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Monday, 29 November 2010

You All Need To Be Seen


You All Need To Be Seen

Since starting Authors on Show, it has become increasingly obvious to me of the need for author’s to be seen on more than just various writing sites. One of the first things agents or publishing houses interested in an author will do is Google them. They like to see how active that particular writer is. Anyone taken on today has to help promote themselves. If you are seen to be doing that already you are one-step ahead of any author who isn’t.

I remember working in a newspaper office and in our training we were asked to name four people or businesses who advertised regularly in their paper. All of us named one person before all others. The reason for this was because his name was always on display and he was always ‘in your face’. It worked though. His being ‘in your face’ meant that anyone looking for a business such as his, thought of him first and invariably he got the business. So you see, you can never promote enough, but you can always promote too little.

Lots of you reading this are very good at joining writing sites where you can be seen and give and receive reviews or critiques from each other, but an amazing number do nothing else. Even we on Authors on Show require more from you than that. We always ask for links to your own sites for readers to see more about you. We ask you to promote our site, which in turn helps promote you. If we want those things, you can be sure any agents or publishers will.

There are many social networking sites you should all be active on; Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace and even YouTube to name a few. The most obvious though is having your own blog or website. Quite a few of you are aware of this and are active about getting yourself and your work out there and seen. There are surprising amounts of others who don’t do any of the above though. You are at risk of being passed over due to lack of promoting yourself.

Another example of wasted opportunity is we have share buttons on all our posts. No one uses them and they should be. They are there to help you all to be seen. The more people click on them, the more word will spread. All blogs should have them and all readers should click on them. That is how others get to hear about you and your blogs. If no one uses the ‘share’ buttons as they’re called, it is another opportunity wasted. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of promote, promote, promote. One can never do it too much, but it is easy to do far too little.

Your own blog is the one place you can shine. You don’t have to share space with thousands of others writers who are all competing against each other. Anyone visiting your site wants to read about you. The fact they’ve visited means you’ve already got their attention. Those visitors are your ready made audience. You have already captivated them and they are interested in hearing and reading more about you. They are your future customers ready to go out and buy your book. Grab them with open arms. Treat it like fishing – you’ve hooked them now go and reel them in.

Not everyone is able to build their own site or feels confident enough to talk about just themselves and their work. This is something that has to be overcome if you want to succeed in today’s very competitive market place. We have to be seen to be pro-active. It is a sad fact most of us will be left on the side while others rush on by. The least we can do is make sure we are seen in as many places as possible to prevent that from happening.

With an increasing market in self publishing and e-books it is even more important to do all of the above. You won’t have a big marketing company or publishing house behind you promoting your books or selling them for you, you have to do it. One of the best ways is to have your own blog where you can display anything you’ve written to its best advantage and from where it can be bought.

Once you have your blog set up, you then need to get on those social networking sites and advertise it. Get people to your pages to see it. This can only be done by getting out there and dragging them in - by their hair if necessary.

Go on other sites and support them. Do a guest post about them on your blog. That’ll ensure they come to see it and you’ll also be helping a fellow writer. They will undoubtedly tell their followers and will give them the link to come and read it as well. Who knows, they might even return the favour at some time. It is no good being modest. You have to work it hard if you want to succeed. Besides, it doesn't look good if someone who writes for a living can't be bothered writing a blog.

You cannot afford to sit back and hope it all comes to you. I’m afraid those days are long gone and anyone hoping to get a deal or sell books has to go out and do it themselves. I have given a few ideas for you to think about and hope those who aren’t active will now think about it. 

If any of you don’t feel able to start your own blog and need some help to get startedCLICK HERE

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I just found this blog. What a great post. Thank you :)