Dear Writer: Your Book is a Product


Summary

Writers are artists. Whether they write to entertain or to inform, they tend to be sure-footed and independent presenters of a product. Such traits often hinder new writers of a major literary work, such as a novel.

The Reader’s Point of View

You have an idea that you wish to turn into a novel, or you have already written the novel, now what? If you web search to find an answer to that question, you will find many people whom you do not know who will give you an answer that they know, or one that suits their purpose. Yet, if you think about it, you know the answer without being told. The answer is that you must promote yourself as a writer in order to find out who likes to read what you write.

Prime the Pump on your Writing Career

Write and publish short articles that will promote you and your writing craft. Find web promotion sites that will publish your articles for free. Write a new article every week. Measure the results. Experiment, first by writing articles about subjects that you know. Then, advance to researching and writing about subjects that interest you. Which ones get the most clicks? As the weeks and months pass, determine if you are expanding the number of regular followers of your articles. Now, think about your novel. Consider what people who read your articles tell you about why they read your work. Critically evaluate your writing from their point of view: their likes versus dislikes. Even if you have already written your novel, published and distributed that novel, you always need to identify the niche in the reader audience that is the market of your style of writing. Readers who will buy your novel are most likely to come from that niche or from a niche that you have yet to identify.

Just Do It

You are reading one of my articles. I have written and published three novels. I still write one free article every weekend. Articles are short and to the point. They are your invitations to readers to communicate with you. Articles are practice writing. Articles expand your research techniques, build your vocabulary, acquaint you with topics that you can use for settings in your novels, introduce you to fascinating real people whose attributes may fit traits of your characters, and generally, writing articles hones your writing craft.

Stop Wishing Upon a Star

Do you remember the film “Field of Dreams?” It was about baseball, but the title fits the approach to writing that most writers practice. “If you build it, he will come” can be “if you write it, they will buy it,” which is the fantasy of most first-time writers of novels. It could happen, but the odds are better for you if you know who wants to buy your product before you put a lot of time and money into writing a novel and convince yourself to polish it like brass. Writing is fun. It does not have to start out as a sweatshop business. It should not be approached as a must have income source. Any writer can learn to turn heads with a proper use of words, a plot twist, or a teasing line at the end of pages and chapters. Readers like to have fun too. Find out who they are. Make it fun for them. Tempt them with a novel that has a catchy title and first five pages that will grab their attention and keep it. Place that novel in front of the niche of readers that is most likely to buy it (where they shop for novels). Now, you have provided them with a candidate product that fits their taste for reading. Some will buy it. If your writing moves them, they will tell you. They may become active fans who will encourage you to write more novels and they may help your sales by promoting you to other readers who like to read what they like…what you have written for them. The world will open up to you when that happens. Best of luck to you writer.

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