Bashful, Reluctant, Wannabe Authors Can Crush It
You shy? So was I. If your goal is to become a published author with a book-selling success rate that transcends your immediate family and friends, it’s time to peek out of your shell. Though you may cringe at the thought of putting yourself out there, the time will come when you must start promoting yourself.
During my tenure, co-managing Long Island Authors and Writers Society, one of the most rewarding aspects of the job was inviting literary agents, editors, and successful authors to give presentations to our members. What stuck out the most when listening to all the advice was that a social media presence was important. It sounds scary and overwhelming but it’s an easy first step for writers and budding authors and it doesn’t have to be fancy. Gather ideas, create the foundation, and build slowly.
The difference between a successful online presence and one that is mediocre, is content. Content must be fresh, engaging, relatable, and attractive. You must always be on the look-out for new ideas that you can spin into content. Catchy titles are a must! Photos and graphics that correspond to the content add to the appeal and help break-up paragraphs.
I began my online-presence journey with Facebook https://www.facebook.com/wordytips and Instagram pages https://www.instagram.com/wordytipsandtidings/ to assist writers and aspiring authors with simple advice, writing tips, checklists, inspiration, and basic grammar and punctuation rules. Once established, I launched the companion website, so followers had access to further info.
The website, https://www.wordytips.com/ includes a Home Page with bios, a page with Quick Tips, a Contact Wordy button, articles with weekly Writing Tips that correspond to afternoon posts on the above-mentioned pages, Author Spotlights, which are great opportunities for authors to showcase their work and help aspiring authors, and Blog posts to inspire, educate, and create a safe place where potential authors can navigate the literary world without judgement. The atmosphere is open, honest, relatable, and helpful. It’s meant to provide comfort to hopeful authors, so they don’t feel alone. The intention is to boost confidence and facilitate next steps. An intriguing website should be everchanging with new additions and ideas. I recently added a Query Proofreading service and plan to add contests and prizes.
An author website is different from a website to help would-be authors succeed. When my novel receives representation, or if I decide to self-publish, I’ll launch an author website which is currently in the works. I’m spitballing here but so far it will include: an attractive Home Page with my bio and social media links, an About My Book page with links to purchase, and perhaps a Look-Inside-the-Book page, a Contact Me button, and eventually, fingers crossed, a page of appearances, launch party content, photos, book reviews, and with luck, any media coverage. Like my Wordy Tips page, it will be easy to navigate, clean, concise, and attention-grabbing.
Of equal significance is to create an author Facebook page to promote your work. A page dedicated to your book and any subsequent books. A place for readers to have access to the author and get to know them. Think contests, freebies, reader input, and interactions. Expand the concept to include Instagram, Twitter, etc. If the universe is on my side, and I think it is, I’ll have an author page in addition to my Wordy Tips & Tidings Facebook page.
This is my journey and suggestions. Have fun, and make yours your own!