There’s no doubt that the world of social media can be daunting for writers who want to establish that online presence many publishers push for, especially if the author has never had a social media account before. But there is no denying its necessity and value when it comes to reaching target audiences. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can all help you promote your blog and your books and can connect you with other people, but Twitter—in itself a form of microblogging—is a great way for writers to build an online presence and stay informed on trends in the industry.
Once upon a time, maintaining your portfolio meant taking hard copies to an interview or attaching them with your application. However, today most publishing employers prefer portfolio websites so they don’t have to worry about hanging on to (or worse, losing) the multitudes of work they receive from each candidate. But those of you who haven’t spent much time coding or building websites are likely wondering: Where do I begin? Well, look no further. Here are some tips to get you started.
While I’ve read and continue to read numerous books on the art of editing and writing, I find myself most frequently leaning on an editing tip that was thrown at me way back in high school. Read it out loud.
Remember that a manuscript is the result of a writer’s blood, sweat, and tears. Unless they’re lucky to be full-time writers, authors are usually people working a nine-to-five job and have to write during their lunch breaks or stay up late into the night writing after their children have gone to bed. They’ve sacrificed their energy, time, and social life to write a book, and if a query is not handled well, they could see it as an attack on them and not as constructive feedback.
While the interior design of a book may not always be as flashy as cover design, it is just as, if not more important. A book with a good layout and design may not always get noticed, but a book with a bad interior can ruin professionalism and even lose readers. With these tips, sticking to industry standards when necessary, but utilizing creative practice where possible, the interior design of your book can become the backbone needed for its content and cover to shine.
In the past, the Ooligan blog has posted some great advice about query letters. For those who have never written a query before, you should go check those out first. However, with those resources available, we wanted to dive deeper into some pitch concepts: framing and in-person pitches. While the latter will primarily be of use to those participating in Write to Publish (or similar writing conferences), framing your book correctly is useful in all cases. Doing it correctly can really give your query letter a leg up on the competition.