Hello all you lovely readers! It’s time to kick off a new feature here at writing and works and that’s our Wednesday’s Writer’s Blog.
Each week a new writer/blogger will take up the Wednesday spot to tell us about the toughest time in their writing journey so far and how they found themselves on the other side of it.
As writers, we all face moments where we look at the page in front of us and wonder ‘what the f*** am I doing with my life.’
That is why Writing and Works is launching this feature. We’ve all been there and we’ll all be there again at some point. What we have to do is learn to deal with those down points and climb back up to the productive, happy, high points where we remember ‘Oh yeah. This is why I love writing.’
If you want to add your thoughts to the melting pot then check out our call for guest bloggers.
So first up is the lovely Rebecca Howie, author of The Game Begins which you can find on Amazon and blogger over at her site Read A Lot. Thank you to her for taking the time to write this post and support our new feature.
Rebecca Howie is an 18-year-old female (too old to be considered a ‘girl’ and not mature enough to be a woman) from sunny (that’s sarcastic) Scotland, who prefers spending her time in the fictional world rather than the real one, and now apparently refers to herself in third person.
Her first book “The Game Begins” was a project in beating procrastination and actually finishing something, and somehow got to 16th in Amazon’s Teen and Young Adult Detective category.
When I saw Carol’s call for guest bloggers, I decided to leave my comfort zone and take part. I’ve never written a guest post before, and the blog posts on my own website are more like diary excerpts, so I struggled to think of a topic. And then I realised that there’s something I could talk for hours on.
Writing as an introvert.
I think it’s reasonable to say that a lot of writers are introverts, and a lot of introverts are writers. But not all writers are introverted and shy and struggle to string two words together when asked by a complete stranger why anybody should buy their book, and those of us with a lack of confidence become jealous and feel like failures.
How will we sell our books when we can’t talk about them?
That’s why I wanted to write this post, because I’m just as introverted and shy as you’d expect from someone who updates their blog once in a blue moon and can’t think of any witty quotes to share on Twitter.
Since starting to write my book The Game Begins, I’ve realised that most of the marketing techniques on the internet aren’t really helpful if you don’t like having an audience of unfamiliar faces staring at you while you’re trying to sound calm and assured and not at all desperate as you try to convince them that your book is worth their time.
So what do you do if the thought of making any kind of public appearance to discuss your book has your heart racing and your stomach twisting itself into a ball of nerves and your mouth dry? Give up?
Now I don’t pretend to be any kind of expert on book marketing or writing or overcoming your nerves, but I do know that just because you can’t talk face to face with people doesn’t mean you’ll never sell your book. There are plenty of other ways to promote all your hard work and get people interested, and I’m going to share some of the ways I’ve found most helpful.
- Start a blog
This might seem quite obvious to some people, but if, like me, you have no idea how to go about promoting, this is a good one. It’d be even better if you included a blog on your main website, along with links to where your book can be bought. Anybody who searches for it can then read your blog and follow along with your writing progress and become invested in the story long before it hits the shelves.
- Social Media
Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Even Snapchat can help your marketing. You can create accounts for your book and share behind-the-scenes pictures of your writing processes and even create a Pinterest folder with actors and models who look like your characters to help your readers better visualise them.
There are plenty of social media outlets available, so find the one you like the most and use it. Who knows? Maybe one day you’ll meet your fans.
One of the many things I like to see on my favourite authors’ websites are short stories or excerpts involving the characters I care about. Writing scenes which have nothing to do with the main story-line is a great way to get over any writer’s block you have, and can show off your talent, too.
By sharing these excerpts, you could be pulling in more of an audience for yourself, and if you allow people to download them for free, those same people could come back to buy more of your writing later.
- Share your experiences
Another way of connecting with potential readers is to share what you’ve learned. Using the anonymity the internet allows can let you write and rant far more than any conversation face to face, so seize the opportunity.
With your blog and variety of social media accounts, you don’t want to spend every waking minute posting about yourself and your amazingly incredible novel. So don’t. Share your favourite books instead. Post reviews. Join fans and critics on the plethora of discussion boards and share your thoughts. The more involvement you have, the higher the chance they’ll look up you and see that they’ve been chatting with a real author.
These are just some of the ways I’ve used the internet to become involved and try to get people interested in what I have to say. There are plenty more tools for the introverted writer, but remember that you don’t need to use any of them if you aren’t comfortable. It might even be better for you if you spend all your time writing your novels instead of forcing yourself to share parts of your life on the internet, because if someone searches your name on Amazon and discovers you’ve written 5 novels, they’re going to be interested.