Monday, February 15, 2010

Building Your Credibility as a Writer

In a perfect world, you could be left alone to write your book, you'd present it to the world, and millions would buy it. This is an image that dances through all of our heads of what should happen. It rarely happens this way, especially for the first-time writer.

Instead, it is important for writers to build up their writing credibility to ensure that their work is taken seriously when they do present their book to the world of readers, agents, and editors,. Here are some ways you can do that:

1. Write and publish outside your main project. If you are writing your first book, create credibility by writing magazine articles or writing for websites/blogs on the topic. Also, submit articles for publication in journals, if appropriate. Keep a list of the ones that are published and be sure to include the phrase, "I also write and have published numerous magazine articles," in your letter of introduction when you send your book out. No need at this date to list them all in the letter. Just be ready with it if they ask.

2. Enter some writing contests. There are many on-line sources for contests as well as ones through writing organizations and magazines. Enter them and keep a list of those in which you win , place or show. These laurels show agents and editors that others have taken you seriously.

3. Put up a blog about your writing or your topic. On social media sites show your willingness to promote your writing. With the writing world as competitive as it is, it is important that agents see that you have the potential to work hard to bring attention to your book and to help them sell it.

4. Take every opportunity and make opportunities of your own to do some public speaking on your topic. Public libraries are often open to allowing writers to use space in the library to present workshops or lectures on topics of interest. Take these opportunities to establish yourself as an expert on your topic.

All these activites will fill out your writing resume and add teeth to your claim to be a writer. Agents, editors and readers will take you more seriously when you can point to a few previous writing accomplishments.


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