So okay, when I saw these stock photos by Getty Images released in support of the movie Unifinished Business, I knew I had to figure out some way to use them. I mean, when Vince Vaughn is posing for canned business photos you gotta jump on that!
The real reason I wrote this post is to talk about the fact that these days, if you want to be a working author, you’ve got to do much more than just writing. I know it seems counter intutive but it’s true–for both traditionally and self-published authors.
Writing books is a tricky profession. Most advice tells you to write the books you want to read, and that’s great but you have to make sure that someone else wants to read them too or you’re not going to sell very many of them. Before you delve into that epic unicorn romance trilogy, make sure there’s folks who want to read that first. I learned this the hard way with my first novel, Burnt Edges. It’s a depressing story and not many people like buying books that make them feel depressed.
Try to find books similar to yours. See how popular they are with readers. A good exercise is to also define the kind of person who would wan to read your book. What do they like to do in their spare time? Where would they normally hang out? Joel Friedlander has a great guest post on his blog that outlines how to find the ideal reader for fiction authors. I suggest you check it out here.
Creating a Social Media Presence
Ah, social media. The bane of many authors’ existence both because most of us are introverts and we hate this kind of stuff and because we’d rather be writing than Tweeting. The unfortuate truth is many readers find you on Google+, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. For those writers who want to land an agent, being on social networks is a must–part of the ever-important platform. Here’s a great post on The Write Life blog about what literary agents want to see when they Google you.
Selling Your Books
These days authors needs to consider themselves more than just writers. We are really entrepreneurs because no one can sell our books better than we can. Yes, even the most nerdy, introverted writer can be an entrepreneur. You are running a business. You happen to be in the business of creating content (books) to entertain readers. If you don’t sell your content, you won’t be able to spend your time creating more. Tweeting, “Buy my book,” won’t do it either.
You’ve got to be more creative about how you sell your books these days because bluntly asking (or even begging) people to buy your books really pisses people off. It’s all about building relationships and that often takes time. You must do something every day that soon compounds into sales, kind of like building a savings. Your Writer Platfform offers this helpful cheet sheet on how to create “word of mouth” marketing plan here.
It’s a lot for a writer to do. None of it involves writing but it’s all essential. And that is reality for working authors today and where the following quote is very appropriate: “Nothing worth having comes easy.”
NOTE: Even though the image has absolutely nothing to do with the content of this blog post, I hope you enjoyed it!