12.10.2009

Writers: Mind Your Business!

12.10.2009
Seriously, we should. For those of us who hope to profit from our passion one day (if not already) we need to accept the reality that this is a business. Oh, but you don’t write for the money, you write because you love it, right? That’s crap. Then don’t try to get published. Just read your stories to yourself. But, oh, you write for yourself, not for others? Bullshit. Saying that is the equivalent of singing in the shower, and even then, at the very least you have a small audience. Even if he is your trusty canine companion.

Treat your craft with the passion it deserves. Not just when you are crafting, but when you are talking about it. If you are unpublished, (a minority, right?) talk to people about what you do. Tell them about your story, get them excited about YOUR creation. Get them to want to know more. Send them to your blog, to your website, to your facebook. Today, we have advantages that novelists of the past never had. And yes, it’s okay to be called a novelist, even if my grandmother thought that “novelists” were not well thought of in high society. In today’s day and age, we can network faster and easier than ever before. Use the tools that are there at your disposal.

When you get published, keep up the hard work. So you have an agent, an editor and a publisher. You have that little ISBN number assigned to your work, and your paper baby has flown the nest into the neatly stacked shelves of bookstores. Guess what? Your work is far from done. Keep talking; yell to people that YOU have a book that deserves to be read. Hand out business cards like toothbrushes in a dental convention. Go to parties (the hard-life, I know), always keep something that will make people remember your book. It is your job to make the book sell. I know the writing should sell itself, but let’s be honest for a moment, people need to know where and how to find your book first.

I’m tired of seeing people that are desperately passive with their desires, or that feel that what they have created is so fantastic they don’t have to do anything at all to succeed. Look at the most successful brands in the world, and you tell me how much you think they spend on marketing alone. Rant finished.

21 comments:

Matt

That was very beautiful and well put. Put your hat back on sir. I tip mine. To you.

Amber Tidd Murphy

I love it when you get all ranty. I picture you sitting there and typing really fast and just shaking your head.

You are going to be so awesome when you're really, really old and crotchety.

Kristi Faith

right on, truer advice never existed. Thanks for finally putting it out there. So nicely, too!

Jm Diaz

Matt: Thank you sir!

'ber: I'm already old an crotchet. I was born that way, and body has been catching up ever since.

Kristi: Nice is my third to last middle name. J.m. niceoneasshole Diaz.
I'm spanish, we've a shit load of names.

Sierra Godfrey

So can you give us some specific examples of what you're seeing that doesn't work? I know our little blogospeheric circle does talk about our stuff, so we're probably fine, but I wondered. I don't talk about my novel much on my blog because I'm trying to concentrate on getting it to a point of polished, submission-ready completion. Are you saying you want to see MORE of the pimping-self-out, or what?

Jm Diaz

Sierra, what you are doing is fine. I'm talking more about in social interactions. I've come across some pretentious assholes that feel as though they will just finish a first draft, and it will be a best seller before it even hits the stands.

As far as posting on your blog, I'd advise against it. I've read a few agent blogs were they don't like to see when people post exerts of their unpublished work. That said, send people to your blog so that they get to know YOU, as a writer. As a brand. Your blog is a perfext example. If I see your blog colors, or the image you have on there, I'll recognize it anywhere. If you use something like that for your book, and you have [say] 2000 followers, that's 2k people that will be called to your book just because they know you.
I also know bloggers that expect everybody to follow their blog, but they never read or comment on other people's blogs. Stuff like that

Okie

great post...very well said.

Travener

OK, OK, I give -- I'm in it for the money! The $3,000 advance! The $1,000 paperback rights! I'll buy mne a castle in Italy right next to George Clooney's.

Jm Diaz

I have grander delusions than that. I don't a castle. I just want to be able to write and make AT LEAST the same living I make now. Castle is not for me. I fucking HATE mote maintenance fees.

Jill Kemerer

I agree. Writing is my passion, but it's also my job and I want not only to be great at it, but I want that to be reflected in my pay. In order to have both, there's a lot of work to be done!

Tina Lynn

Wow, JM I didn't realize I made you that mad.

Jm Diaz

Yes Tina, it was you. Things just haven't been the same since you covered up that JFK stuff, and talked Snape into wanding Dumbeldore to death.

Judith Mercado

Excellent advice, Jim. I also agree with Jill K. I don't know if we share some genetic link because my currrent post is about why writers, including King, Atwood, Neruda and me, write.

Jm Diaz

it is kinda eerie Judith, we tend to hit on the same subjects around the same time.

Sierra Godfrey

I'm in agreement then JM. Can't stand it when people write one draft and are done. Blood, sweat, and tears should go into multiple rounds of drafting. They simply must.

And thanks for the kind words about my site. I purposely wanted a strong brand, and warm colors like orange, red, and yellow do it every time.

AjFrey

Write on, JM! I'm nervous about talking about my WIP, but once I open up to someone about writing - there is no shutting me up. My blog is only about writing.

I think that many people that think they can get away with only a single draft and a round of spellcheck - do so because of naivety. You don't realize how much red ink will bleed on your WIP until you've been doing this for a while. They will learn - or they won't get published. Hell, I don't even consider my original first draft a draft at all anymore. I look at it now as just a big fat outline. :-)

Crimey

Fellow crime writer: I bow to you. I couldn't agree more that this is a business and if any writer is serious about getting published the fact that "it is a business" has to be one factor at the fore front of his/her mind.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Let's keep in touch.

Michele Emrath

Fantastic. Well done, sir. Now, how's your novel?

Michele
SouthernCityMysteries

V. S

I agree with your rant, 100%

Erica

I totally agree. Well said post! I think networking is very important to any writer's career that wants to be published :o)

Valerie Geary

Came over for a visit from Marsha's blog and love love love this rant!! I get so sick of people who want to be writers, playing down the fact that they are writers... like it's something to be ashamed of! Hiding behind a mask of what? Humility? If you want to be humble... be a pastor. Anyhoo... You took the words right out of my brain so thanks. :)

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