Theses are submitted, final projects are taking shape, and we’re counting down the days to graduation - ten! As many of us prepare to go out into ‘the real world’ armed with little more than our Masters’ to help us, we thought we would share some of the fantastic tips from our expert Pitch Fest panelists about the world of publishing and social media marketing.
All of the information below is courtesy of Brooke Warner, writing coach and Executive Editor at Seal Press; Liz Kracht, literary agent at Kimberly Cameron; and Meghan Ward, writer, editor and instructor for the SF Writers’ Grotto.
SUBMISSIONS TIPS & TRICKS
Do your research before submitting. Be sure the house you’re submitting to publishes your type of work. Know what their list entails!
For non-fiction writers it’s ALL ABOUT THE PROPOSAL. Be sure to make it a great one.
Agents and publishing houses are overworked so they are looking for a project that doesn’t need a lot of editing. Hire a freelance editor before you shop your book.
Go to conferences – agents and editors are more likely to read the work of people they’ve met. Don’t be intimidated to talk to them—it’s their job!
Develop an author platform and take yourself seriously.
Subscribe to Publishers Marketplace, which has industry job listings and market news. It’s $20 a month but well worth it. Or use the free version, Publishers Lunch.
Research agents before reaching out. Be sure they are a good fit for you and explain WHY YOU CHOSE THEM in your letter. Read Jeff Herman’s Guide to Getting an Agent.
SELF-MARKETING VIA SOCIAL MEDIA: tips from Meghan Ward
Don’t try to do everything: Pick one two of three platforms to focus on.
Define your brand. Use your NAME as your website name, your name is your brand.
Build your strategy. Define your audience (who is going to buy your books) and write a blog to them.
Follow the 6:1 Rule. For every one thing you ask for (“buy my book”) provide six things back (advice, a great article, etc.)
Pace yourself. Social media is a marathon, not a sprint. Find a schedule that you can sustain in the long-term. Blog once a week until you have a book deal and then you can increase your online presence.
Stick to a schedule. Blog around the same time so your readers know when to expect a new post.
Get involved. In order to get people to comment on your blog, you must comment on theirs.
Focus on building relationships, not followers. It’s better to have 200 invested followers than 10,000 who don’t care what you have to say.
Your writing comes first. If you find yourself spending more time doing social media than writing, something’s wrong.
Have fun! If it’s not fun, take a break and reassess.
If anyone wants to see a sample book proposal, email either me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kristina (email@example.com), and we can send you one from Brooke Warner.
It’s been such a pleasure blogging here at the Place. Happy summer!!