We hope you guys enjoyed celebrating holiday traditions—whatever they may be—over the past month or so! Now of course is the time to start thinking about what we’ve done in the past, and think about what we want to accomplish in 2015.
What’s some major things to change as a writer? One major lesson I’ve learned as a budding author and an editor is that success—however you define it for yourself—is all about attitude.
As you head into 2015, consider changing the way you think about publishing to actually make it in the publishing world. Start by learning about three kinds of attitudes that can help you out.
Attitude of Adaptation
When you give a publishing house your information, there is an option to show the publisher just how much you use social media. You can put all of the social media platforms you already maintain and how many followers you have. At minimum, you can let them know how willing you are to help with marketing.
If you have this option, tell them with a resounding YES that you will help with marketing.
This is no longer the era of “I write, they sell” when we think of publishers. We have to bring out the entrepreneurs in ourselves to sell our books. Publishing houses will help you hook up with things like book signing gigs, spots in conferences, and tons and tons of copies, but if you want the magic to happen, you have to be present in your marketing.
Basically, the rules of publishing and advertising have changed over the years. Read up on what you as an author are expected to do, and do your best to deliver. In summary, use social media whether you like it or not. As a current editor for SEO work, I solemnly swear that social media is vital if you want people to know who you are and buy your books.
Attitude of Sharing/Cooperation
This is the “you scratch my back—I scratch yours” kind of world. You may be antsy in hopes of selling as many copies of your books as possible, but know that cooperation with other writers will only help you, rather than hurt you.
So what are some ways that you can share with others and further be a part of the community?
- Read and comment other blogs. This is an easy way to make fun author friends. Go the extra mile and cite them or mention them in your own posts if they made a good point or shared a good idea.
- Offer to do reviews. Read a budding author’s work and review it on your blog. If you do it with a ton of other people, this is sometimes called a blog tour.
- Go to promotional events such as local book signings or parties.
- Learn how to revamp your blog, and get on as many social media platforms as you can stand. A quick and painless way to use Pinterest for your benefit is to participate in a community board. You can contribute to a board about writing or publishing. You can pin your own posts and add it to the mix. Invite your writing friends to contribute, too.
- Talk about your own experiences with writing and publishing to help those behind you.
The point of joining the community is to not only show that you’re a team player, but you’re interesting. The point is to show that you’re real, and you have great ideas.
Attitude of Learning and Revision
You are way behind on the publishing game if you assume that publishers will publish your book exactly the way you sent it to them. As mentioned in other posts, editors want to see your book succeed, too. If they have suggestions, consider them, rather than immediately discard them. They know your market, plain and simple.
If you plan on returning to a particular publishing house, those previous editors will remember their experience working with you. If they know that you are flexible to work with and keep up with your due dates, they will want you back—especially if your book does well. And don’t we all want to feel wanted?
Be a Long-term Writer
You can see that all three of these attitudes have one thing in common: flexibility. Keep up with the tools and tricks to keep you in the game, rather than remain stuck with what worked 10 years ago. What worked even a few years ago might already be outdated.
Keep in mind that adopting these attitudes won’t just help you publish your first book, but any and all books that come after. We’re in it for the long-haul, so let’s think of this as a continuous process, rather than a one-time bucket list item.
Sharing time! What are your writing resolutions for 2015? Travis and I have a few manuscripts that need to be finished so we can get some nitty-gritty work done. We also want to vanquish NaNoWriMo again come November.