Friday, April 12, 2013

Selling Yourself as a Writer (Shaun Horton guest post)

-->There are a lot of different approaches to writing as a career. Mr. Brewer's blog is a good example of the end of the spectrum which leans towards reaching out to readers and offering more than simply books, short stories and poetry. The other end of the spectrum leans more towards the idea that writers should write, and not worry about spending time blogging, doing tours, or anything else.

People can move up and down the spectrum as they have time, as their needs change, and how successful they are. At this moment in time, I'm reaching out at an extreme level. Since I discovered the 30-day platform challenge back in August, I've created an author page on Facebook, started my own blog, signed up on Twitter and Goodreads, and even looked into starting my own website.

I don't even have my first book out yet.

Writing and Reaching Out
Now, at the moment, I have the time to work on reaching out heavily in addition to working on my writing, and I feel like it's working fairly well. While the number of likes I get on my author page on Facebook may not be up where I would like, I have to admit most of my posts get an average of 30-40 views each, which is fairly substantial for a writer who doesn't have much to put out there other than himself.

The posts I make on my author page are good examples of who I am, even as I try to keep things related to writing or my chosen genre's. I will break the rhythm and go off topic for something I find particularly funny or which needs addressing though. 

At the bare minimum, I want people to be entertained by my blog, my tweets, or my Facebook posts; and I hope people get that, because that is also what I want from my writing. So far, it certainly seems that way. I've read on Goodreads of more established authors who have books available, but don't get that many views for their posts.

Given that I don't have anything yet to tell people to go out and buy, I try to keep them interested with short stories on my blog and on my Facebook page. This way they can get a feel for my writing style, and see if they might actually be interested in my finished works or not.

Communication Is Key
All these different outlets also allow people to get in touch with me if they want. In case they have questions about my work, my pages or my opinion on something I may have mentioned briefly in a post somewhere. I feel like this opportunity for communication with fans, or would-be fans is a very important factor. 

When people are accessible, it brings them down to a level on-par with their readers and people do appreciate that. It also benefits the writer as people can get in touch and inform them if a major mistake is made in one of their works. With the advent of self-publishing burgeoning on the internet, it is becoming very easy to upload a work, and then fix mistakes as they get pointed out, re-uploading an updated version for future readers.

All these allow people to get to know me as a writer and as a person and I'm hoping that when I publish my first short novel, which may be between the writing and the posting of this guest blog post, that the people who have followed along with me so far will feel like they're sharing in my success.


Editor's Note: Shaun did self-publish his first novel between the writing and posting of this guest post. Link to come hopefully.


Shaun Horton is a Freelance writer living in Western Washington. His blog Shaun of the Not-so-Dead is a mix of posts about the horror genre, the business of writing, reviews of horror-themed things, and the occasional mad rant. He is expecting to publish his first short novel in the early Spring of 2013.


Follow Not Bob on Twitter @robertleebrewer


Check out previous Not Bob posts:


Shaun Horton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shaun Horton said...

Thanks again so much for this opportunity Mr. Brewer. Here is the link to my Amazon page if anyone is curious.

In honor of this guest post, I've also made my book free to download on Kindle today.

Lara Schiffbauer said...

Congratulations, Shaun, on your release and on a very nice post. I agree, social media really should be about connecting and sharing. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Shaun and Robert!

I have a question I hope you can answer for me. I already am moderately active on Twitter with a personal account. While I want to work on a platform while I'm finishing up my first manuscript, I'm not too keen in my uber restrictive boss (who follows me) knowing I'm spending my nights writing instead of responding to emails.

Do you think it's better to create a second, writing specific Twitter account? Or should you stick to one account to keep everything out in the open?