Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Doing the dirty work

I was brought back to the days in which I strictly wrote manuscripts, published other's work and was a slave to one idea for a year. An aquantance asked me how to keep on? How do I get myself known? What should I do? Now, there are many ideas, opinions and ways of doing this... I do not want you to think that I have the only answers, but I do have some.

Write, write and then write some more. What do I mean? Well, write a blog and advertise or link to your other work. Write for lower paying sites or magazines. I have in the past writtien for free to get the word out, I have mixed feelings on this subject. Of course I agree with so many writer's out there that we should not offer our services for free. All our work deserves pay. I agree wholeheartily on this subject. I mean I would not go to my J.O.B and work for free. However, I would toy with a few articles with links or published work in my byline. I would never totally put all my eggs in a basket for these sites or mags that do not pay. They are great for free advertising though.
I, many years ago, received a copy of a book called The Frugal Book Promoter - How to do what your publisher won't, by Carolyn Howard-Johnson. When I had my publishing company up and running I had purchased several copies of this book and gave it for free to my authors. I believe it is still in print and I found it at Amazon.com recently. Here is the information on this book:

The Frugal Promoter
Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Star Publish
Nevada USA and St. Croix USA
283 pages
ISBN# 1-932993-10-X
Price: $17.95 US
9.95 UK
$24.15 Canada

Offer to become a book reviewer. This is also a free job, but opinions of books are important. You are not out any pay, you get free advertising in your byline and a free book to add to your collection. You can also gain from someone else's published work because you are seeing how someone else wrote and learn from it.

Publish a website offering your services. This is very important, but just do not publish the site. Add your site to search engines and link referral sites and do not forget to add them to your byline. Add links to all your work and blogs, etc to your signature in your emails. Yahoo.com's mail has a rather easy signature section to add your links and published works too.

Join a writer's forum. This is wonderful place to get the word out. Other writers welcome when someone has published work and they are always wanting to know where you have work published. And in many times will purchase the magazine, book or click to where you were published just to see what you did.

Another resource is right in your own life - friends, relatives, acquantances, etc. They know people you do not know, or know yet. Make a list of people and their addresses or emails. When you publish something, write up an announcement. Put the announcement in an email or a post card. Get the word out. Many people you know may not still know you are published. I sold my first 100 books to people I knew and relatives. They are still screaming to me for a new book because I have not written one for three years now. Its on my list, trust me my list is long. I just have to devote a year to a book. It consumes me and is very stressful. I prefer articles actually.

What about business cards? You ask, business cards? Isnt that old fashion? Well, yes, but they work. Believe me, I have gotten a few local pieces from the old fashion business card. People still love flashy business cards. I carry business cards in my purse and I have a business card holder in my briefcase. I know, I am not old fashion, I have a cellphone with all the bells and whistles, not to mention a PDA, Laptop, Ipod, USB drives - all that. Sometimes going back to the basics work, especially if no one else is doing it. You will be different, different works.

Keep at it. Do not stop! Snatch any way in which you can advertise. Be creative! Go to Media Parties, author workshops, writer clubs, library readings, bookstore readings, anything legal. Now that you are a writer, pursue it. It is a cut throat profession, but also the more support you have of other writers, the more you will get in return.

I hope this helps someone. And remember to read, write and be merry.

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