I’m one of those writers who have written stories for years, but has been hesitant to make submissions or show my work to anybody. I’ve decided now’s the time to start putting myself out there.
Last year, I began the process of going through my old writing, deleting stuff that wasn’t any good, and self-publishing the stuff I liked on Amazon. Despite not really doing anything to promote myself, I’ve already sold several books and even gotten a couple positive reviews, so that’s encouraging. I’ve still got a lot more stuff to go through and will continue that this year.
The next step was starting this blog. It will probably be mostly book reviews, but I’ll occasionally write posts about other things. I’ve also started submitting my work and will let you know if I get anything accepted anywhere.
I follow several writing blogs and have gotten great ideas on how to promote myself by watching what others do. A lot of writers promote themselves on several different social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. etc.). With a full time job and a young child, it’s difficult enough for me to find time to write in the first place, so I don’t know when I’ll have the time to start trying out all the various social media platforms, but it seems like something writers nowadays have to do if they want to be successful.
Some writers have sweepstakes and giveaways to promote their work. Something that seems to work really well is giving books away for free in exchange for a review, since reviews drive sales.
Other writers start podcasts, YouTube channels, Patreon accounts, Kickstarter projects, etc. I’ll probably get around to trying these out eventually, but this sort of thing is further in the future when I can find more time. It seems like joining groups like SFWA or HWA would help. Another thing to think about for much further down the road. Needless to say, promoting yourself is just as important as being a good writer and can become a full time job in and of itself.
If anyone has suggestions for other things to try, please leave suggestions in the comment box.