So you’ve written a novel. Now what do you do? Before you begin your search for an agent or editor, or submit you work to one of the smaller presses, is there something more you should be doing? The answer is a resounding yes. There are a few things you should do to prepare yourself for publication, prior to ever being published. I heard in a workshop that when you submit your materials to an agent, editor or publisher, the first thing they are going to do is Google you. What they find is totally up to you.
This inspired me to go to Google and type in my name (I encourage you to o the same). Would an editor, agent or publisher be impressed with this? Not likely. How can you improve this situation?
First join your local chapter of RWA, which for me was CTRWA, and learn from the writers in the organization. Ask questions, attend meetings and workshops, and learn as much as you could about marketing yourself and your writing.
I began my positive internet presence by creating a website. I found websites which are free to create and use. I kept my website simple and easy on the eyes. I made sure the website host offered room to expand so when I have a book cover, I could display it. It also offers the capability to provide a link allowing my future readers to purchase my book. All for free.
My prospective agent, editor, or publisher will want to see what type of internet presence I have. They are going to look to see if I’m on Facebook or Twitter, and if so, how many friends and followers I have. These friends and followers are potential readers of my novel. I created a Facebook account and joined Twitter, always keeping my comments on these venues positive. Before I type in any comment, I always remember, my future publisher just might be reading it. I remember my mother telling me, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all.” I always keep this in mind.
I followed other writer’s blogs and make positive comments on them. I know someone who has a blog site, and asked her if I could write an article for her blog. Before long, the opportunity to write one day per week opened up and I was invited to be a contributor one day per week. This soon turned into a two day per week contribution and co-creating a new blog. At first I wasn’t sure what to blog about? I started by blogging about my writing, and then branched off to writing about my experiences, and things that interest me. The writers whose blogs I commented on in a positive manner, in turn, commented on my blog. It took a while, but I now have regular readers and fans. These readers and fans are also potential readers of my novel. If I didn’t know someone who had a blog I could get in on, I was prepared to start my own. I researched the internet and found there are also blog sites out there that are free.
There are also many articles in the RWR which give great marketing tips. I follow those columns to be sure I stay on top of ways to market my writing. It is important that when my future editor, agent or publisher Goggles me or looks at my website, or my page on Facebook, they see my potential as a great writer who is internet savvy, has a good, positive internet presence and is a likeable person they would be interested in representing. Now when I Google myself, the entire first page is all about me. It didn’t take long to achieve this and I’m happy with the results and what my potential editors, agents and publishers will now find there. I have also recently heard that agents and editors are asking what your “Klout” score is. If you aking these few easy, preliminary steps it will increase your Klout score for sure and although it may not guarantee an offer of representation or publication, when you do get “the call”, you will be ready. Are you prepared to be published?