“Everyone’s got a story to tell”… As the saying goes. But how do you tell your story? And how do you sell it?
A panel of experts (a literary agent, proof reader, published author, a blogger and I – a Columnist/Publicist/Blogger/Journo), gave a talk to new authors about getting your words out there, in a Q&A entitled: Ready, Steady, Write!
1. Before starting to write your book: “Authors should ask why they’re writing their book – What do they want to get out of it? “Though there may be more than one reason, the overriding motivation will steer what they write and how they market it.” Diane Hall, independent publisher at The Writing Hall.
2. Keep it real: “Whatever it is you’re writing, write with authenticity and from the heart. Be human, don’t be afraid to show vulnerability and always be yourself.” Katie Portman, Blogger at Pouting In Heels.
3. Be succinct: “Get to the point straight away. No matter what you’re writing, readers don’t have much patience. I know this from my years as a Journalist.” Sophie Mei Lan.
4. Shut the book: “Once you’ve finished writing your piece, leave it alone for as long as you can bear…
“Going back to it after days or even weeks gives you a more objective view…” Linda Jones, Author.
5. Second pair of eyes: “Don’t be afraid to share your work with copy-editors and proofreaders; we’re not pedants who set out to make unwelcome and drastic changes to your work, or cover it in little red symbols like we’re marking an English Language exam!
“On the contrary, our role is to work with you to make the necessary amends to convey your message to your audience, whoever that might be, in the most accurate, engaging and effective way.” Emily Stones, proofreader.
6. Self-publishing vs publishing houses: Both have their pros & cons. It depends how much control you want over your book and whether it is a hobby or job to you.
7. Marketing your book/blog: What is it about you that makes you unique? What’s your niche? Once you know that then it’s easier to target places, media & groups of people.
8. Read, read, read: It sounds so simple but it’s true. Writing is a craft so it’s important you also read other blogs/books/newspapers.
9. Promote yourself: “Get out there- go to groups, get plugging & connecting on social media There are now a gazillion of ways you can self-promote for free. And often it’s worth investing in some PR.” Evoke Media Group.
10. Fake it until you make it – One of my mottos in life. Be confident. Believe in yourself and don’t give up, you’re as good as the rest of them.” Mama Mei
And an extra top tip (so that’s now 11 top tips, but 10 sounds better!)
Just turn up: “Even if you don’t think you have anything to write, even if you don’t write anything, just turn up.
Emily Stones – she works as a freelance editor but the bulk of her work is for a client who produces learning materials and resources.
Helen Rhodes – Helen is a poet and self-published author with a very dark sense of humour and gothic style.
Linda Jones – the independently published author, who penned ‘A Fistful of Feathers.’
Kate Portman – Blogger and Journalist.
Me, Sophie Mei Lan – Blogger, Journalist and Publicist/Film-maker at Evoke Media Group.