Most authors go randomly into their career.
They had a great idea for a book. They write it. They hope it will be good enough to get published. They send queries. Their focus is not on having a career as an author. It’s strictly about becoming an author—getting that one book published.
Even indies will put a book out and randomly attempt to market it without thinking long term or seeing the bigger picture.
Think about the implication. Most people choose a career—say a business marketing career. They go to school to train for it. Then they take the steps to build that career.
Too many writers are waiting in line to be chosen as if waiting to get picked for a team during gym class. Will I get picked? Will people like me? Do I have what it takes? If I give them free stuff will they buy stuff later?
People in business don’t wait to get picked. They hone their skills, choose positions carefully, read up on employers and keep an eye focused on their goals. There is no waiting to be picked. They make their careers happen.
In my class, Get Serious. Get Discovered. I ask my students to take a stand. They will not hope to become an author. They will not wait in line to be picked. They will take their career seriously. Hone their craft. Get their work out in front of readers. Consciously work toward building their readership, getting feedback, writing more, putting more out there for people to read. They will work toward catching the eye of agents and publishers.
I ask that of them because they deserve it.
But how can you accomplish all of that? Well, let's start with the basics:
1. List out the genre or genres where you want to excel. The genre you want some enthusiastic fan to list you at the top of their "Best of" list on Goodreads.
2. Read that genre. Read the best and the worst. What made the difference? What can you learn from both of them?
3. As a fan of that genre, what would you like to see your favorite authors blog, tweet, or post about? List at least three.
4. Do you follow any of the authors in your genre on social media? If not, start now. Watch what they do. What they don't. Think about what works for them.
5. Learn. Emulate. Grow. Take what you have learned from your favorite authors in your genre and emulate them—the way they write and market themselves. When you have their basics, then start to find your own voice. Add your own rhythm to the dance.
That's how people in business succeed. They find mentors in their field. They read about them, study them and find out all their business tactics. They follow them on social media and interact with them. Then they take what they've learned from them and start to build their own dreams.
Need a little help getting started?
Get Serious. Get Discovered. May 6 – 30
Online class at www.margielawson.com