So, I thought I’d share them with you and help other writers out a little bit.
- Keep organized
You have to keep organized. Come up with a system that works for you for tracking submissions or buy software that will do it for you. It will be worth the investment. Why is organization important? Before I got myself organized in my writing and especially my submitting, I sent the same article to an editor twice. Yup, she’s the one who mentioned it to me. Can you say embarrassing???
- Let writing sit
This is a very important step in the writing process. Don’t be in a hurry; your story will be better for it. When you finish your piece, whether an article or a novel, you need to step back from it for a few days at least. This allows you to see mistakes and holes in your story.
- Check on submissions
Believe it or not things get lost in the mail and in cyberspace. Many times this will result in a sale. I can’t tell you how many times I have made a sale simply because I asked about it. This is where your organizational skills will come in handy. Don’t be nasty, editors are humans, too. When I have to contact an editor I usually say something like, “I know you’re busy, but I just wanted to check up
on an article (or book proposal) I sent you.” Add a little humor here to show you aren’t angry. Take note of any publishers that do not respond to submissions. If they want it, they will let you know.
- Define your idea of success and work toward that
I always said that if I could make one person laugh or cry I would be successful. To me this is much more important than money. Yes, I need money to pay my bills, but I also want to know that my writing touches someone. You have to have faith that little words of encouragement will come at the right time.
- Promote, promote, promote
Promoting myself is not my strong point, but you have to use every opportunity possible to promote yourself and your book. As hard as it is for me I have to tell people when I publish something new. It isn’t as important for my articles, which I get paid for whether anyone reads them or not, as it is for my books, however, getting my name out also sells more books. Books are completely different animals. Create a book trailer and post it on your blog and all social media. I will tell my friends and brag about myself a little bit – even though that is what I truly hate. When publishing a book you have to sell yourself. The more people that read and enjoy your book, the more people will buy your next book. This is one of the ways you can build your platform and have pre-sales for subsequent books.
- Find readers
Finding readers for your work is very important. If you are writing a book you need to have two different kinds of readers. You need writers who will look at the mechanics of your work, but you also need readers who can give a good overview of the effects of your story. Here again, you cannot enlist readers who simply tell you your work is good.
I hope these ideas will help you in your writing. Feel free to send me your ideas and things you wish you had known when you began writing.