Many of us never think about the marketing end of the business of writing until we get a book contract. That’s when it feels like you're thrown head first into a bottomless body of water. The enormity of getting your name in the public sphere begins to weigh on you, especially when you realize the publisher you’ve signed with does not have much of a publicity plan, if any.
When I got to that state of impending panic, I wrote out a marketing plan for my first book, Contraband. I didn’t do everything on my list. I lost energy after a while, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.
Anyway, the point is that every opportunity to market our work is to be seized with both hands.
A former co-worker of mine is now with a local radio station and they’re doing some sort of literary programme this Tuesday. They will be doing author interviews/features. She explained there was a cost attached to being featured. I said thanks for thinking of me, but that it wasn’t gonna happen.
Okay, so I’m cheap, but practicality and the sludge-like Jamaican economy dictate that I don’t have a whole lot of disposable income. Buying books? Yeah! Paying for a feature? Definitely nowhere near the top of my list of priorities.
Anyhow, she then asked me whether I had anybody in mind who’d be willing to fund this venture. So, I said no. Then she came up with the names of a couple of folks we both know. I said fine, go ahead and see, but I ain’t asking. I looked like the bunch of characters below when she came back and said she’d arranged everything and that we were good to go.
She rang me again on Thursday to remind me to include all the stuff I want people to know about my books, blogs, website and whatnot.
Point? A media kit, or something close to it, is an item all writers need to prepare - sooner, rather than later.
It needs to have handy bits of information that people can grab on the fly to learn more about you. Good thing I posted one on my site. It’s even better if you update it once in a while. Looking at mine, I realize it needs jazzing up. Stat.
Next on the agenda is to tie my notes together into something informative and orderly.
The point of this ramble is that even if you aren’t yet published, there are some things that are important to know or have in place if you plan to take on writing as a career.
- Do you have a complete listing (titles/format) of all your works-in-progress in a file somewhere?
- Do you have any idea what you want to achieve as a writer?
- Do you know why you write what you do? (For interview purposes and such)
- Do you document your plans with tangible goals, so you know each time you hit a milestone?
- Most importantly, do you have a place where you showcase what you do?
**N.B. This is not an endorsement of the site on which the article is listed.