Thursday, January 27, 2011
Hmm...unfortunately it's also only too easy not to be noticed.
I've seen firsthand just how many amazing writers slip by while others get tons of attention. As aspiring authors, we do have our work cut out for us. Published authors who are big usually have their publicists do all the work for us. They don't have to worry about how many people visit their website, leave comments, or how much of their writing gets viewed. They simply respond to their fans and write their books.
Ah...someday we WILL get there.
Until then, however, if we want to make some kind of name for ourselves--not matter how small--there is work required.
I don't claim to know all the rules or tricks of doing this. There are other writers who have far greater numbers than me fanwise, but I do have some idea of how to get started.
First off...I encourage everyone to join some sort of writing community. Not just to get feedback for your work (that is important too but we'll get to that later) but because no writer ever made it alone. I don't care what you might hear from authors about how writing is a lonely job--while that may be true, every writer needs some sort of support. Some kind of encouragment to keep us going. This usually comes from family and friends who root us on as we struggle and advance, but if you don't have this, a writing community is something you should definitely look into.
It's also a great way to start getting feedback on your writing. After all, how else will you improve your skills if you don't know what needs work? There are some harsh critics out there and I'm warning you now that if you can't handle critique, you will have to learn. Getting people's feedback on your work is also another way to gain exposure for yourself. If they like it, chances they will follow your blog, or page, or website.
Giving feedback is also important. You can't expect to get and not have to give. It just doesn't work that way. If that's the mentality you have then be prepared to lose favor with lots of fellow writers who take the time to read your work.
Now I do want to give a warning for when you give critique. There is a difference between honest and cruel. Don't ever put someone down.
Secondly, as a writer, you should have some sort of site that people can go to keep updated. This could be a personal website or blog. Or both.
Did I say blog?
Yes. Yes I did.
Now, I know what you're thinking. "Oh no! She's going to tell me I need to blog!"
Nope. I'm not going to tell you that. You don't have to blog to get a good fan base going. There are countless of other ways to do this. With social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Hi5, etc...you do not have to blog to get in touch with people (fans) and keep them updated.
This is great news for those of you who do not have steady access to the internet.
But if you do blog, make sure you blog regularly. It lets fans know that you're still around AND keeps you on their minds. It doesn't need to be anything huge or totally brilliant but it should pertain to writing. A friend of mine will be doing a blog that elaborates on this and when she does, I will post a link to it.
A writer should always be available to his/her fans at all times, whether it's a site they can go to, a FB page that they can get updates from, or a blog they can follow...etc.
Just something to think about.