Planning for the Future
By Cait Collins
I’m a procrastinator to a certain extent. I find the things I don’t really enjoy are put off to the last minute. Unless unforeseen circumstances arise, I don’t miss deadlines nor am I late for appointments. But I’m learning there are some things that cannot be put dismissed. A writer should not avoid building his fan base.
It’s easy to think we have time to work on marketing ourselves. After all, the novel isn’t ready to publish. The magazine article hasn’t been sold. The research has hit a snag. So what if the work isn’t up for publication in the next few months. It’s never too soon to begin marketing and promoting your writing. You don’t have to break out the champagne or throw a catered party. Start small, but remember to invest in a few essentials.
Business cards. There are some really good computer programs that will help you design your cards, and good card stock for every printer type can be found at your local office supply store. Online services like VistaPrint offer a variety of designs at reasonable prices.
Promotional items. Stationary stores, printing companies and office supply stores have printing services for post cards, stationery, and bookmarks. Imprinted pens, pencils, andnote pads are available through on-line services or local promotional ad sales
Handouts. Copies of your magazine articles, book synopsis, and training materials are great to have for presentations.
On-line presence. Create a website, start a blog, have a Facebook account. Remember social media sites, websites and blogs must be updated. Don’t load yourself down with so many online commitmenst you don’t have time to write.
Become a speaker. Prepare and present programs for schools, civic organizations, and writers groups.
Whatever you do, do not wait until three weeks before your work is published to try and establish a fan base. By starting your marketing plan at the beginning of your career, you will develop a list of contacts and fans who are already sold on you. They will be the first in line to buy that new book or attend a screening of your movie. They will promote your works and bring in potential fans. And a good writer always welcomes more fans.