There are tons of people assisting an author in getting a book published – other authors, their critique group, their writing chapter, plus all the publishing professionals that might come into play. Building a writing team is vital to the success of any author.
What are some things that contribute to a writer’s success?
Believe it or not, good record-keeping ranks high on the list. Sales people are notoriously bad at record-keeping and paperwork and many writers are right behind them. This is a bit funny because writers are notoriously lacking in sales and promotional skills, although I see this trend changing (see the section on branding below).
What do authors have to say about unsexy subjects like record-keeping, organization, time-management and taxes?
- An Organized writer is such an oxymoron, there’s a site by that name.
- Jill Kemerer on organizing book notes and her writing space. (I bow to her!)
- Chuck Wendig on the tax process for authors. (this advice is great for ANYONE)
- Kristen Lamb talks Death and Taxes (and how to keep your receipts organized).
- Jody Hedlund gives 8 wonderful tips for organizing your writing time.
This brave new world of publishing demands that an author build a brand.
What does that mean exactly? Simply put, your brand is the picture that pops into people’s mind when they hear your name. For more detailed information on branding, here are some of the best blogs I’ve found on the subject from people who say it far better than I do.
- Jami Gold’s How Do You Decide On Your Author Brand? – Part 1 and Part 2
- Jami has another wonderful post on Branding 101 – Online Brand vs. Author Brand
- An older post from leadership guru Michael Hyatt that still applies – 7 Ways to Build Your Author Brand Online
- Kristen Lamb’s must-read post on Bob Mayer’s Blog: Building An Author Brand.
- Bob Mayer discusses Social Media and the Writer in his Publishing Lessons series.
Particularly now that so many authors are going the Indie route with smaller independent publishers or even venturing into self-publishing for their first book, author branding is no longer a “nice to have.”
Read the posts above and take a look at these two books: Kristen Lamb’s We Are Not Alone: A Writer’s Guide to Social Media, and Bob Mayer’s Warrior Writer. They will put you light years ahead of where you would have gotten on your own.
My personal observation is that people are seeking authentic connections and that, by branding themselves, an author is opening themselves up for connecting.
In my own experience on Twitter and with this blog, your Followers and your Tweeps become your friends. We spend time with these people, whether it’s chatting on Facebook, having a Worldwide Book Launch Party or sharing Sunday morning coffee with your Twitter pals (Gene, Ellie, Tiff, Stacy and Catie, you know who you are…and now everyone else does too!).
Seemingly disparate people throughout the world are connecting through social media and enjoying the hell out of each other. It’s a beautiful thing.
Perhaps you don’t know where people are gathering on Twitter. Fret no more…here’s the list of where my Tweeps and I hang out. This is your invitation to hang out with us. I’m sure if I’ve missed any really cool hashtags, they’ll show up in the comments:
- #myWANA – This love revolution started on Kristen Lamb’s blog (WANA stands for We Are Not Alone…I’ve linked to the book above)
- #weWRITE – Hashtag started by Anna DeStefano and Jenni Talty based on their How We Write Wednesday Series. Note: There are no links allowed in this group – conversation on writing only…you’ll have to post your links elsewhere.
- #PubWrite – these tweeps enjoy writing, sharing ideas and frustrations, and the occasional adult beverage.
- #amwriting – writers from everywhere hang out here and encourage each other as they write. If this is your hangout, you might also enjoy http://amwriting.org/.
- #amediting – writers from everywhere hang out here and encourage each other as they edit their works-in-progress.
- #wordmongering – writers do timed sprints of 30 mins at :00 and/or :30 every hour. This is fun 24/7 and participants say they get so much writing done.
- #Row80 – Hashtag started by Kait Nolan that I’m gearing up for. This is a writing challenge that lasts 80 days and requires that you publicly post your goal. For more details go here.
What about you? Where do you commune with people on Twitter or Facebook (and why)? What helps you stay organized? Are there groups of writers that you recommend above all others? Please share your discoveries with the rest of us!