A lot of people ask:
“Should I worry about being established before I get published?”
WHY? Because you can build an audience and a name for yourself. THEN when you have a book, you will be recognized as someone in the community, and as someone to be trusted and followed.
There are several ways to get yourself established…
- Follow blogs and comment
Find a few blogs that you like (other writers/illustrators/informative/etc). Follow them to keep up what they are sharing. COMMENT on their posts. Let them know what you think about it, give some advice, interact. When you do this, people will start to recognize your name.
- Share content of blogs across social media
When you find a great post, SHARE IT! Bloggers love to know that you appreciate what they are saying. Spreading the word helps recognize you as someone who is willing to share information that you find valuable.
Start a blog. Yes, there are tons of blogs out there. You can offer your view on things. While visiting different blogs, you will see what is out there, what is missing, and what niche you may be able to fill.
- Join groups and socialize
There are email groups and groups on facebook, there are forums too, that you can join. There you can ‘meet’ people and become familiarized with the community. Ask questions, give advice, and share in the ups and downs of the industry.
- Talk to people on social media
Mingle with people. Before you know it, you will have friends. I know a few people for over 15 years that I consider friends, but we have never met.
- Book review
During your career, you are bound to read books. You don’t have to have a book review blog. Post a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, etc. You will accomplish two things. 1) You are giving the book (and the author/illustrator) praise. 2) You are getting your name out there.
You KNEW that was coming didn’t you!???! It’s okay to have a webpage (or two pages) when you start out. This give you a ‘store front’ where people can find out about you. Trust me, people look… acquaintances, editors, agents, etc. With your own website, you’ll have control of the information that is out there on you.
Videos are watched A LOT! By creating videos you are creating another avenue for people to find you. You don’t have to be in front of the camera. You can do a slide show, animation, interviews, or other things to create content using videos.
- Social media
Explore social media to its fullest. I started out on Facebook, but now I’m comfortable on Twitter, Pinterest, and others. By using them I build up content that is searchable.
As you can see, there are a lot of ways to become established and get your name out there. To begin with, take on one or two. As you get more comfortable with them, add others in. Before you know it, you will be recognized as a member of the community and someone who is established as a writer/illustrator.
One of the benefits of doing the above, is you will begin to fit into the community and find your own niche. This will help build your platform and become a person people recognize and trust.
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Let me know what you think.
Are there other things you do pre-published?
What do you think is important?
Until next time…
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