Want to FINALLY start your writing career? You don't have to wait for a publishing contract. You can start now!
Build Interest in your Books even before You’re Published
By Shauna Hart
Submitting and waiting to hear back from editors can seem like it takes an eternity. You can buy books or search
the web for a wealth of information on learning your craft. Most of these websites will also have articles about
building your business once you are published. However, none of these sites tell you what you can do to
prepare before you get published.
Why do you need to prepare before you get published?
So that when you are scrambling to finish the rewrites for your first contract, you are not trying to do everything
Most of us think that we can’t build a career until we have a book to sell. In some ways, that is true . But we can
begin to build a readership!
In real estate, agents call marketing Building Your Personal Brand.
As a writer, just like real estate agents, we ARE the brand. So, it is up to us to begin building our personal brand
long before our books hit the shelves. In this article, I’m going to tell you some very low cost ways that you can
start building your writing career.
1) Build your own website
A lot of us think that building a website costs thousands of dollars. However, lots of companies like Yahoo allow
you to build your own website using their Site Builder tools for the very low cost of under $25.00 a month.
How does that benefit you?
It reserves your domain name and keeps it intact until your book is sold.
It gives friends, family and coworkers a site that they can visit to find out what’s going on with your writing.
It allows you to start building the content of your website long before your book is in the hands of readers.
2) Start a MySpace page
Creating a MySpace page is free and relatively easy! Plus, it’s a great way to network with other authors. It also
enables you to generate interest in your writing even before you are published. There are thousands of
websites with free graphics, and backgrounds especially designed for MySpace pages to help you build your
What will this cost you? Your time!
Once you have created your profile with some information about you and the books you write, you can begin
collecting friends. Submitting friend requests is very easy and most authors will be glad to add you. Being a
Bestselling author’s friend will help you get exposure so that other MySpace members can find you. Then, once
you are published, you will be able to submit a bulletin for your book’s release to all of the people in your friend
3)Create a logo for yourself
Creating a logo is very easy. By using programs like Microsoft Publisher and Adobe Photoshop, you can create
a snappy catchphrase or a wonderful graphic with your name in it. This is something that you can add to your
website or your MySpace page.
And, guess what? It’s completely free!
4) Get an Online Store
You can create an online store with Cafe Press (www.cafepress.com) to display products with your logo or
catchphrase on it. And did I mention that it is FREE! This is another great way to get your name out there.
From mugs to t-shirts to mouse pads you can create as many products as you want.
Having people wear your t-shirts is a great, low cost way to get your name out there to the public. You can also
add a small markup to your products so that you can make a little money at it, too!
5) Start a Blog
Word Press (www.wordpress.com) offers some wonderful web blogs templates, and creating an account is
absolutely free. This is a great way to give family, friends and coworkers updates on your writing career. Once
you have created your blog, you can add a link to your website. You can also post the content of your blogs to
your MySpace page.
6) Begin a Newsletter
Programs like Vertical Response (www.verticalresponse.com) allow you to keep track of subscribers and send
high quality postcards and newsletters for a relatively low cost. When you create a free account, you are
automatically credited with 25 email credits. All of the email addresses that you enter are completely secure, and
will never be sold to a third-party company. To purchase more credits, the cost is $15.00 per thousand emails
sent. For most of us, a thousand emails will last for a pretty long time. You will also want to make sure that you
have a physical address to include at the bottom of each newsletter which is required by federal law.
Once you publish your book, you will have the ability to upload your book cover as an image that you can send in
your newsletter or postcard. After your account is set up, you can obtain an HTML code for a “Join My Mailing
List” box that you can add to your website or MySpace page. You can also upload your own database of
contacts and have an Opt In email sent to them.
And finally, what is the easiest thing that you can do to prepare? RESEARCH!
If there is one thing a writer knows it is Research! Most of the things referenced in the above list were things that
I learned from researching other sites. It is one of the most valuable ways that you can improve your business.
Take a look at other author’s sites. Find out what you like and what you don’t. Find out which company
designed it. Then, click on that company’s logo at the bottom to find out which authors use their service and how
much it costs. This will prepare you when you are ready to have your website done professionally. I do this
every time I visit another author’s website.
It is a great way to get yourself familiar with the market and what other options are available to you. Remember,
we are a pretty creative bunch. Learn as much as you can from author promotions. Believe me, they will teach
you how to be successful.
And, of course, keep writing!
Rejection can be a hard thing to face, especially if you are facing it year after year. Remember that you have to
fight for your dream to make it come true . I have always said that if I don’t believe in myself then why should
anyone else? Be your own cheerleader! Give yourself little milestones. One of the great things about building
your business before you are published is that you begin to SEE yourself as published.
What could be better than that?