Career Self-Transition: Embracing being a Writer

Sometimes, you get to a point when a hobby is really not a hobby anymore.  You get to a point where you have to take yourself seriously if you want others to take you seriously. You get to a point where the work you put into something should be recognized, appreciated, rewarded.  I’m at this point again in my life with writing; I’m not just writing for fun or a few dollars here and there. I’m a published author, and I want to connect more with readers.  This has essentially become a career.

After I was spotted in the grocery store by local paparazzi, I realized I needed a strong author platform… I’m kidding. I’ve been thinking about this for a while (I’m a definite planner), years maybe. And even if I hadn’t been thinking about it, every professional piece of advice I’ve read on marketing a book says that you need a strong author platform. I’ve slowly started building my social media and internet presence as much as I can for next to no money, but just like with anything else, investing money and time is the the only way something good can become great. Or something unseen can be discovered.

So today, I’ve transitioned my writing blog to a fully customized website. This is the second major step I’ve made into my writing career, the first being buying some ISBN numbers. My author platform is almost complete. Now for what to write. . .

If you’re an author and you don’t know what an author platform is or can do for you, do an internet search on Author Platform; you’ll find a lot of resources. I’ve found some helpful ones at IngramSpark, Publisher’s Weekly, and Writer’s Digest. Author platforms are a must if you want people outside of your immediate circle to read your writing.

Things I’ve Learned:

  1. You’re working on an author platform; so is every other writer.  So what does that mean? You have to be different. You have to make yourself stand out as a writer. It’s not always about standing the tallest or being the loudest, sometimes it’s about being the most “you” that you can be: finding your own voice.
  2. Not everyone is in your audience.  Not even every reader.  Think about you as a writer: do you like writing in every genre? Do YOU even like reading in every genre? The takeaway here is knowing who’s going to buy your book so that you can put your energy and money into productive marketing.
  3. Targeting and focus is key to getting an audience to read your work. There is an audience that wants to read your book, whatever that book is. Knowing who they are is only step one. Now, you have to let them know that you exist. [Cue the MailChimp.] Whatever methods you choose make sure you’ve figured out what’s best for your audience, because mistakes here could mean lost revenue and missed opportunities.
  4. You can make mistakes here, so don’t. But if you do, you can fix them. There are lots of blog posts and guides and articles on how to create an author platform the right way. There are also articles that point out mistakes and fixes.  Take some time to research whether you’ve started working on your platform or not.

I’m still planning and learning a lot about how to market my books and myself (author platform). But I can’t be successful if I don’t put any actions behind my plans. Hence, this new website. Welcome.