Peggy Bechko: There’s More To Being A Writer Than Just Writing

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by Peggy Bechko 

It’s something we don’t want to hear and certainly don’t want to think about. But, it’s the honest truth these days.

It used to be that a writer sat at a desk and wrote. After publication the publisher might arrange a book tour or a few book signings, but by today’s comparison those requirements were pretty minimal.

Today, depending on how a writer writes, publishes and manages his or her career, there’s a multitude of additional activities that writer will need to address.

First among them is marketing. From the days when not much was expected from the writer by the publisher in marketing we’re catapulted into an era where marketing is king. A publisher now usually wants a writer to have a social media presence – a twitter account (preferably with a lot of followers), a facebook page (preferably with a lot of friends or ‘likes’ and every other social network you can think of along with being willing to promote in other ways as well. And then there’s a blog…

And by the way, don’t depend on the publisher for much these days in the way of publicity and promotion unless you’re a big name writer.

But it doesn’t end there. If you’re taking your writing career in another direction and planning to self-publish, then the manuscript is just the beginning whether non-fiction or fiction. You’ll need to know how to format the manuscript (after it’s been edited to perfection) for upload to whichever publisher you choose, Kindle, Smashwords, or another if you’re doing digital publishing.

Formatting is different again if you’re considering possibly a place like CreateSpace where you can publish in hard copy. You’ll be responsible for cover creation for designing the book interior, for coming up with photos you can legally use (if the book calls for them). All of this you’ll need to do yourself or arrange for outsourcing. The site Fiverr does offer some possibilities for outsourcing, but use caution. Be sure you’re going to get what you need.

And of course, we come full circle back to marketing. Without even minimal help from the publisher (such as even just having a good distribution network) you’re going to be head of publicity. That means you have to get the word out.

You might consider creating (or having created) a video book trailer. I just did my first one and you can see it at:

You can guest post at blogs (after making contact and inquiring). You can start your own blog, blast the word out via your social network, offer free copies for reviewers, contact reviewers directly and ask for reviews, place small ads (within your budget), join Goodreads and discussion groups where your book announcement would be appropriate.

There’s a lot more today to being a writer than writing.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Speaking of marketing, Peggy just informed us that her novel, HAWKE’S INDIANS, is free Aug 5 -7 at Amazon.Com.