What They Don’t Tell You About in Writing School-Part 2

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   So, are you posting on Facebook, Tweeting on Twitter? If not, that’s okay. Have you started your own blog, made comments on other authors’ blogs? That’s alright if you haven’t had time. The big question is, are you writing and creating?

   To do any kind of business in this day of digital communication, one must have a web site. (I’m excited that my updated one is close to going live!) On that web site, it is suggested that you offer good content for free. In this age of business, it is all about reciprocity: you give something freely (advice, stories), and others give back to you (in the form of purchasing your book). If you’re going to be selling your book on your web site, there are statistics that reveal how ebooks are merging onto the scene, along with the different versions of digital readers. To make your books available for more readers you might consider offering other forms besides print books.

   Besides a web site, which I believe is the cornerstone of an author who wishes to sell their work to a wider audience besides their friends and family (which I’ve discovered is a finite circle), a press kit is needed. Ideally, we’d all have the cash flow to hire a big PR firm and Marketing expert to do all the tough work for us. If this you, great! If not, then, like me, you’re on your own. There are lots of good sites on the web that give advice about how to put together a press kit. Sending this kit out to everyone though, would be a waste of time and money. Contact a few journalists, see if they are interested in your book, then send them the press kit and a copy.

   There are book signings, too. However, I’ve discovered that it is a case of the chicken or the egg. People will come to the book signing if they know you, but one purpose of a book signing is to have people discover who you are! And don’t think you must have the signing at a bookstore. Restaurants work to get out in front of lots of people who probably don’t know you. Or you could have a signing at a friend’s house just like a cookware party.

   Sound like a lot of work? It is, and there is so much to learn. I’ve chosen to self-publish for many reasons, but an important one was that even if I was picked up by one of the Big Publishing Companies, I would still be in charge of my own marketing. Until I am as famous as James Patterson or Mary Higgins Clark or J.K. Rowling, I’ll be doing what is suggested in numerous sites regarding authors, marketing, and public relations, which is much of what I’ve shared with you the past two blogs.

  Not wanting to leave you without a bit of a writing suggestion, I’ll share that since I’ve been concentrating on the marketing aspect, I’ve neglected the creating portion. And it feels like something is lacking in my day. I feel a little ‘off’. So then I pick up the pen, take a breath, reread the last sentence I’d written, and begin from there. And every night I write in my gratitude journal that I’m thankful for the words. What do you do when you find that a few days or a week has passed and you’ve left your creative project on the table, or on the computer? Does it call out to you? Do your fingers itch to pick up the pen, the paint brush, the sketchbook? And do you give in to those impulses? If you do, how does it feel? If you push them aside, how does that make you feel? I firmly believe that we are all beings of feelings and impressions and what our senses bring to us. It seems to me that it is less work to allow that energy to come up and out onto the paper or canvas, or through an instrument, than it is to stuff it.

   As always, I invite you to do the experiment and notice the results. I also encourage you to investigate the title of my last two blogs. Being an artist is incredible, and sharing your work with others is the gravy. My intention was not to scare anyone away from making a living with their creativity, but simply to give you ideas on how to make yourself known, your work available. My first web site is a place to see what I have made available for others to see, what I’m sharing. Check it out www.myjoyenterprises.com

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