February 08, 2010

Writers don't do that

Or do they?

What a writer may not expect to be part of their job, according to Chuck Wendig, successful freelance writer:

If you think you can pump out a perfect first draft of anything, I've got this awesome bridge to sell you.

The real estate bust has finally made bridges affordable to the average American!

I assume editing is a (big) part of my job. Writing = 1 part getting words on paper : 10 parts honing, adding, and subtracting.

I'd be thrilled to be in a position to worry about marketing, because that would mean my book is being published! See this video, in which (among excellent advice from a variety of publishing professionals) HarperCollins children's assistant Laura Whitaker says, "Publicity is 85% you."

There you have it, folks - success is largely in your hands!

Embracing technology
Everything has an online component now. Accept and flourish or reject and fail. A web presence is to the writer's advantage.

As a blogging author, you can gain followers (dare I say... fans?) far before your manuscript is even finished. And that's a beautiful thing.

Speaking engagements
Research shows more people are afraid of public speaking than of death. But as an author, you mustn't be afraid of talking to fans (or even strangers). The quickest way to get someone interested in your work is to get them interested in you.


I don't have the typical "writer's personality," so public speaking is not a fear for me. Does it give me butterflies? Sure. But can I do it? Absolutely. Eagerly. Especially if it means someone might be impressed enough by what I have to say to buy my book.

Treating it as a business

Once a writer starts making money off their talent, it's no longer a hobby - it is, by definition, a business. And it must be treated as such unless you want your financial life story to be down there with M.C. Hammer's.


Erik said...

I'm scared to death about public speaking. Looking forward to hearing you, though, if someone record it :)

Kristen said...

Thank you for sharing all of this info! That video was interesting (lol chasing an agent down in the bathroom ;)

Chandra Brinkley said...

Abby, I agree with you. If you convince people to like you, they are definitely more inclined to buy your book. This is true for a few reasons. If you are able to interest people on your blog, chances are your book will interest them. Second, people that like you more likely want to support you by purchasing your book.

I read a blog called the Happiness Project almost daily. The author, Gretchen Rubin recently published a book and I bought it. If it weren't for her blog, it is not likely that I would have bought her book. In case you are interested in checking it out, the website is: http://www.happiness-project.com/.

Great blog! I can't wait to read your book after it is published :) !!

Elana Johnson said...

Ah, yes. Writers do all of that -- and more! We have other jobs, families, etc. Great post!

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