Monday, September 13, 2010
Get out there and promote yourself!
I’d like to remind aspiring/emerging writers that being a bit more aggressive (audacious) will get you a mile further in your writing career. I’ve known some emerging writers whose writing can lead them to a brilliant career as authors. However, they are shrinking violets. Have you ever seen a shy politician? My point exactly! I’m not saying you should be a braggart or a kowtower; instead be a writer with good public relations (P.R.) skills.
Let me give you the perfect example. Recently, a former mentor and published author (let’s call him Matt) told me he met an emerging writer (let’s call him John) at a literary event. After being introduced, they both talked about their work. John expressed his passion for fiction and poetry. Matt’s curiosity was piqued and immediately asked John to email him a couple of poems. Matt was impressed with the poems and deemed them worthy of publication. The result: Matt asked his publisher if he could also include John’s poems in the anthology where Matt’s work was to appear.
So next time you feel like hiding under a rock at a literary function, think of my tips for Public Relations 101:
• Attend literary events every chance and go out of your way to introduce yourself.
• Participate in writing workshops.
• Befriend your mentors.
• Keep in touch with the people you meet at events, workshops, readings, etc. (they may know an agent or publisher).
• Talk about your work without being arrogant.
• Most importantly, never, never, badmouth or gossip about your peers or mentors. It’s unprofessional and it can only jeopardize your writing career.
• Promote yourself using the available tools such as a business card or press release.
• Remember the importance of an online presence for public relations—a web site, a blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.
What P.R. skills do you find work for you?