Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Consistency Is Important

Saturday I will be introduced before I speak at Spread the Word in Baltimore. Often people are surprised at the volume of books and magazine articles which I've written over the years. I did not plan to write over 60 books or for over 50 print magazines. Instead I focused on developing a body of work.

As a writer, are you consistently working at learning your craft and writing? You may feel challenged to write anything (as I do many of these days as a busy publisher) yet that consistent habit of writing even 500 or 1,000 words will add up to a volume of material. Just look at these entries on The Writing Life which are now over 900 entries about publishing. This rich resource didn't happen overnight but through constant effort.

One of the areas where many writers struggle is to market their books. Writing is a solitary act. You and your pen and paper or keyboard curl up and produce words. Now marketing your book and telling others about it is a whole different process. As I've mentioned repeatedly in these entries, writers need to consistently work at the marketing for their books and telling others about it.

For the majority of bestselling authors, their book doesn't instantly rocket to a bestseller list. Getting on that list is the result of the author (and the publisher) beating the drum to tell people about the importance of the book. I compare it to a dripping of information. You have to tell a person over and over about the value of a book and finally if they hear it often enough, they will purchase the book, then read it and then hopefully tell others about it.

What are you doing today to tell people about your book? It doesn't have to be time consuming but it does have to be consistent. Maybe you send a few emails and that will comprise your marketing effort. Or a radio station interviews you about your book or a writer interviews you for a printed magazine article. I am regularly telling people about my Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams and encouraging people to see what people are saying about the contents of the book. For example, check out what Stephanie Diamond wrote about Jumpstart. She worked eight years as Marketing Director for America Online.

If you don't have a book, then what are you doing to raise your own visibility in the marketplace as an author? Are you commenting on blogs or involved in an online group of writers where you are helpful and visible? Are you taking an active role in your local writers group or on the national level? Again, the consistency is important and will pay dividends over time.

Everyone is looking for the instant fix and the immediate. My experience says the consistent effort is worth it. For example, I'm answering questions today from a newspaper reporter who wants to write a feature story about my forthcoming keynote address in June at the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference. I'm looking forward to these sessions yet I'm consistently working on some of the background work to help promote the conference through these articles in the local newspapers.

You never know what opportunity will come during a day. Are you ready to tackle it with consistency?

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4 Comment:

At 1:58 PM, Blogger LOVE Left a note...

Be consistent. Thanks for being an example of your advice. I like it!

At 11:15 AM, Blogger Patricia Left a note...

Hi Terry,

It's so true--consistency is important, as is persistence and an understanding of the industry. Many authors worked in the mainstream prior to writing a book. Some have written a book to increase their credibility in their field. And still, some authors neglect to consider publishing and authorship a business.

I recommend to clients and students in my online, on-demand courses, that they pursue publishing and book marketing as seriously as they would any business because that's what they are actually dealing with--a business.

Patricia Fry
Author of 29 books, including "The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book" and "The Author's Repair Kit." www.matilijapress.com. Visit my informative blog often: www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog.

At 11:35 AM, Blogger Krista Phillips Left a note...

What is Krista doing:

It would be very helpful to have a book to market, and I will be ALL about doing that once I do. *grin*

But, in the mean time, I'm doing everything I can in the limited amount of time I have.

I do comment on other's blogs, I blog myself about my life/writing/genre related stuff and try to mimic the voice I write in so readers will recognize that when I DO publish books.

I've, *gulp* started to not delete my "writer" signature on my personal e-mail when I send out non-writing related e-mails. I know that's dumb, but it was a big step for me. Broadcasting my blog to someone I'm trying to buy something from on craigslist... now that's marketing!

At 11:43 AM, Blogger benjamin Left a note...

That is too true. As a writer I understand this. My book is The Adventures of Kid Humpty Dumpty. It is a tale everyone can enjoy. Check it out at www.eloqentbooks.com/theadventuresofkidhumptydumpty.html


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