Why and How Aspiring and Emerging Writers Should Think about PR
(Photo Credit: Ken Miyamoto’s 15 Ways to Stop Writer’s Block)
Starting a career as a writer isn't what it once was. Back in the day, if a person wanted to write a book, she would write a book, find an agent, get a publisher, see her book in print, and then get loads of letters from her adoring fans. The publisher might have her do a book tour or give some talks at relevant local clubs and organizations. If her book did well, her publisher might make a website for her so that her readers could learn more about her. That's not the normal path any more.
Now, authors should have their websites/author platforms up and running before they contact agents so that the potential agents can see what kind of media presence they have. And, authors, you should have a media presence if you want to get an agent's attention. Here are four ways to get your name out there before you have a book to promote.
Contact the hosts of writer podcasts. Many author podcasts interview published authors, but I’ve heard a few of them interview new writers. It's certainly worth contacting podcast hosts to see if they'll interview you. I've made a list of links [SEE BELOW] to some of my favorite writer podcasts. If you like what you hear, contact the hosts. (If you know of other good writer podcasts, please tell me in the comments.)
Create an author website and don't let it sit dormant. You might have a lot of energy at first for writing new posts every few hours, but you'd do better to create a schedule you can stick to. I've discovered that most social media and website managers allow people to post immediately or to schedule for later posting. Take advantage of this feature to write posts whenever you can, but schedule them to appear at regular, maintainable intervals.
Write an article on a topic connected to your work and figure out which site or magazine's readers would want to read it. This approach has two advantages. First, you'll find the right readers for your content. Second, you'll attract more followers to your site, which will help an agent want to take you on.
Use social media to others' advantage. If you post photos people want to see and write content people find useful, they'll come back to see what else you create later. Figure out who might be reading your work and give those people something they can't get from others. For example, if you're writing a romance novel about two pro-golfers, and you're doing a lot of research about golf, write posts that help golfers. When your book is complete, some of those golfers will be excited to read it.
So, my overall point is, don't waste your time like the guy in the photo above. Come up with a PR plan and stick to it. And of course, share your good ideas with me. What other ways do you know to get your name out there?
Links to Great Podcasts about Writing: (in alpha order)
Ann Kroeker Writing Coach with Ann Kroeker
Born to Write with Azul Terronez
Create if Writing with Kirsten Oliphant
The Creative Writer’s Toolbelt with Andrew J. Chamberlain
Helping Writers Become Authors with K.M. Weiland
How Do You Write? with Rachael Herron
The Prolific Writer Podcast with Ryan J. Pelton
The Well-Storied Podcast with Kristin Kieffer
Writers XL with Shelly X. Leonn (Metamorphosis author!) and L.L. Montez