When you are ready to market yourself as a writer, you will hear lots of different terms that may overwhelm you at first such as finding a literary agent, hiring a publicist and landing a publisher. These can be confusing for new authors who are trying to navigate their way into the literary world and make a presence. But it is important to remember that we are our very first agents. We must believe in ourselves as writers in order to represent our work whole-heartedly. This requires us to invest in ourselves as well as in our capabilities.
To help make a mark and get your work noticed, here are some simple tips that can help make the difference:
- Buy a domain for your name and create a clean and sharp looking website. There are lots of platforms you can use to design your site for free. If you are able to, go the extra length to make your site look really professional by hiring a website designer.
- Design a nice-looking business card with your name, titles and contact information. Have them printed in bulk and keep them on-hand at all times. One writer I heard of even gives his card out to drive-through attendants when he buys coffee or a hamburger.
- Create a bio one-sheet. This is summary of your accomplishments and career highlights. It serves as a snapshot of your professional offerings, so invest in nice paper and color printing for this one.
- Stay abreast of the latest trends in the industry by attending informative workshops or online webinars.
- Find opportunities to network yourself amongst other writers and potential publishers. Go with samples of your work and be ready to pitch yourself. Remember, it’s not always what you know, but who you know. And you get to know people by networking.
- Educate yourself on books and authors specific to the genre you are writing in. Be aware of what’s selling and how to promote yourself efficiently. You can also apply to become a book reviewer for different awards and notaries in the industry.
- Make yourself accessible for a variety of services instead of just “meet-the-author” visits. You need to present yourself as a versatile commodity to reach a broader audience and be resourceful in appealing to a larger age range. Writing workshops, lectures on your specialty or puppet shows for kids are just a few ways to “add value” to your visits to schools and community organizations.
- Build a following of virtual communities before your book is published through social media platforms. For more information on this, click HERE.
- Keep writing. Get your byline into as many publications as possible. It makes you reputable.
- Support fellow writers by sharing their work. When you lift others, you will rise as well.