“Promote thyself” should be every writer’s motto. But getting out there and telling other people about your work is directly opposite to the writing lifestyle. Writing is a solitary profession, and except for interaction with your editors and perhaps people you interview, you write in more or less total isolation.
However, in today’s world of networking, it’s important to make you and your work known.
Sure, book writers—you’ll notice I didn’t use the term “author”—can present book signings here and there. While this may sell a few more books regionally, it doesn’t do much to get a book known for the average writer. Perhaps your book becomes a bestseller and Oprah invites you on her show. It becomes an instant success. But what about all the rest of us who don’t get that golden opportunity.
Whether you write books, articles, or short stories, you need to create a plan for promoting them. You’ll discover that it’s inherently easier to promote non-fiction than fiction. First, you can easily produce articles on the same topics as your books or articles in which you can promote yourself as a writer in other topic areas. Publishing these in print or online will definitely help get you noticed.
And what about creating your own Web site? People in businesses of all kinds have Web sites today. It shouldn’t be any different for a writer. You have two ways to go there—developing a professional Web site through which you can engage editors or a more personal site to engage readers.(I’ll discuss creating your own site more in a future blog.)
Even if you don’t have a Web site, you can offer your work to Webmasters of other sites—either ones that deal with your chosen topic or ones that focus on writing, itself. Don’t do this haphazardly, however. Instead, target good sites with higher visitor counts or rankings in search engines like Google.
And finally don’t discount social networking sites like Facebook. While all the”friends” you emass on Facebook may visit your fan page regularly, are they doing much else to further your career, like buying your books or reading the magazines in which your articles and short stories appear. Only you can decide if the time and energy you’ll need to put into a social networking page will be worth it in the long run.