Guest post by Angelita Williams
So you’ve written a novel that’s sure to revolutionize the way society thinks. One small problem: no one knows who you are. How will consumers know your book is worth a shot if you don’t have much credibility under your belt? While credibility is typically earned over time, there are some ways you can try to build momentum online—or at the very least add some new material to your About Author page.
Enter a Writing Contest
You may have entered a few writing contests in high school, but there are still a plethora of opportunities for adult writers roaming around in cyberspace. While some contests require a small fee, others are completely free to enter (and please beware of scams!). Just about all genres are available, including fiction, nonfiction and poetry. To find national or local writing contests in your area, just do a simple Google search, scour blogs or join a writer’s forum. If you win, you can definitely use this accomplishment to help self-promote and get you noticed by publishers— you can also use the cash prize to help self-publish, market future projects, or invest in your writing in other ways (such as a conference or class). Second or third place or honorable mention is also an important bullet point for your writing resume.
Teach an Online Writer’s Course
You may not have the teaching credentials you need to actually instruct students earning a degree online, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t reach out to other aspiring writers and teach them all you know about the industry. Sharing is caring. Not to mention one of the best ways to ensure you’re always practicing your craft and getting your name out there is to give lessons on various writing techniques on mediums like blogs. An even better way is to have mini webinars featured on YouTube. If you get enough hits, you might just be considered an industry leader or “expert”—something that publishers and reviewers will notice.
It’s hard to become the next Twitter or Facebook superstar, but there are plenty of people who have done so incidentally. Even if you’re not a Twitter rock star, one of the fastest ways to earn credibility is to create some buzz early on using social media. Use these sites as a self-publishing tool to post your short stories or excerpts, build a fan base and interact with industry people.
This guest post is contributed by Angelita Williams, who writes on the topics of online courses. She welcomes your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credit: ©2008 Sarah Scicluna Flickr