Tips for Writers: Strictly Business

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Unless you write strictly for pleasure with no intention of publishing your work, there is a side of the writing craft you can’t ignore–as much as you might like to: Business.

The business side of writing takes many forms–researching and submitting to literary magazines, agents, or publishers; keeping track of expenses and revenues related to writing (taxes!); seeking speaking engagements, paid or otherwise; pitching ideas for articles for freelance work; and, once your work has appeared in book form, marketing.

It’s marketing that interests me most today, because I’m preparing for the August release of my second book. And I’m fully subscribing to some advice I heard a few years ago: plan on spending at least an hour a day on marketing activities.

Is there so much to do? Oh, man, there’s plenty, unless your publisher has provided you with a publicist or you’ve decided to spend the money to hire your own. I started a couple of months ago getting blurbs for the book. I’m now beginning to pull together marketing plans, ideas for events, drafts of publicity materials, and an email list that I’ll use to keep friends and readers informed of the book’s release and any appearances I’ve scheduled. All of that takes time. I’ve got about 5 months before my book comes out, but I think an hour a day ought to do it.

Most of the day I’m creating and working on the new book, but that one hour, it’s strictly business.

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