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:

First Rejection Out of the Way

12 04 2011

Yesterday I heard back from the publisher I’d sent out my novella to and they took a pass on it. I’d like to say I’m surprised, but I’m not. If you’re going to try writing to publish, you’re going to get rejection. And I knew going in that this story may not work on its own as a novella, it’s probably going to work better as part of an anthology, so that’s going to be the next step in its evolution. I had to try to see if it could be published on its own first, just to see if maybe it would work.

Bait is a little creepy and I knew it may not work as a mainstream work, so now I’m looking over Halloween anthology calls for submissions, to see what would be the best fit. We’ll see.

I remember reading in Stephen King’s On Writing, which is one of my favorite books on writing and he describes about impaling his rejection letters on a spike on his wall and when it became full, using another one. So really, one is not a big deal, especially when I figured it was coming.

It doesn’t mean you don’t start questioning yourself, your writing and whether you can actually write well. But, I’ve been writing long enough and been reading books on writing for too many years to let me talk myself out of continuing. Even if I never get published, I’ll still write. This rejection is just one of the milestones when you try to write for more than yourself.

And now, back to work. Because if there is one thing I’ve learned from all the things that have happened in my life, both good and bad, is that you have to keep going to get through it or get it done.

“Successful writers are not the ones who write the best sentences. They are the ones who keep writing.  They are the ones who discover what is most important and strangest and most pleasurable in themselves, and keep believing in the value of their work, despite the difficulties.”- Bonnie Friedman

Adding Flesh to Bone

24 03 2011
It’s funny, when you’re working you think if only I could just write all the time. If I had nothing to do but write, I’d get so much done.
Then you don’t have anything to do and you can write all the time, but somehow you don’t.
I was on a sick leave from work for a month, during that time I got the work I just submitted a few weeks ago to a publisher re-written and edited. I was pretty much not able to leave the house, due to the nature of the illness, so it lent itself getting that work done.
The situation with the health got better during that time, but when it came time to go back to work, it flared back up in a big way. It’s one thing to say your work is making you sick, but it’s quite another when it actually does make you sick. Dealing with the absence management company that my work contracts for short term health issues was its own joy. The end result was me resigning from the company, because there may be many things I’ll just shut up and get on with it and ignore, but getting an ulcer is not one of them. I’m sorry, but you don’t pay me enough to deal with an ulcer on top of everything else you heaped on me for 10 years.
So now, since Monday, I have had all day to write.  How much writing have I gotten done?
Less than a page.
To be fair, I’ve plotted out two different ideas for storylines and done research on locations and plot points, but actually getting down to putting flesh on those bones? I barely have my toe nails covered with what I’ve done.
Maybe I just needed those three days to get over  the sudden loss of a job I’d put 10 years I can’t get back into.  I realized how little writing I’d done today, and now that I have , I’m determined to get back into a writing schedule. I’ll kick myself  later if I don’t use this downtime productively.  It’s not like it comes around a lot.
So, as of Tuesday I’m going to get myself on a schedule. Tuesday is because I’m on nephew duty this weekend and if you’ve ever taken care of a 6 and 4 year old, you know that nothing gets done when they’re up and you’re too tired to do anything when they’re asleep, other than fall into a low-level coma yourself.
Time to take this unexpected windfall of free time and  put it to use. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some flesh to be writing onto bones. Maybe I can get up to where toe meets foot tonight.

Kicking My Baby Out of The Nest

8 03 2011

After the writing of the original a year ago and feeling that the short that I wrote could be good enough for publication, months of talking myself into giving it a go, more months of re-writes and polishing, four readers and and an amazing few edits by Shae later… I’m finally ready to send this off to the publisher to see how it goes.

Writing a two paragraph blurb and a one to two page synopsis of my novella was almost more difficult than the writing of the novella itself. After living with the storyline so long and knowing all the ins and outs of the plot, it was hard to distill it down to two pages and then further down to two paragraphs. And I thought revisions and editing was hard.

I’ve received an email from the publisher that they’ve received it and it will be assigned to an editor to be evaluated.

Let the indigestion begin.

Wish me luck!