Friday, May 20, 2011

The Constant Drumbeat for Every Writer

Twice last year at writers' conferences, I taught a continuing series of classes called The Constant Drumbeat for Every Writer. In these classes, I revealed the continual effort that I make as a writer to tell people about my books and products. I would love for someone else to beat the drum and tell others about my books. In a few cases, I do have some people who tell others. But at the end of the day, I understand that I have the greatest passion and concern about the value of my own books. It is my responsibility to tell others about the value and benefits of my books and products.

Many authors live in a fantasy world about this matter of telling others about their books. They believe their publisher will do it or their friends or _______ (anyone but themselves). It taken me years to come to this conclusion but I'm the best person to tell other people about my book. Like every author, I wanted someone else to carry this responsibility. Yet no one has the passion and interest in your book like you do. It is the author's responsibility to continually use tools like blogs, Twitter, Facebook, newsletters and even physical items like postcards and business cards to spread the news about their products.

As the world of Ebooks and self-publishing grows, the competition for our products only increases. It is easier than ever for an a writer to push their material into the marketplace. According to this article there were at least 3.1 million books in 2010. While those numbers can be daunting, let's also recognize that you can stand out in several ways. First, be committed to excellence. If you are going to put out a book, make sure it is edited and well-designed. I see a great deal of material that looks like it is thrown together and the authors probably wonder why nothing happened with it. The craft of good storytelling will shine in your work but it does take work.

What are you doing to tell others about your writing? Are you crafting a book proposal to make the best first impression on an editor or literary agent? Are you writing a query letter to pitch a magazine article? Are you writing a magazine article and sending it to an editor for consideration? Are you writing another portion in your book to keep advancing toward a full manuscript? Nothing happens overnight but it can happen bit by bit or little by little. What are your priorities for your writing and how are you making choices for those priorities with your available time?

Last week at the Blue Ridge conference, I gave a keynote talk about writing with courage (the theme of the conference). As I prepared my message, I could have simply told stories but I decided to take it a step further. I prepared a small business-size card with my five key points. Toward the end of my time, I gave each member of the audience one of these cards and encouraged them to take it home, put it near their computer and focus each day on how they can write with courage. On the back of this card, I provided a series of five resources to write with courage and my personal email address. My intention was to do more than tell interesting stories. I wanted to become memorable so each listener would take action and move forward with their writing dreams.

Bestselling author Jack Canfield talks about the importance of following the Rule of Five. If you follow the link, you can watch this short video and understand the necessity of continual focus on a goal to achieve it. Are you constantly beating the drum for your writing?

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