Welcome to the world of a new writer. Having written and published a book can bring great joy but the job does not stop there. There is more to being an author these days. The role is no longer purely writing, it is about the whole package. Readers are not just interested in the writing and the book they want more of a connection with the author. So how does a new writer do this? An online presence is essential.
I am a writer,’ are the words Bryce Courtenay told me to say at his final Master Class. ‘Hold your hand over your heart and repeat after me, I am a writer.’ These words resonate in my head daily. Believing in yourself plays an important part in your attitude to your work but this is just one step.
Being a relatively new writer is hard there is no doubt about that fact. This is not an easy industry to break into. You need to be proactive, motivated, persistent, determined and dedicated. I have also found you need to use your time and energy effectively every day allocating time for writing and promotion.
In regard to promotion and marketing, an online presence is essential. An author needs a website in today’s society as many people use the Internet. When I began writing, I could not afford an expensive website so I started researching different options that were cost efficient. After some research I found a website in my budget. As I developed my website, I realised it was not just about promoting my books, I also needed to establish a profile for myself. The website is an effective way for me to connect with others as I keep people informed about my news by sharing events I attend and projects I am working on but ‘what makes me unique?’
So developing my website further, I considered other skills I have besides my writing. I came from a primary teaching background so I incorporated this into the website. I share my knowledge on basic ways to teach reading and writing skills for children.
However in my opinion, a website is never a finished product. It is an ongoing task. As a writer, it is like your newsletter to the world. It is another way you connect with your audience. People want to know what is happening with you. A writer’s life is no longer a life where you can hide behind your keyboard you need to do much more than that.
Even a website is not enough. So my next step as a new writer was to research other ways I could be on social media. This included being on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Goodreads. Being on these sites allows me to connect and network with more people.
Networking is also very beneficial. To achieve this as a new writer I suggest you join writers’ groups and societies such as The Australian Society of Authors to keep up-to-date with current trends.
I also believe in taking a positive attitude to life and try to reflect this in my work. I write uplifting quotes and ‘spread sunshine and inspiration,’ is my motto. So, I have also created a page on Facebook specifically to promote this called ‘Sunshine and Inspiration.’ On this page, I share images and quotes that promote positivity. The page has a community of over 1,000 people.
Being an author is an ongoing process, day in and day out. Every day, time needs to be allocated to writing and current projects. It is wonderful to have a book published BUT it does not end there. This is really the beginning of your journey if you are really serious about becoming known as a writer. You must remember you have written a book but who knows you? How are people going to find out about your book? The answer to this question is marketing and promotion. In the end, it is up to you to keep your dream alive.