The World’s A Stage for Writers Too

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#OpenBook

This week’s Open Book Blog Hop question is one I’ve  asked so many authors—”What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a writer?”

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**Side note – I will send the first Open Book Blog Hop blogger who tells me the GIF reference a My Way to You ribbon bookmark :)** UPDATE – Congrats, aurorawatcherak!

Okay, now. It is a staple question on my and many interviewers’ list because it’s very important.

Writers make writers.

Well-written creations offer examples and inspiration for those seeking to make a mark in the world with ink—hence the adage “read good writing to become a good writer. There is also so much to learn from talented writers’ blood, sweat, tears (real ones-’cause writing is no joke) and experiences.

Like most writers and someone who’s been at various layers of the writing process (teacher, writer, editor, author, mentor, etc.), I have a lot of advice, but I think one of the most important things I can tell aspiring writers and authors doesn’t involve the craft—not directly.

Just as important as creating a finished product that conveys the desired message is to build an audience that will want to hear it.  There are tons of writers out there, which makes it critical to build a platform and following. This is a mostly non-writing process and will require a lot of time and energy to get one’s actual voice out there.

In our social media-driven world, potential readers often want to see and hear from their writers. A lot of successful writers developed a way of connecting to readers outside of their writing, presenting personalities and appeal. Some will use social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) primarily not to sell books but themselves, acquiring hundreds, thousands and even millions of followers.

It’s not so much about numbers as it is creating a stage for your work. You, stand center stage, speaking to people. Then you offer your creation(s) to the eyes and ears focused on you. If they like what they see and hear, some will spread the word. It’s a slow process but an essential one.

It’s important to create an author brand. What is it about you that will attract followers and readers (they aren’t always one and the same)? Not your writing, YOU.

It may be as simple as showing that pretty face with some quippy anecdotes, but from what I’ve gleaned, authors do best getting their names out there using a mixed media approach as well as physical appearances.  Photos, video clips and live posts draw people and potential readers, so think of ways to use them to your advantage.

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Yeah, it can be pretty damn scary. I was terrified when I did my first video book review, but once over that hump, I learned I really liked it.

Honestly, this is not easy for a lot of writers and authors. It’s been my experience interviewing them that a lot are just about penning their words and shutting out the world. Well, that won’t cut it for a lot of us. So, download some content creation apps, grab that cellphone and start connecting to your audience.

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Think about what you want to say, then say it. Build an author’s persona for readers to enjoy, hopefully creating a loyal relationship.


giphy1  Book Review Feature  GIVEAWAYS (1)


8 thoughts on “The World’s A Stage for Writers Too

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    1. I agree. Finding a balance is hard, but building a brand is as well. I’m not talking about marketing but creating a platform that will actually boot marketing results. It’s hard but I think necessary.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Marketing, though necessary, is a huge time suck. And, it’s not as simple as just putting your name out there. “Buy my book” gets such low responses, it’s not worth it. Finding topics your audience can engage with and then tossing in an occasional “buy my book” link works. I struggled with finding topics for a long time until I posted something on political philosophy (which has a tangential relationship to Transformation Project series) and that worked. But it’s still a lot of work that takes me away from writing, so I’ve scaled back quite a bit this year and am actually selling more books. Paradoxical.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly. It’s important to engage and expand one’s audience by piquing their interests. Most of my writing contains some level of social justice commentary at the intersections of race, gender, and faith. So, I often connect them to the work I do in anti-racism, gender equality and religious tolerance as well as sexual violence advocacy. Even if they weren’t strongly connection, I would still want to speak that voice to my readership because it’s who I am, and I don’t think we are in the age of disconnecting the author from the work is as easily done.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The other part is that many of us writers are introverts. Having to do the whole social media and self-promotion gig is hard. Writing is hard, but selling our books is even harder.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree, and I’m so glad you pointed it out. It does take time, and it’s a process of trying things until you find out what works for you, but it’s important. Also, I’ve found that it makes my job more enjoyable!

    Liked by 1 person

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