questions will you answer and what information will you provide. What is your pitch line? Who are you and why should anyone read you?
Establish yourself as an expert and then set about establishing your foundation with credits.
Some thoughts on self-promotion
Are you marketing your own work?
And One More
This is so important. I want you all to type this out on a Word document and then tape it to your bathroom mirror….are you ready? BELIEVE IN YOUR PRODUCT!
Believe in yourself. Believe in your ability to write. Believe in your written words and believe that you are an exceptional writer.
The best salesmen in the world act like they believe strongly in their product. Watch the demonstrators in stores and listen to the spiel of the appliance salesman. They may not have ever owned the product they are demonstrating, but they sound like they are stockholders in the company.
You have to have that kind of self-confidence in your ability. You are the walking, talking personification of your brand name. If you don’t look like you believe in your talent then why should anyone else believe in it?
Now you are ready. Now you have your marching papers. Get out there and sell!
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)