Taking that first step toward your writing career can feel pretty daunting, especially if you aren’t surrounded by fellow struggling creatives. And if you do manage to get your book published, there is no guarantee that a legion of loyal readers will follow. Simply writing a book isn’t enough to guarantee its success, and the reaction to it depends as much on the content you’ve written as on how you sell it – and yourself. Building a following for your work also means developing a name for yourself, and it’s never too early to begin creating that public persona.
5 Easy Ways to Promote Your Writing, and Yourself
- Connect with readers, other writers and industry leaders by becoming active on social media. Join an existing conversation or start your own – the important part is getting your name out there and, hopefully, bringing your followers to your blog, website and books.
- Following #1, you need a website or, at the very least, a blog. There is a wide variety of blog hosting sites available online so you can accomplish this with minimum expense and computer savvy.
- Enter writing contests, especially those with a judging panel you hope to impress. You never know who may end up reading your work!
- Attend local workshops, public readings and community gatherings focused on literacy and arts. They are great opportunities to network and pick up some tips from your peers.
- Focus on what Seth Godin calls “micro-markets.” You’re not going to land on CNN right away, but if you can make some connections in a small community, that’s a great way to build some loyal fans who can help to spread the word. You may find these niche groups on social media, a subreddit or directly in your own neighbourhood.
3 Ways to Take Your Promotion to the Next Level
- Be prepared to do the press rounds, which means working on your public speaking and interview skills. Practice at home in front of a mirror, by joining your local Toastmasters International chapter or by working with a PR professional.
- Pay to attend a conference or volunteer at those gatherings we suggested in #4 above. This will involve more cost (financial or time), but can lead to some meaningful connections and the chance to share your work on a larger stage.
- Spring for some really quality promotional art. No matter how good your writing is, online platforms continue to be image-centric. In order to capture the eyes of internet browsers, you’ll need some really interesting artwork. While you don’t necessarily need to aim for something as iconic as these ten book covers, it doesn’t hurt to aim high!
What writing community are you a part of?
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