Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Simple Strategy for the Unpublished

Recently I was meeting with an unpublished author who had written about a 400 page Christian fantasy. He gave me a copy of his novel to read and recognizes that he is an unknown writer. Like many people they wonder what steps to take to enter the publishing business and change from being unknown to being known. These steps are not a quick fix and will take on-going time and effort. The good news is with the Internet and regular effort it can be done with a minimal financial investment to build your audience. Here are ten simple steps.

1. Pick a good domain name—a dot com. How do you want to be known? Pick that for your domain name. What is your area of expertise? If you write Christian fantasy, select something you can brand and promote. A domain name will cost about $7.49 a year at GoDaddy —and always look for a coupon as you check out.

2. Get a Hostgator account . Most writers can get along for $4.95 to $7.95 a month. This system is powerful and inexpensive.

3. On your Hostgator account, start a Word Press blog (not a free one but one you set up). The tools are free and because you are hosting it, you don’t have the restrictions of the free Word Press account. Then post several times a week on your topic that you want to brand

4. Start a Twitter account with your brand name and post only on that topic—link to articles about it and other things to draw readers

5. Also post to your Facebook about this topic—automatically repeat your tweets.

6. Join forums on this topic. Check out Big-Boards.com for possible forums. At first, watch, and then participate with solid content about the topic at hand—and emphasizing your topic. You will become known as a thoughtful expert.

7. Eventually begin a newsletter with your blog posts—repurpose them into a newsletter and encourage people to subscribe to it.

8. Repurpose your blog posts to Internet articles and post to the free articles sites (there are many of them). You are becoming a known expert.

9. Read a writing how-to book on a regular basis. Keep growing in your craft.

10. Take action over and over—consistently and regularly to build your brand. It will pay off and you will build your presence and become known.

Maybe you’ve heard about the bestselling author who took 20 years to become an overnight success. A seemingly innocent event set off the unplanned chain of events that propelled the author to recognition.

Never forget that you are the best person to promote yourself but you have to take action. Follow the plan and it can happen. I’ve seen it over and over.

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5 Comment:

At 10:18 AM, Blogger Marsha Hubler Left a note...

I wholeheartedly agree with your strategy for the unpublished, Terry.
As a freelance editor as well as author, I've worked with several fellows over the years who are unpublished and have written the "next great American novel" or the like. (So they think.) The biggest problem I've faced with them is their unwillingness to "follow the rules" of writing/publishing. Their manuscripts are not well done, and in the long run, are never accepted by any royalty publishing house.
What do they do? They usually self publish (for thousands of bucks) and add an error-filled book to the marketplace without a clue of how to improve their writing or how to market the book.
Unfortunately, these fellows give all of us writers/publishers a bad name.
Marsha Hubler

At 12:19 PM, Blogger Crystal Laine Left a note...

Terry, this is such great advice! I will be passing it along to others because it is something I'm asked about often.

I know you are busy, so thank you for keeping this site and your web site here to be searched. Thank you for dropping in and posting new advice, too. Excellent.

At 1:07 PM, Blogger Unknown Left a note...

Excellent advice Terry - I will be working on this even though I have other websites, domains and blogs - I like your clear concise call to action and the means to do it.
Thanks again,

At 2:54 AM, Blogger Betty Silk Left a note...

Hi Terry. Thanks for this advice, especially your comment and encouragement at the end. Many accounts I read seem loaded with negatives about how hard the writer's journey is, dissuading you from even going for it in the first place. Your encouragement hit a strong note this morning.

With that, I shall fill up that coffee pot and press on. Thank you!

At 9:29 AM, Blogger Bee Magic Chronicles for Kids Left a note...

Thanks for this encouragement. Over the last couple years I've mplemented about 90% of your suggestions and I have a growing following of bloggers.


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