Sunday, December 19, 2021

Five Ways to Earn Your Spot

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

As a writer, how do you earn your spot to have others read your work? In this article I want to give you some ideas about how to acquire this skill and the action steps you need to take.

In this article, I mentioned working on getting my books into libraries. I reached out to the collection librarian. I asked what sort of check out activity a book needs.  While this standard may be different for every library, here's what I learned: “We are a demand-driven collection, so everything on our shelves earns it’s spot! Our nonfiction collection has an average turnover of 5 checkouts per year per book, so circulation needs to be close to that to either stay on our shelves, or if damaged, repurchase.”
From my exchange with this librarian,  I've created a plan to regularly plan to market my own books which are inside my local library. In the past, I've done nothing to encourage people to use my books. But now I'm going to regularly encourage my local writer's group and others to check out and use my books from the library book shelf. Through my own marketing efforts, I want to help my books stay in the collection.  My marketing of my books in the library doesn't have to be sophisticated or fancy—but it does have to happen and I will be the person doing it. This additional activity stems from my philosophy of taking 100% responsibility for my own success.
How do we earn the right to be read or published as writers? I've already mentioned one way with actively working to get your books into libraries.
A second way to earn your right to be read is to learn the craft of storytelling. It is a developed skill to tell interesting stories. Some of it you can pick up through extensive reading but it is also a skill which can be taught as you learn how a mixture of dialogue and narration detail can make for page turning wriiting.
A third way to earn your spot is to write on a regular basis and submit your writing. Notice the second part of this point. It's good to write on a regular basis but you don't earn your spot and get published if it never reached an editor. Admittedly it takes work on your part to find the right editor but you have to be in the market to have any opportunity to be published.
A fourth way to earn your spot is to reach your audience in different formats and methods. There are an endless series of methods to reach your audience such as an email list, your various social media links, reviews, magazine articles, podcasts, books and radio interviews.
The fifth and final way to earn your spot is to make an action plan then keep working your plan—even in the face of failure or rejection. Each of us (yes me too) face these twins of failure and rejection. The difference between those who succeed and those who don't? The ones who succeed keep going forward even when they are rejected. Our world is full of opportunity. As a writer, you have to seize the day, keep your fingers on the keys and keep moving forward. 
Our lives in publishing are not easy but are possible. I hope in this article I've given you some ideas and encouragement to keep moving ahead.  How do you earn your spot? Let me know in the comments below.

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2 Comment:

At 1:01 PM, Blogger Southern-fried Fiction Left a note...

How does one gain a review in the library journal?

At 7:58 AM, Blogger Terry Whalin Left a note...


Great qustion. I don't know that any of my books have been reviewed in the Library Journal. They have submission guidelines. Hope this helps. The key is to continue to try new things to see which doors will open.



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