Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Build It, Blog It and They Will Come...

...Fans and other writers, I mean, not agents and editors. When you're not published, it can seem unnecessary to establish an Internet presence. You don't have a published work readily available for sale, and it's unlikely an agent or editor scanning the Web will come across your work and contact you (God, if only it were that easy). But it's a mistake to think this way, because then you're missing out on the opportunity to build a future fan base and connect with other writers.

In the last two weeks, strangers, old junior high and elementary school friends, and even the principal of my junior high school who reads historical fiction, have contacted me just because I've established a web presence. And a week ago, I met another wonderful writer who's as interested in the Norman Conquest period as I am, and we've talked on the phone and exchanged emails since then. Most of my writing friends have always provided me encouragement, but there's no denying the thrill I get when a stranger or someone unexpected stops by my website, personal blog or any of the other sites I contribute to, just to say, "I love what you're doing and can't wait to read your published works."

In September, I'll be attending the Writers' Digest Conference: The Business of Getting Published, where a few of the sessions will be on building an effective author website, and marketing and promotion. Clearly, an Internet presence is key to establishing a writing career, especially now that publishers spend less than in the past on promoting authors. I'm excited to learn more, so I can hit the ground running when I get my first sale.

3 comments:

N. Gemini Sasson said...

I've seen some independent publishers who actually prefer the author already has a web presence before taking them on. After all, the publisher's success depends, in part, on the author's ability to connect with readers and writers. For the most part, gone are the days when writers could retreat to the a remote location to scribble away in isolation.

Do share with us when you get back from the conference! Looking forward to hearing what you've learned.

Lisa Yarde said...

Gemi, thanks for stopping by the blog. When I first began to query, I found it very hard because I didn't really understand the concept of having to sell an agent on my work. After all, hadn't I done the hard work by just finishing a manuscript? I quickly learned the query letter was one of many times where I'd have to promote myself and the writing. Looking forward to the conference, will be sure to share details.

Anita Davison said...

When my first two books were published,one of the 'Must dos' from the publisher was that I had a web presence as they are considered vital as part of your own promotional machine. Gone are the days your publisher does it all for you - shame!

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