Thursday, February 28, 2013

Getting Noticed

How many writers are there in the world?  Given that over a million books get published every year(both traditionally published works and indie published ones), the number seems kind of high.  However, how many of those million can you even name?  How does a writer stand out from the crowd?
(Like this lighthouse, you've got to rise above everything)
Lots of people say that good writing trumps everything.  That sounds great in Should Land, but in the real world, it takes more than just being able to tell a great story.  You might have something that rivals War & Peace, but if nobody reads it, how will anyone ever tell?  Good writing is the foundation for getting noticed, but it isn't what will get you to the top of the mountain.  There are lots of good writers out there, but only a few rise to the top.
(One sweet delicious cupcake looks like all the others - maybe one should have sprinkles)
You have to get your writing in front of people's faces.  You won't hook everyone.  Shoot, you might not even hook 10%, but those who do notice you are likely to become loyal readers.  So, how do you do this?

There's an old saying that if you want a full day's work from a man, you feed him just enough so that he knows he's hungry.  Especially in the beginning, be prepared to give your work away.  No, not all of it, but enough so you can entice the reader to seek more.  People are more likely to read what's free than to fork over money for some no-name that they've never heard of.  Hand out copies at libraries and college campuses.  Join Amazon KDP Select if you want to juice up your circulation.  Even more than that, encourage those who've read your work to share it with others.  You're investing in your future.

Seek out reviews.  Encourage those who've read your work to give an Amazon Review.  Goodreads and Indiereader help tell the world about newly published work.  Even if the review is bad, do all you can to get them because it increases your notoriety.  Just don't engage with reviewers, especially the negative ones - that never works out well.

Don't be afraid to use whatever connections you might have.  Know a reviewer for your hometown paper?  Ask if he'll review your book.  Space available in your alumni magazine?  Ask if they can mention your novel.  Met a great author at a conference?  Ask for a blurb.  While you don't want to be overly pushy, what you don't ask for will likely never happen.

There are lots of other ways to get noticed.  Attend conferences and conduct free readings.  Get a local radio show to talk about you if you can.  The ways are myriad, but you'll never know unless you give it a go.  This is where a lot of writers fall short because they don't want to bother people.  Well, that's nice, but those writers better have great skills at something else, because they'll never make it full time as a writer until people know who they are.

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