In the book business, we wannabe-writers can use all the tips, hints, and breaks we can get because – believe me – those breaks are few and far between.
So, what’s a newbie writer to do?
Play the writing game like a sport – fishing to be exact. Bait editors and agents to read your manuscript by developing a web presence. It’s a long path to publication but here are a few helpful shortcuts that might help you.
CREATE A WRITER’S WEBSITE
This one small investment will make it easier for agents and/or editors to do their research, when it comes to potential writers. With the click of a mouse, everything is right at their fingertips. (Not every agent or editor will go through the process to click their way around your website - but some will.) And we, writers, will save a boatload of money in postage and mailing expenses. It’s a win-win proposition.
• Keep it simple or people will jump ship before the pages finish downloading. Great graphics sound interesting but they usually take way too long to display. Don’t waste time with fancy flash animation and graphics which will only discourage impatient viewers.
• Lure people to read more by posting a picture of yourself somewhere on your webpage. This helps readers identify with you as a real person out there in the vast sea known as cyberspace.
• Chum your readers by offering links to other great websites.
• Bait your buyers by having an “Upcoming” or “News” tab so that fans (we’re all hoping to have them one day) will be able to look ahead and get ready to buy your next great masterpiece.
• Don’t make too much noise or you’ll scare away the fish and readers too. Music may be fine for mood setting but most people check websites at work, on breaks, during lunch, etc. And, no one wants to disrupt coworkers.
• Update your content regularly. This is vitally important. People don’t want to waste time reviewing old news.
• Remember to post contact information so that readers can comment and/or ask questions, like where can they find your recently published book, article or poem?
Tomorrow I will be posting an interview with professional critique maven Margot Finke. Please come back and visit tomorrow and leave a comment for a prize donated by Marvelous Margot herself.