There are lots of different kinds of writers. By that I mean we all have different philosophies about our writing and what the craft means to us. Some people approach it solely as a mode of expression. For those it’s a sacred quest to create Literature (note the capital “L”). It’s art. For those writers getting published may or may not be important. The act of writing itself is where their focus lies. Such writers may be skilled enough (and lucky enough) to find success. But, it’s likely that success isn’t really what’s driving them.
Then there are writers who are striving to make a career of their writing. Perhaps their goal is more to inform, get a message heard, or simply to make a living as a writer. For those writers the business of writing is paramount. Getting published is the holy grail and they find themselves spending a great deal of time in the pursuit of getting accepted by a publisher or an agent.
Such writers know that times are changing. Traditional publishing is being shaken to its core by new ways to entertain and inform their audiences online. The ability to spread the word about written work has changed drastically with the growth of social media by leaps and bounds. Writers find themselves struggling to keep up with the latest technology and learning strategies for self-promotion using Facebook and Twitter.
As an editor, this new focus is a constant force in my day to day work. I find myself not only trying to create a great book or piece for a magazine, but also trying to think of ways to spread the word, to guide authors to the most advantageous ways of promoting themselves and thinking of new ways to make the content of their work available to the largest audiences possible.
It’s the way business is being done today, and publishing has to do the same to remain viable.
With that in mind, I’m looking forward to the Writer’s Digest Business of Getting Published Conference taking place in NYC Sept 18-20. It’s a perfect opportunity for writers who want to learn about author platforms, using social media as a marketing tool, driving their own book sales, different publishing options, and other ways to create your own success.
I’m approaching the conference not only as an editor, but as a writer myself and am looking forward to the chance to meet other people who want to make it in this business. I always meet lots of great people at conferences and am really looking forward to it. If you can come, it should be a great opportunity… and I’d love to meet you and compare notes.
Writing is about communication and we are the stewards of this industry. It’s important to learn about the changes and the challenges and how to be successful and keep the publishing industry vital.