Those days are over.
A veritable writing industry has emerged in the wake of the digital revolution, complete with webinars, seminars, conferences and manuscript consultations available to all — for a fee. Amid today’s fierce competition, writers with professional aspirations know how important it is to partake in these. Regularly.
At the same time, we all know that authors are becoming increasingly responsible for most or all of their publicity expenses. With advances shrinking, too, that means emptying pockets, dipping into savings.
And with the rise of e-books and easy self-publishing, all writers have the opportunity to reach large audiences directly. But building the awareness it takes to reach them, and appealing to them with a respectable level of professionalism, requires cash.
Yet somehow, the gritty, romantic notion of pinching pennies while quietly scratching out our drafts, of using advances to fix leaky roofs or pay off credit card balances then doing everything from building web sites to pitching the media by ourselves, continues to shape many writers’ choices. We ask friends to copy-edit our manuscripts. We design our own book covers. And publicity? Forget it. Once the book is out, we tweet about it, do a few book club events, contact a local paper, cross our fingers and start writing something new.
But those of us who truly want to establish a niche as an author and give our books a fighting chance to sell MUST come to terms with the fact that in this day and age, [Read more…]