AUTHORPRENEUR: Why It’s No Longer Enough To Be Just a Writer

18 06 2012

Oliver Standard Typewriter

*image from Flickr Creative Commons
With the rise in indie publishing and more options available to a writer, you can no longer tell yourself that it’s okay to just write and release your work into the world and it will find an audience. Even if you go with a legacy publisher, the publicity and marketing you feel your book should get and what it actually gets are two very different things, unless you’re one of their stable of bestselling writers that they feel is a sure bet to make them money.

To survive in the publishing landscape, every writer must become a hybrid between creative and marketer, an authorpreneur that both creates and markets their work.

The romanticized notion of a writer in their creative space, laying text on the page for their readers and sending it off when it’s finished, cueing end credits on the process, is over. That image has now pivoted. Where the end credits would have rolled is now the beginning of the harder work, getting the notice of the reading public. No longer is it enough to be able to write well, you must be able to sell yourself as a writer worth noticing and your book as something worth reading.

As more and more mainstream published writers turn to publishing their own works and the whole indie/self published industry grows out of its reputation of vanity and not being good enough for legacy publishers, the landscape is going to change dramatically, making a writer’s skill at marketing themselves and their work not just a necessary skill, but an invaluable one.

Every writer should be working on honing their skill as a marketer right along with their skill as a writer. In pauses between drafts, read up on social media marketing, start following blogs that review work in your genre and start commenting on posts, start your own blog and document your journey of writing your book, network with other authors on twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Most of all, study a writer that you see working social media like a rock star. Look at what they’re doing, what ratio they’re posting social comments to promotion. Every avenue of social media has ways of tracking how many people are reading what you post, whether they’re sharing it or talking about it and what days and times most people read your posts. Use the tools, they’re free and they’ll help make it more a part of the process of getting your book out there and less of a dreaded chore.

This listing has 50 free tools, there’s something in there for everyone.:

We all have what it takes to be an authorpreneur. Start now, no matter what phase of your writing journey you’re in, it’s never too late.

The article that inspired this post can be found here:

What do you mean it’s the middle of May?

19 05 2011

Ever have one of those months that just seem to be slipping by? May is that month for me. I’m glad it’s going quickly though. May is usually not a good month for me. Bad things happen in May, like people dying and people being diagnosed with brain tumors bad. I usually call this month Aprune in my head, an extension of April and an early June, so I can avoid this month all together.

On the writing front, I’m at about 12,500 words on the Rome story that I’m working on. I had originally thought it would be about 15k, but I’m thinking that half of it will be at the 15k mark. I’ll have to see what it turns out to be when it’s all done and edited. I’m liking the way it’s turning out so far, but we’ll see how my first readers like it when it’s done.

Here in Canada we have this channel called Book Television, which is pretty much my favourite channel right now. They don’t have a lot of new programming, whic

h sucks, but they’ve been running a series where they picked 12 people in 2009 to do the 3-day novel contest and they did it in the middle of a book store, where they lived and slept there while doing their novels. They had challenges and penalties if they lost and it’s been fun to watch. Has anyone ever done the 3-day novel contest? It’s tempting to try it, but I’d have to see if I’m  working at that point or not, because that would make a difference in whether I could attempt it or not.

I’m definitely going to do Nanowrimo though. I found the goal of 30 days and the word count of 50k really gave me a push in my writing and made me sit down and do it every day. Gave me the kick in the ass I needed.

Speaking of kicks in the ass, I better get back to it. I’m in a Starbucks right now inside a book store. Needed to be around humans for a bit. I’m sure every writer has those moments when they need to not be in a room writing alone. Thank goodness for cafes with free wifi.

Could the Japan Earthquake Mortally Wound Broadcast News?

11 03 2011

I was still awake last night when the earthquake hit Japan. With several people on my personal twitter list being based in Japan, I knew of the earthquake within minutes of it hitting. Like pretty much anyone, my first thought was to turn on the t.v. and find out what had happened, how bad it was.

Knowing that my Canadian news would not be the choice to go to right away, I turned on CNN and it hit me how little I get my news off of the television these days. I actually saw CNN being informed of the earthquake while I watched. Expecting that news and video updates would be incoming within minutes, I was surprised to see newscasters reading twitter  and the  pictures and videos were coming from  the social media streams I was watching.

The earthquake had knocked out telephone service and probably a lot of internet service as well. As we’ve learned from Egypt and Libya, the world is becoming more and more informed and interconnected thanks to the mobile phone culture thriving in almost every continent. Even areas in Africa where there is no electricity or landline phone service, people have mobile phones and charge them at vendors who have set up charging stations in the markets and the preference of texting over voice communication thrives. Japan is legendary for their mobile phone culture and as long as the cell phone towers stand, news is able to get out of pretty much any place when newsworthy events happen or disaster strikes.

On the surface this would look like a boon to network news, live and local coverage with no overhead payout for the, but if you dig deeper, it may be what actually puts another stake through the heart of t.v. news. As I was watching the news coverage, I found myself getting more and more annoyed, the newscaster kept talking over pictures and videos that were coming in like that  person who speaks through a tv show or movie that you just want to duct tape their mouths. It was also very disconcerting to see the anchors visibly excited to be  reporting a high profile disaster. but we can’t lay the blame on the anchors,  it’s the way they’ve been trained to report and  that it’s more about soundbites and entertainment value. It’s increasingly showing itself as an antiquated way of reporting.

Like a lot of people I’ve been reading on my twitter and facebook feeds, the common theme has been people turning off their tv’s because they feel they can better, less interrupted, less repeated over and over coverage through their their technology than they can from network t.v.

There was a definite shift in media consumption last night that could have far-reaching effects for the networks. Viewership has been shifting, but this seems to be a turning point and it will be interesting to see how this all shakes out for online vs. traditional media.