Hello Word Nerd Army! My name is Brian and like you I am a fan of the written word. It is amazing to see how far many of us have come in such a short time. This blog is an accomplishment of the forward progress made by Rebecca during her quest to publication. My journey to publication started very close to the same time Rebecca's did and, thankfully, the Internet roads crossed allowing us to meet.
I found it very ironic today when I saw a question posted by Rebecca on LinkedIn. In short the question was regarding new writers trying to break in to publishing during such a tough economic time. I believe this fits in very well with my article today. Please allow me to explain. My blog, the New Author, was created to allow me to connect with other writers in an effort to learn, motivate, and share with each other. I believe writing is a lonely endeavor but we need each other to tackle the overwhelming amount of information surrounding our passion. The blog has grown and I'm very thankful for that but it has also opened doors to meeting new friends and in my case a partner. In March of this year I partnered with a fellow writer to start Premium Promotional Services. Our main goal is to help authors who are starting out and struggling to be seen gain the exposure they deserve. Why did we decide this? It is becoming the status quo for publishing companies to place all the marketing and promotional work on the authors. Many authors have no idea how to go about promoting their books. As hard as we work to become published and attract the attention of agents/publishing companies this is truly the real problem we face. Why? Agents and publishers want clients and books they KNOW will sale. They do not want to gamble on a hunch or idea.
What do we do since we are not Stephen King or J.K. Rowling? We use all available tools to the max. The Internet has provided us with a great opportunity to establish our name to a broad audience. When used properly it can garner a leg up when approaching agents and publishers about our book(s). The goal is simple, reach as many people as you can. Agents and publishers see every follower, reader, subscriber as a potential book purchase.
I think it is safe to say that very publishing company place their client's books on Amazon, Amazon UK, and Barnes & Noble (among others). This is because a massive number of books are being purchased online so this tells me that the Internet is truly the place to focus our efforts as we establish our name in the business. Do you think "The Shack" would have sold as many as it did without the Internet?
The bottom line here is this, it is hard to break in to the publishing business but that may not be because you are not a great writer. It may be that they feel you don't have enough name recognition and therefore your great book may not sale the numbers they need. Don't get discouraged, keep writing but at the same time think of ways to get your name out there. Never stop building your platform.
I do have an announcement to make before I wrap up. As I mentioned above, my promotional business was started to help authors. Recently I helped an author from England and I can honestly say, he wrote a great book. In talking to him about his book he mentioned how hard it was to gain exposure for his book here in the States and wondered if I could help with that. About a month ago his publishing company contacted me and asked if we could help them spread the word about their books. I am very happy and excited to announce that we have opened a second book store, which is sponsored by Pneuma Springs Publishing, called 'The London Connection.' This is just another step in shining a light on the authors who are struggling to be seen. By doing this we can extend the reach of these authors to a whole new audience.
In closing I go back to Rebecca's question, "what can we do to improve our chances?" Publishing companies will continue to be a bit harsh until the market improves but mid-sized publishers are actively searching and so are small publishers. The most important thing we can do (aside from writing a great novel) is to build an audience and keep building it. Reach out to every corner of the planet. Come up with new ideas to keep your name current. We know the hard work has been placed on our shoulders but we can carry this burden. We are the Word Nerd Army; failure to be seen and heard is not an option.