Saturday, August 10, 2013

Building your platform and self-promotion

I enjoy freelancing, I really do. But as I have previously posted, it makes it difficult to do my own stuff and it of course pays much less. However, if you want to make it as an author you must build a platform. Sadly, the days of giant publishing companies looking over your book an sending you a wonderful acceptance letter are pretty much gone. Now, you have to promote yourself before a publishing company (and sometimes even agents) will look at you.

At first, I resisted the urge to self publish. But as I work for others and see job posts for people who have set up their own online "publishing companies" I began to crack. Like any author, I have a voice. I do not see why it must be silenced because I have not promoted myself. Based on some of the books I have gotten from the library that were recently published, I tend to cringe. Surely, I write better than that - why do I have an entire folder of rejection letters?

One person recently posted a job for be exclusively and asked if I would write their book. When I agreed, they then asked if I would find a publisher for it. I am not an agent. I have only a few minor contacts in the publishing industry and these are feeble acquaintances more than anything else. I think it a true honor to have any contacts at all, don't get me wrong. But my influence had not been able to get any of my books published so I do not think it will work for others, either. This is why I also do not write queries. None of mine have succeeded.

Now, I have become an employer as well as freelancer. The irony being that I do not farm out other work that people have assigned me (for the most part). Instead, I have hired an illustrator to get my children's book published (there will be a promotion on here for this as soon as he is done). I have also hired someone to complete an existentialist adult novelette for kindle, and an romance I will be sending to Harlequin. Well, the romance will not be completed exactly, just a boost of 15,000 words to help me over my writers block. But whenever I make a push to get these done myself, it seems I do not make enough money from freelancing to support my families affinity for eating three times a day.

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