Sometimes You Have to Toot Your Own Horn
There is a lot of buzz in the writing field about building your platform as a writer. Put simply, this means promoting yourself and building a market for your books.
How do you promote your writing? There are plenty of resources for promoting yourself online my favourites are:
- Blog - I know most of you do already, but it's important to have your blog professional looking and easy to read (yellow print on a hot pink background might be groovy, but if it's hard to read, there's a lot of blogs out there and your visitor can give up and move on). I love Blogger for all the widgets and easy templates, in fact, I'm more likely to follow a blogger blog - but there are other blog hosts so check out which one suits you.
- Twitter - a fantastic application for keeping in touch with writers, readers, agents, publishers and so on! Be focused on the type of group you want to create, if you have separate interests (such as writing romance and rebuilding old cars) then create separate accounts for each of those. I get access to a lot of great links from Twitter friends and you can let a large group of people know when your blog has been updated.
- Facebook - why not build a fan page for your writing that lets readers know when your next book is coming out.
Warning: A focused approach to marketing is better than a lot of random promoting. You need to remember when you put stuff online it can be accessed forever, and you may regret it later. Self-publishing is a viable option for many, but rushing in and putting out a badly formatted book which still requires a lot of editing before it's an acceptable novel, means in the future when you query an agent or publisher, they will also be able to see your unprofessional piece. Think carefully before you put any messages out there and consider how they will reflect on you in the future.
To find out a LOT more about platform building for writers today I recommend checking out Joanna Penn at The Creative Penn. This site has free e-books and plenty of information about building up your online presence as a writer.