Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Writing a book - what to do first?

-- What to do first? -- 

New book writers often ask me what they need to do first upon the completion of their manuscript. There are a number of things I look into when writing a book: First -One must write for an intended audience and knowing exactly what you can provide those readers is the key. 

Second, ask yourself: What do I know that can help others with their issues in that genre? What can I offer that is unique that other writers have not yet addressed or that I felt were missing in other books on this topic? Finding answers to those questions will prove helpful in the development of your marketing plan and your queries to publishers, and in the proofreading and final edit stages for your manuscript.

The next thing I will look at is determining the individuals or organizations that I can utilize from our existing contact list for networking, marketing, or as a resource.

Being clear about the initial marketing efforts for each project and having a general marketing plan outline, makes all the difference as to whether a publication or publisher will be interested in a project. Show that you are respectful of the staff, their time and schedule, by providing everything they need, before they need it. And finally – but most importantly – always thank them regardless of the outcome.

No matter who you interact with - be it a marketing contact, someone you want to network with, or someone involved in the writing and publishing industry - do it with respect. Show that you appreciate their time no matter what the outcome is and always mention how you are willing to help them. For example: If you hope to have an article published on a blog, show them how you’ll promote the event and you’ll have a much greater chance of being considered.

Being organized and self-disciplined is vital in this industry. I’m on most of the major social networking sites and drop in them occasionally, but only have time to maintain a few including: FaceBook and Twitter, among a few others that I drop into occasionally. I also manage a daily blog and a weekly blog, as well as an online radio program. Between all of this I still find time to appear in the media and in the public through a variety of events, interviews, articles and so on.  

Since our first book Trash Talk was released in 2004, I have participated in literally thousands of events, in fact we appear are appearing online or in the public between 4-12 times per month during the slow periods and as much as 24 times in one month! Each event brings me closer to feeling confident about the content I can provide to the next interview or presentation. With every event I learn something about myself, how to word things better or how become more familiar with a medium I haven’t had experience with.

I love experimenting with marketing techniques, trying new ideas out as time allows, and I find there are more opportunities than time. One day we might be working on a new advertising campaign, the next day we might be doing an online TV program, then arranging the schedule for an out-of-town tour, or Skype video interview… or visiting a new social networking site to see what it has to offer. The only way to keep track of all of this is by having file going of all the resources so that I can follow up on them whenever my schedule opens up – this way I don’t miss out on any opportunity if I can help it.

Managing a career, or hobby, in the world of writing requires flexibility and persistence, knowing yourself well, understanding your audience, having good record keeping skills and the self-discipline to stay organized. Without these skills, a writer can easily become overwhelmed and find themselves floundering in a sea of endless confusion. 

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, their radio program, blog, and more at: * Support the Brummets by telling your friends, clicking those social networking buttons, or visiting the Brummet's Store - and help raise funds for charity as well!

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