While reading one of my client’s books, Forget Job Security by Dawn Rasmussen, it occurred to me that one’s job search is like a book marketing campaign and one’s job interview is similar to an author’s media interview. The fluctuating job market also parallels the transitioning book industry.
Everyone needs to create, foster, and grow their personal brand. Whether it’s to keep your job or find a new one, how you are seen by others will greatly influence your career success. The same is certainly true for writers. No matter how many books you are writing or have had published, you must establish and build your brand identity. This is true no matter where you are on the author food chain – novice or bestselling author.
Where Rasmussen’s book speaks about “career management,” which she describes as “a process that takes place every single day both on the job and off-the-job, and represents a new mindset and approach to building a meaningful professional background that attracts opportunity,” authors should concern themselves with ‘writer management.’
Writers can take control of their careers. They don’t need permission from anyone to succeed. They can control their own fate. If writers fail, it’s no one’s fault but their own. Don’t blame others because you weren’t smart enough, aggressive enough, and opportunistic enough.
Writers can control many things. They can:
- Write as much as they want on any topic.
- Edit their work or hire a helper.
- Contact as many publications, literary agents and publishers as they want.
- Self-publish at any time.
- Create a blog and use free social media to promote themselves.
- Speak before large groups and connect with others.
What they can’t do is do nothing and hope to be discovered or demand that gatekeepers recognize their writing brilliance. To succeed as a writer it’s not enough to write a very good book, magazine article, or blog post. You need to market yourself.
If you can’t – or don’t want to market yourself – then hire help. Otherwise, you’ll be spending time with a therapist whining about how the world doesn’t recognize your genius. Take control of your writing career and use your time and resources not just to write a book, but to promote your writing brand.
Brian is chief marketing officer for Media Connect media-connect.com and has been in the book publishing and public relations industries for for the past two decades. He also blogs at Book Marketing Buzz Blog bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com.